Pride Month is about halfway over and while we should celebrate LGBTQ+ folks all year round, including this writer who would love you to check out some of her other queer content, this is the time of year where sites put forward new media. Disney+ is a streaming service I was primarily using for Star Wars and Marvel content, but recently I started checking out their content listed under Pride Month. Some of the options are series, one of which just recently had a character share her love for another female character through song, and others are part of the Disney Launchpad Shorts collection. I do love shorts, short films, short stories, not a big fan of wearing shorts, but all the other shorts I am always a fan of. I watch three of them and thought I would talk a bit about them in case you are looking for some wholesome queer content.
The first short has been out for a while and I think may have actually debuted last year, Out. In this animated short Greg is struggling to come out to his parents. He has a seemingly long term boyfriend and the two are moving to the city together, but Greg hasn’t been able to come out yet. He hasn’t felt comfortable and has been putting it off saying once they move he will be able to. When his parents suprise him to help pack, he shoos his boyfriend away and what happens next is a bit magical. Greg winds up changing places with his dog and while Greg the human is in the body of his dog he keeps trying to hide the elements of his life he hasn’t told his parents about. His mom is the primary person he is interacting with and ultimately he learns that she already knows he is interested in men. When he switches back he finds the courage to come out and the end of the short is so sweet.
The second short I watched was The Little Prince(ss). This short focuses on two Chinese boys, one in second grade named Rob and a first grader named Gabriel. Rob is new to the school and when he meets Gabriel he is surprised to meet a boy who does ballet and likes the color pink. The two become close and when Rob learns that Gabriel’s ballerina doll was chewed up by a dog he tries to make him a new doll that he tells his father looks like Gabriel. This doll angers Rob’s father and he storms over to Gabriel’s house to confront the boy’s parents. He says their son acts like a girl and it is not appropriate, but Gabriel father and mother support their son and push back against the hurtful things Rob’s father says. The two boys don’t speak for a time, but eventually Rob waits for Gabriel after school to give him the tutu he made for the Gabriel doll and the two are friends again. The story focuses more on acceptance and how there is no one way to be yourself. It is so touching and a beautiful message.
The third short was my absolute favorite and I really wish Disney would turn it into a full length movie or even some sort of series. Growing Fangs is about Val, a Mexican-American teenager who is half-vampire and half-human. She recently started going to monster school and hasn’t been able to tell her human best friend who she truly is or why she had to switch schools. At her new school she has been struggling to make friends and when she learns her crush, the star of a the girl’s basketball team and also a vampire, needs someone to help her out, she jumps on the chance. What she doesn’t know is she will be wearing a super offensive human costume and have the student body yelling at her. Her crush Elsie then finds out something is different about Val and while panicking Val gets sick, though mostly from an odd vampire only sports drink she chugs. When she is in the nurse’s office she is told she is not half, but instead human and vampire and in that moment she feels a bit better. What she doesn’t expect is her human friend Jimmy to suddenly show up, when she has to save him he learns who she is and accepts her. Beyond that she learns that Dora, another girl on the basketball team is not just a vampire, but also a werewolf and all three become friends. This was so cute and the casualness of Val being into girls was so great. It was a perfect watch and honestly I need more of it.
You can find Out, The Little Prince(ss), and Growing Fangs on Disney+.