Director: Steven Clay Hunter
Screenwriter: Steven Clay Hunter
Starring: Bernadette Sullivan, Kyle McDaniel, Caleb Cabrera, Matthew Martin
Out is the latest short from Pixar which premiered on Disney+ last week and is the first film to be created by either Pixar or Disney that is centered around an LGBTQ+ character, which is a huge step forward for both companies and hopefully a sign that we have more content like this to come from them.
On the day he is due to move house, our protagonist Greg is discussing his nervousness about coming out to his parents with his boyfriend Manuel while packing up photos and memories of their relationship. When Greg’s parents show up unannounced to help him pack, he sends Manuel away and tries to hide the evidence of their love. However, with a little help from some magic sent from a rainbow, Greg swaps bodies with his dog Jim, making keeping his secret increasingly more difficult.
Out is hilarious, heartwarming and sweet while also dealing with a very real subject matter that many people can connect with. While only 9 minutes long, Out manages to evoke so many emotions that will have you hysterically laughing out loud and also have you on the verge of tears all the while filling your heart with joy, in the way it seems that only Pixar knows how.
As you would expect from Pixar, the animation and the character design is stunning. It is full of warm colours and soft lines that create a comforting atmosphere juxtaposing the distressing and frantic situation Greg seems to find himself in. What is also unique is the movement and pace of the animation, particularly when Jim the dog is in Greg’s body. There is a manic energy to the animation that really enhances the comedy and light-heartedness of the story without deterring from its important message.
The only negative to be found, if it could really be classed as a negative, is that the overall story trope may have been a little obvious, particularly as we have seen LGBTQ+ media becoming more readily available in popular culture over the last few years, but this by no means takes anything away from the story or the film’s overall message. The fact that this narrative has never been seen in this style of animation before, nor coupled with such a wholesome body swap idea, made for something fresh as regards the coming out story that has been represented in other forms of media many times over.
Out is a brave and inspiring addition to the Pixar Shorts family. It will make you laugh, cry and leave you wanting more – there is a twist at the end that will melt your heart. All in all, this latest Pixar release is a loving story of family, acceptance and identity struggle, complete with one very cute dog.
Make sure to look for another famous Pixar character who appears throughout.