Elemental Becomes Pixar’s First Movie to have a Non-Binary Character that Uses They/Them Pronouns

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Pixar, the renowned animation studio under Disney, has made a significant stride towards inclusivity with the introduction of its first non-binary character in the film Elemental.

The movie centers around the lives of Wade, a laid-back individual, and Ember, a spirited young woman, as they discover their shared experiences in a world that emphasizes their differences.

Playing the role of Lake Ripple, Wade’s younger sibling, is voice actor Ava Hauser, who, like the character, identifies as non-binary.

Hauser took to social media to announce this groundbreaking news, expressing their excitement about being part of Pixar’s historic milestone. In a Twitter post, Hauser wrote, “BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I got to play Pixar’s first non-binary character. Meet Lake. 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 eagerly lauded the film and Pixar for their commitment to inclusivity. One Twitter user praised the subtlety of Lake’s introduction to Ember, highlighting the importance of treating LGBTQ+ characters with the same depth and respect as their straight counterparts.

They remarked, “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.” Another user expressed adoration for the name “Lake” and professed their immediate affection for the character. The sentiment was echoed by many, with social media abuzz about the representation of non-binary individuals in Pixar’s films.

While celebrating this landmark moment, some fans also pointed out that previous Pixar characters had defied traditional gender norms, albeit indirectly.

Francis from the 1998 film A Bug’s Life was mentioned as an example of a character who challenged binary gender identity.

However, there were those who jokingly questioned the gender identity of a character from Toy Story, referring to the Etch A Sketch.

Such discussions highlighted the ongoing evolution of representation within Pixar’s extensive catalogue.

Despite the positive reception of Elemental’s inclusivity, Reuters reports that the film had a relatively modest box office debut, ranking as Pixar’s second-lowest in terms of revenue.

It generated around USD$30 million at the US and Canadian box offices during its opening weekend, with a limited release in only three major international markets.

However, the movie is scheduled to premiere in additional countries in the coming weeks. Industry analysts initially anticipated Elemental to earn at least $31 million domestically, and the final figures will be determined on June 19. If it achieves the estimated $31 million, it will surpass the debut of Toy Story, Pixar’s inaugural film released in 1995, which opened with $29.1 million.

Through the introduction of Lake Ripple, Elemental not only breaks new ground for Pixar but also represents a significant step towards inclusivity and representation of non-binary individuals in mainstream cinema.

The film’s release has sparked conversations about the importance of diverse characters and narratives in shaping a more inclusive entertainment landscape.

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