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June 24, 2022

Disney's "Buzz Lightyear" is Such a Huge #Woke Flop that Pixar Faces a Reckoning?

Pixar, the studio that made the box office flop Buzz Lightyear, is doubling down on gay relationships in kids' movies -- their next project, Strange World, will feature Disney's first male-on-male teen romance.

Matthieu Saghezchi @MSaghezchi

Just saw the very first glimpse into #Disney's #StrangeWorld at the #Annecy2022 festival - it features the first openly gay teen romance in a disney feature!!! 🏳️‍🌈 #RepresentationMatters

"The scene describes the son being very shy in front of his boy crush, and his dad comes in and says, 'So nice to meet you! my son talks about you all the time,' and further embarrasses his son. Very cute."

Variety confirms the content:

Walt Disney screened three sequences from Strange World. In the first, Ethan flirts with heartthrob Diazo while friends from school look on, teasing in a friendly and warm-hearted way. Much to Ethan's chagrin, his dad Searcher soon joins in, embarrassing his son with an overeager show of acceptance.

I've also now come to understand that the Gay Kiss in Buzz Lightyear was actually pretty incidental -- a gay relationship drives the plot. It wouldn't have mattered if they deleted the gay kiss or not; the fact that two women meet, have sex, have a baby together (how, it is unclear), and grow old together is a key plot point in the movie, which could not easily be excised from the film.

The Gay Kiss just confirmed what was obvious: the two were in a long, long-term lesbian relationship.

Furthermore -- spoiler alert for a children's movie you're not going to see anyway -- the villain of the movie turns out to be Buzz Lightyear himself, a future version of himself anyway, who has come back in time and wants to go even further back in time to undo the mistake he made that caused them to all become stranded on the alien planet where the movie takes place. But undoing everything would also break up this lesbian couple and erase their baby, which presents a moral dilemma presented to the younger version of Buzz -- is undoing a mistake worth it if it also wipes out the good that subsequently occurred in overcoming that mistake?

That sounds okay but I can't help but notice what we have here is a case of Deranged white straight man wants to break up non-white gay relationship.

Oh, did I forget to mention the lesbians are, of course, non-white?

This is why the movie has been banned by so many countries -- not just because of the kiss, but featuring a lesbian relationship so centrally, and kinda-sorta suggesting that men -- fathers -- weren't necessary in a family.

And were maybe a threat to them.

So that is the film Pixar made, and the next film they have in the tube is Strange World, featuring the first teen boy-boy romance. (Buzz Lightyear featured an adult female-female romance.)

ThatParkPlace.com reports that this is not going to fly with Disney CEO Bob Chapek, now that Disney's lost half its share value.

Expected originally to make more than one-hundred million dollars in its domestic debut and more than a billion in its full, worldwide release, Lightyear has released to an utter thud. If it manages to cross fifty million in its debut domestic weekend, it will be a miracle. If it doesn't, we're already far passed embarrassment.

Note: It only just passed fifty million, reaching $50.6 million.

Consider that Disney may be looking at a film that only does something like three-hundred million total worldwide. If that is its final resting place, Lightyear will lose as much as it makes: $300,000,000.

The Walt Disney Company is a huge corporation. But even huge corporations can't afford to lose those sorts of numbers more than on rare occasion. That means this is untenable going forward. Whatever made Lightyear fail can't happen again.

The problem for Disney and for Pixar is that the failure of this film is squarely on the culture of those who inhabit Pixar. As an example, the same mistakes are on the docket for Strange World, the next theatrical release for Pixar. And the people at the studio are unlikely to accept defeat by pulling the problems out of the movie.

That means a fight is brewing, or if Disney is so lucky, a purge. For it was Pixar that used a divisive cultural moment to attempt mutiny against the Disney CEO, Bob Chapek, in order to restore a lesbian kiss to the Lightyear movie.

Chapek had wanted to cut the lesbian kiss, at least, but Pixar rebelled, wanting to use the lesbian kiss to fight Ron DeSantis. Yes, it's that stupid.

That meant that the film was marketed and discussed in the press as a movie central to the culture war rather than a children's space ranger flick. Never mind that the movie's narrative revolves around the lesbian couple who become pregnant and have a family -- to the point that Buzz Lightyear becomes the villain for attempting to complete the mission and thereby (somehow) remove the situation in which the couple could come together. Parents were already going to be thrown for a loop when they needed to explain how two mommies can make a baby, the kiss was just Pixar's coup maximus.

But none of that worked. Disney has become a deeply politicized and divisive company. The people who regularly said "fine, go watch something else" are finally getting their way, then standing in stunned silence as they try to rationalize why an audience didn't materialize. The mainstream media and the woke punditry have devolved into putrid stupor, presenting ridiculous reasons as to what has occurred. Why should we listen to them? They didn't foresee this, so why should they be given credence now?

The real reasons for why Lightyear has failed are simple. You do not need a PhD or an inside source to understand them.

Disney became political and alienated half their customers.

Half their customers (or less) came to Lightyear

This backlash has been largely hidden until now by streaming.

Disney management has likely seen this trend before the public saw it loud and clear via the box office.

Stranger Things shows that the American public isn't a puritan society -- there's a right way to handle sexual orientation issues.

Putting sexual orientation issues in a children's movie in such a way that forces parents to have "the talk" isn't the right way.

Turning Red already primed the public to be wary. Lightyear went way farther.

I believe this issue with Turning Red is that it's all about a girl's first period, which is not at all hinted at in the advertising. The title is a punny nod to the subject matter but you wouldn't guess "Oh Disney made a menstruation movie."

Parents left the theater now having to have an Uncomfortable Talk with their little daughters they were not prepared to have.

Can I also just say that I find it exceedingly funny that they released a movie that centers around a lesbian couple and the bad guy is a man who might accidentally erase their relationship... on Father's Day Weekend.

[T[he only reason they didn't see this coming is because they're in such a bubble with who they talk to and where they live that they didn't even know about the thesis we've been presenting here at That Park Place for months. They would have rejected it if they had known, but that they didn't is enough to show you how insular their lives are.

He notes that Chapek will be emboldened to tell Pixar to make cuts to their next Woke project, and that Pixar will not have much of an argument to make in response -- short of quitting.

Which they just might do.

But which other studio is going to gobble up a bunch of animators who quit their last job over the principle that their last boss wouldn't let them indulge their Grooming itch to the fullest?

Midnight Edge discussed this article:

For contrasting takes: Pitch Meeting discussed the movie. It sounds like the movie is not very good, regardless of its Woke content.

Its actual connection to the Toy Story Extended Universe is confusing and strained.

I say this is a "contrasting case" because the worse the movie is as a movie, the less its wokeness matters.

Dannphan also hated it, quite apart from any issues of the appropriateness of introducing young kids to lesbian kissing. She leans culturally to the right, I think, but not so much her views would be dictated by that.

So this movie just seems... kinda bad.

Still, if Pixar is now in the business of making movies which are "kinda bad" at best, then they also better get into the business of making movies which are broadly palatable to the greatest number of families and present the least amount of objectionable content.

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posted by Ace at 03:39 PM

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