The latest trailer for Finding Dory features a scene with an octopus in a stroller — and a closer look may reveal something even more unusual for a Pixar film. Fans are speculating that the two women who offer the eight-legged “baby” a sippy cup may be a lesbian couple. If so, it would be a first for Disney and Pixar’s animated family films. Watch for the brief scene in the trailer below, at the 1:05 mark.
The two characters in question — a woman with short hair wearing a wool coat, and another with a sweater tied around her waist — appear to be visiting the aquarium where amnesiac fish Dory (voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is seeking out her long-lost parents. When a stroller careens into their path, one of the women picks up a dropped sippy cup and hands it back to its toddler owner, only to recoil in shock that the little girl has been replaced by an octopus (voiced by Ed O’Neill).
The idea that the women might be Pixar’s first lesbian couple appears to have originated with this tweet from Disney fan Matthew Gottula:
— Matthew Gottula (@DLthings)May 24, 2016
Social media reactions quickly followed, including celebration, skepticism, and comparisons to Bee Movie:
FINDING DORY HAS A LESBIAN COUPLE PIXAR HAS GAYNESS YES YES YES I AM ABOUT TO START CRYING SO HARD— More Alive Than Not (@epicbooklover)May 25, 2016
FINDING DORY HAS A LESBIAN COUPLE IN IT WHAT IM SO HAPPY— alexa 20 (@balladlester)May 25, 2016
ppl are freaking out bc a lesbian couple is in Finding Dory but no one cared when a girl fell in love with a bee smh pic.twitter.com/fHbiwSKYXp— Dory (@Dory)May 31, 2016
A screen grab from Pixar’s new ‘Finding Dory’ trailer.
Since they have only about two seconds of trailer time, it is unclear whether either or both of the women are the girl’s parents, or whether they’re visiting the aquarium as a couple. Furthermore, the two women aren’t major players in Finding Dory, which focuses on marine life rather than the human world; they may, in fact, just be present to facilitate the octopus-with-a-pacifier visual gag. So why does it matter if they’re gay? Some would say that it doesn’t, and that the presence of gay characters in a movie trailer shouldn’t even be newsworthy.
But many LGBT Disney fans are eager to see reflections of their lives in Disney films — hence the fan campaigns to give Frozen’s Elsa a girlfriend, give Captain America a boyfriend, and make Poe (Oscar Isaac) and Finn (John Boyega) a couple in future Star Wars films. Though J.J. Abrams has declared his intentions to bring queer characters into the Star Wars universe, Disney currently has the weakest track record of all the major studios when it comes to including LGBT characters, according to GLAAD’s 2016 Studio Responsibility Index. Even a lesbian couple inserted casually into a movie, like the totally normal thing that it is, would be a huge step forward for Disney. The Finding Nemo sequel (in theaters June 17) sees Dory finding her long-lost parents — and if children of gay parents can finally find a reflection of their own families onscreen, that will be one more thing to celebrate.