Disney-Pixar’s Onward will feature the first self-identified LGBTQ character in an animated Disney film. While this isn’t the first time Disney has featured its first LGBTQ character in its cinematic universe, it is the first animated film by the company to have a character explicitly identify as apart of the community.
The character, Officer Specter, will appear briefly in the film’s story, in a scene where she is discussing her girlfriend with other characters. While it is unclear if Specter represents the lesbian or bisexual communities, it is a clear alignment with the LGBTQ community as a whole. Onward producer Kori Rae describes the inclusion to Yahoo Entertainment as a way to “open up the world a little bit” and to “represent the modern world.”
Officer Specter is being voiced by actress Lena Waithe, who is also openly gay. Rae voiced his excitement over Officer Specter and the performance by Waithe, even saying that, while Specter in not a main character, he would love to see “an Officer Specter spinoff.”
Officer Specter is voiced by openly LGBTQ actress Lena Waithe
Many fans who have wanted more LGBTQ representation in Disney films will be excited to hear this news. In the past, fans have felt that while Disney has subtly introduced characters in the community, it has never been significant enough to actually label the decisions as representation (for example, including a gay kiss between a lesbian couple in the new Star Wars movie). Others feel while characters in the community should be represented, there is no need to explicitly state it in the film. Regardless, this seems to follow a pattern of Disney choosing to integrate more LGBTQ characters into its media.
Disney’s Onward will be released on March 6th, 2020.