Another week, another Internet frenzy over something stupid. This week, everyone’s been losing their minds over whether Merida, the firey-haired heroine from Pixar’s latest movie Brave, is a lesbian. You know, because she doesn’t want to get married and prefers shooting arrows and horseback riding to dresses and bows. CLEARLY, she’s a homo. You can’t have interests and preferences outside of carefully-cultivated gender norms without wanting to munch a vag. You also can’t be a female cartoon character without somebody wondering about or ascribing you a sexual preference. (Anime porn. Sexed up Disney princesses. You get it.)
So, if we’re doing it for Merida, why not go back through Pixar’s archives and figure out which other characters can join the animated LGBTQ community? Fair’s fair.
Woody and Buzz from Toy Story
I mean, really. This is just a given. SUPER obvious they want to stick their little plastic and wooden parts together right off the bat. The first Toy Story movie is basically the plot of The Ugly Truth starring Katherine Heigl and Gerard Butler but with tiny animated toys. Woody is the stuck-up, stuck in his ways Heigl character and Buzz busts in Butler-style to shake up his world. And these two lovebirds are in it for the long haul. (Childhood ruining: Is gay marriage legal between toys? Do they have toy genitals? Who tops?) In the end, Woody and Buzz retire together to that new little girl’s house in Toy Story 3 to live happily ever after.
Kevin from Up!
That rainbow tail? His flamboyant prancing around? The way he tackles Dug? Please. That rare tropical bird might just be a pea…cock.
[Update: I stand SO, SO corrected. Kevin was indeed a girl. A beautiful lipstick lesbian. HOW COULD I FORGET THAT?]
Dory from Finding Nemo
As we all know, cartoon characters often take on the characteristics of their voice actors. Dory was voiced by noted lesbian Ellen DeGeneres. Also, Dory doesn’t hook up with Marlin in the end after everything they’ve been through and that is clearly suspicious. Any good screenwriter knows that even if the two opposite gender characters are just friends — there needs to be some kind of romantic tension. Therefore, Dory is gay. Just keep swimming…in poon, girlfriend!
Anton Ego from Ratatouille
This could just be a case of “gay or European?” but Anton Ego’s attire, demeanor, and posh tastes suggest a cultured homosexual. Coupled with the fact that he eats alone, like a …cough…confirmed bachelor. Seems to me if, as a food critic, you had access to free meals at the best restaurants in Paris, you’d be using that to impress some lady friends. Ego does no such thing. Gay.
Buddy from The Incredibles
The entire premise of The Incredibles, much like that of the X-Men, can be seen as a gay metaphor but the most clearly LGBTQ character in that movie is the villain, Buddy. He worships Mr. Incredible and when his romantic advances are rejected, he becomes murderous, vowing revenge. It’s that classic “evil gay” plot line that scripts use over and over again. There’s a fine line between love and hate.
Doc Hudson from Cars
Older guy. Not married. Named after Rock Hudson. Obsessed with Owen Wilson. You do the gay math.
Roz from Monsters, Inc.
Roz is decidedly unfeminine — she wears her hair short, dons a frumpy cardigan, and drags a slimey slug body around. Like Dory, Roz’s voice actor gives us some clues as to her LGBTQ status. She’s brought to life by a man, actor Bob Peterson, so actually we may have our first transgender or cross-dressing Pixar character!
Ken from Toy Story 3
This one was practically spelled out for you throughout the whole movie. Ken is handsome, charming and way too into clothes. He’s overly sensitive and likes to interior decorate. He enjoys a good silk pashmina. Ken just isn’t any type of gay, no — he’s a stereotypical shallow d-bag gay! Ha! Ha! Ha! Get it? Because that’s still funny, right?
Francis from A Bug’s Life
Poor Francis. Just because he’s technically a “ladybug,” he spends the whole film being mistaken for a lady. He’s got a gender ambiguous look. He can’t help that. He was born this way. His gender identity is sadly constantly being questioned and so to compensate, he adopts a bad attitude and a rough persona. Just because Francis is gay, doesn’t mean he’s some kind of bug-twink.
So, see! Though I can certainly appreciate the excitement over seeing an LGBTQ main character in an animated blockbuster, it’s kind of a slippery slope and involves putting Merida in a big box labeled “Gender Norms.” Everyone’s gonna interpret the character a different way. It’s always easy to use stereotypes to attach gender identities and sexual orientations for our own gain and/or outrage. Visibility is important, sure, but let’s all calm down a bit, okay?