Disney has two movies in theaters right now starring queer characters—but you’d be hard-pressed to name both of them. In Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Michaela Coel plays a warrior with a female partner, a relationship given the most cursory of nods toward the end of the movie when the pair calls each other “love.” That feint toward sexual diversity is par for the course with Disney movies these days: sprinkle a little queerness in there for the folks at home, but not too much, so that it can be easily excised for the overseas release. (Either way, bigots are unhappy.)
Very much not par for the course, though, is the other Disney movie with a queer hero playing this weekend. Strange World boasts not only a queer teen lead, voiced by IRL queer comedy icon Jaboukie Young-White, but that queer teen is also biracial. Between the explicit queerness and the interracial family at its center, Strange World is shockingly progressive—well, as far as Hollywood family films go. Especially ones from Disney.
Yet Strange World has landed neither with a bang nor a whimper. Instead, the biggest studio in the world has released a new feature film with practically zero fanfare. There are no Strange World toys at McDonald’s right now. YouTube isn’t bombarding us with trailers. Reviews dropped two days before the film’s release, generating no conversation. And even Fox News has made nary a peep about Strange World’s discourse-ready casting.