'Lightyear' Cast Weighs in on Same-Sex Kiss in the Disney and Pixar Film

The story of everybody's favorite astronaut, Buzz Lightyear, continues in Disney and Pixar's latest film, Lightyear.

The animated series stars Chris Evans as the voice of Buzz Lightyear and even features a guest appearance from astronaut Tim Peake. The movie is a spin-off from the film series and serves as an origin story for Buzz as he tries to find his way back home.

Not only are Toy Story fans old and new excited about the movie, but everybody is talking about the same-sex kiss in the Disney and Pixar film, including the cast.

As part of a montage when Buzz (voiced by Chris Evans) is undertaking hyper speed tests to fix the marooned spaceship, he returns to visit his best friend Alisha (Uzo Aduba) at different stages of her life, thanks to the ability of the test to time travel.

Via each test, Buzz sees Alisha's life play out at different stages, including Alisha's first love, who is a female scientist. In the montage, audiences see them together, including their marriage, Alisha's pregnancy, and Alisha and her wife kissing as they celebrate their son's birthday and the birth of their granddaughter Izzy (Keke Palmer).

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A still from "Lightyear" featuring Keke Palmer's character Izzy Hawthorne with Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans) and Sox (Peter Sohn). Izzy is queer character Alisha's granddaughter. Disney/Pixar

At the end of the hyper speed tests, Alisha also leaves Buzz a message from her deathbed, telling him she lived a very good life.

Speaking to Newsweek, Keke Palmer, who voices Alisha's granddaughter Izzy Hawthorne in the movie, shared that she "loves" how the movie "normalizes same-sex relationships."

Reflecting on how younger audiences will react to the relationship, Palmer said: "I think they'll love it. Young kids today and the kids that will be coming after them, just to have this in the atmosphere, it just continues to normalize what's always been there.

"And it just shows the representation of what our world has always looked like. If you imagine that this is the movie that Andy saw [in 1995], then it's like these people were always a part of the story, and so it's good to make sure that that's represented in film and in art."

Speaking to USA Today about the same-sex kiss in Alisa's montage, award-winning actress Uzo Aduba, who voices Alisha, said: "What this film does is handle love and those stories the way that they should be, that they are not the totality of a person.

"It's addressed with the same simplicity as we address any type of love, and I think that's the way it should be."

Chris Evans, who voices Buzz Lightyear, added: "It's kind of a mixed bag of emotions. You're obviously thrilled that there is that representation in this movie, but you can't help but be a little frustrated that it's a talking point because that means it hasn't been until now. That means it's long overdue.

"There's this ribbon of frustration that it's taken this long and you almost hope that you get to a point where it doesn't have to be something that's mentioned because it has become the norm."

Unfortunately, the same-sex kiss between Alisha and her female partner has made negative international headlines. For example, the United Arab Emirates banned the movie from being shown in theaters because of its inclusion and Disney ended up pulling Lightyear from all Malaysian theaters after refusing requests for any LGBTQ+ content to be "cut and muted," USA Today reported.

The kiss was also originally cut in the U.S., but was reinstated after it was revealed Disney had donated $200,000 to some Republican politicians who supported Florida's controversial "Don't Say Gay" bill, which forbids discussions of sexual orientation in Florida schools.

Aduba added that playing the character Alisha in the wake of the "Don't Say Gay" bill "means everything."

She continued: "I'm happy to see Disney/Pixar sort of push through and blaze new trails in this space and I think it really creates the opportunity for children of all ages to dream and see themselves on screen."

Lightyear is out in theaters now.

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A still of Buzz Lightyear with Izzy Hawthorne, Mo Morrison, Darby Steele and robot companion Sox. The characters are voiced by Chris Evans, Keke Palmer, Taika Waititi, Dale Soules and Peter Sohn, respectively. Disney/Pixar