Pixar’s next animated release, “Lightyear”, is set to be released around the world in cinemas later this week. This new film is a sci-fi action adventure and the definitive origin story of Buzz Lightyear (voice of Chris Evans), the hero who inspired the toy, “Lightyear” follows the legendary Space Ranger on an intergalactic adventure alongside a group of ambitious recruits (voices of Keke Palmer, Dale Soules and Taika Waititi), and his robot companion Sox (voice of Peter Sohn).
However, the film will not be getting a released in Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E. and Kuwait, along with some other countries, including Malaysia.
This is because the film contains a single same-sex kiss between a new space ranger named Alisha Hawthorne and her wife. There is a scene where they are celebrating their wedding anniversary with their family, and there is a quick kiss between the couple when Alisha walks in after being at work. The scene is barely a few seconds long, and there are a few references throughout the film about Alisha having a wife.
Originally the scene had been cut from the movie, but following the recent issues involving the “Don’t Say Gay” bill in Florida, which resulted in some Pixar animators revealing that executives had cut the kiss scene, which led to a bad reaction from Disney’s staff, which resulted in the scene was restored.
Disney hadn’t submitted “Lightyear” for a release in the region, because it knew it wouldn’t pass the censors. However, the film was approved for a release in the region, only for that permission to be removed recently.
The UAE’s Media Regulatory Office announced on June 13th that the film was not licensed for public screening due to its “violation of the country’s media content standards.”
This isn’t the first Disney film to be banned from being released in the Middle East, as “Eternals”, “West Side Story”, and “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse Of Madness” also weren’t released in the region because they had gay/transgender characters.
It’s normal in some countries like Saudi Arabia to cut films and shows to comply with censorship rules. However, Disney is now unwilling to make these edits to their films.
While the film won’t be getting a theatrical release, it isn’t yet clear if it may eventually be released on Disney+ later, as the streaming service only recently launched throughout the Middle East. Eventually, an edited version of “Eternals” was made available on Disney+ within the region on Disney+.
“Lightyear” arrives in cinemas elsewhere on June 16th.
Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom.