The film did not obtain a release visa in a dozen Muslim-majority countries and territories in the Middle East and Asia, including Malaysia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the Palestinian Territories.
The creators of the animated film Buzz Lightning where a lesbian couple appears and which has not been authorized in certain Muslim countries, expected to run this risk, but claim to have refused to censor themselves. “We had been warned that this would be a likely outcome”said American producer Galyn Susman during a video interview with AFP. “But we weren’t going to change the movie we wanted to make just because of a few countries with – for lack of a better term – backward beliefs”she adds.
The film from Pixar studios will be released on Friday in many countries, including the United States, and next Wednesday in France. But he has not been granted an operating visa in a dozen Muslim-majority countries and territories in the Middle East and Asia, including Malaysia, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the Palestinian Territories.
In the film, Alisha, the chef of the main character (Buzz Lightyear, the intrepid astronaut made famous by the saga Toy Story), is married to a woman. A fleeting scene showing her kissing her wife was originally cut by Pixar Studios, a Disney subsidiary. But employees of these companies rose up, criticizing the attitude of the world’s number one entertainment company, accused of not committing to defending the rights of LGBT people.
In April, after the scene was reinstated, Ms Susman insisted that to fuck or not, the female couple had “always part of the movie”. Director Angus MacLane assured AFP that the film had in no way been altered to please censorship. “We made our film, they didn’t want to see it, very well”, he said. Actor Chris Evans who voices the character of Buzz Lightyear also took a stand during an interview saying “These people are idiots.”
The film eclipsed by controversy
Ms. Susman is surprised by such a debate, highlighting the lack of emotion raised by scenes like the death of Bambi’s mother in the 1942 Disney cartoon. “Personally, when my children were small, I did not want them to watch films where a mother is killed.did she say. We all have different ideas of what makes a movie acceptable to watch as a family.”.
This sensitive debate overshadowed the film itself ahead of its worldwide release. It centers on the character of Buzz Lightyear, an arrogant astronaut who struggles to save his crew from the dangers of an inhospitable planet. The action takes place before the series of Toy Storywhere the astronaut is a toy.
Buzz Lightning is more directly an action and adventure film than most other Pixar productions, but also unfolds the life lessons that characterize the studio’s works (The world of Nemo, Cars, Ratatouille…). Buzz “wrongly believes he can solve problems, he wants to prove it to himself so much that he isolates himself from others, and ends up having to learn that he must work as a team and that he does not have all the answers himself”explained Angus MacLane.
Reviews were mixed, with some praising the action scenes and visual effects, others calling the film an unusual misfire for Pixar. Most, however, adored the secondary character: Sox, the cat-robot with which Buzz is flanked.
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