Elemental becomes Pixar’s first movie to have a non-binary character that uses they/them pronouns
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Featured Image Credit: Pixar
Disney's Pixar has unveiled its first non-binary character in the studio's newest feature release, Elemental.
The film follows Wade, a 'go-with-the-flow' character, and Ember, a 'fiery' young woman, as they learn how much they have in common in a world determined to highlight all that sets them apart.
Lake Ripple is the younger sibling to Wade, and goes by they/them pronouns.
The trio lives in Elemental City, where fire, water, land, and air residents all live alongside each other.
Voice actor Ava Hauser plays Lake, the historic first non-binary character from the renowned animation studio.
Hauser, who is also non-binary, took to social media to reveal their big news.
BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I got to play Pixar's first nonbinary character! Meet Lake!— 🛸 Kai Ava Hauser 🛸 (@JustAVoiceActor) June 16, 2023
I voice Lake in the new movie #Elemental! I'm seeing it in theaters tonight with my friends, so you can catch it in theaters too if you wanna see them. 💙 pic.twitter.com/6kBPGvCATE
"BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I got to play Pixar's first non-binary character. Meet Lake," the voice actor posted on Twitter.
"I voice Lake in the new movie Elemental. I'm seeing it in theaters tonight with my friends, so you can catch it in theaters too if you wanna see them."
Fans were quick to heap praise on the new film and Pixar for its move to be more inclusive.
One Twitter user said: "It's the subtlety of how Lake is introduced to Ember that makes my heart sing. We don't need to treat LGBTQ+ characters any differently from straight characters. Pixar knows true allyship."
Okay but Lake sounds like a really sweet name and I’m already in love with them 🥺💖 The film isn’t even out yet but I’d watch it just to see them 🥰 https://t.co/uy8szMdOXL— Gay Serpent 🐍💖 @ Hassel lover 🍊🍎(Comms WIP!) (@xed_sketches) June 18, 2023
A second added: "Okay but Lake sounds like a really sweet name and I’m already in love with them." Many also took to social media to point out that other Pixar characters have flouted the lines of binary gender identity, even if they didn't openly admit it.
Several users pointed out that Francis from 1998's A Bug's Life opposed gender norms.
One user asked: "So we just gonna pretend like Francis never existed?"
A second added: "Lake will never represent me as much as Francis did."
They said: "Cool to know that the etch a sketch in Toy Story had a binary gender identity."
The movie took in roughly USD$30 million (AUD$43.6 million, £23.3 million) at US and Canadian box offices over the weekend and opened in just three major international markets.
Elemental will hit cinemas in other countries in the coming weeks.
Analysts predicted Elemental would open with at least $31 million (AUD$45.1 million, £24.1 million) at domestic theaters, a number which is set to be finalized on June 19.
If it hits the $31 million estimate, the film would rank just ahead of the $29.1 million debut for Toy Story, Pixar's first-ever movie back in 1995.