LGBT: Out is a short film from Disney-owned animation studio Pixar. The short marks the first time a central character in a Pixar animated movie is gay.
Out, written and directed by Steven Clay Hunter, is 9 minutes long and explores the apprehensions of the LGBTQ community while coming out to their parents — the paralysing fear of just telling their loved ones about their sexual orientation.
The film is different from the usual three-dimensional realism-infused visual style of most Pixar features. Instead, it opts for a look that brought back memories of a stunning watercolour painting I saw in an exhibition with its slightly washed-out look (it is impossible to make out individual strands of hair in the characters’ beard in Out).
But the animators are not going for detail here. The art style is unique, fresh in Out, and looks rather pretty.
The short film tells the story of Greg, a gay man who is moving to another town. His boyfriend, Manuel, is helping him pack. Greg contemplates coming out to his parents, who suddenly turn up. Manuel leaves, albeit unwillingly, urging Greg to tell his parents about his sexuality.
The whole thing is being watched by a divine cat and a dog. Greg’s consciousness gets transferred into his dog Jim, and dog’s consciousness into Greg.
Though it is only a short film, Out will evoke a whole gamut of emotions in the same way Pixar’s theatrical films do. Hunter has squeezed in a lot of story, character, heart and emotions in 9 minutes, and by the time it ends, you will wish it were feature-length.