There’s a number of things to love about the coming-of-age animated feature “Luca.” There’s magic, adventure, and friendship (that a number of viewers saw as a “young, budding, queer romance”).
If you’re looking for more animated films and shows with brave narratives and similar elements, we’ve got just the watch list for you.
Oscar-nominated film “Wolfwalkers” is an adventure fantasy that heavily borrows from Irish history and folklore. It follows the story of a young aspiring hunter named Robyn Goodfellowe who moves to Ireland with her father after he’s tasked by the Lord Protector to wipe out a wolf pack living in the nearby woods. There she befriends Mebh, a member of a tribe rumored to turn into wolves by night.
Alongside commentary on colonization and Catholicism, viewers also gave the feeling of freedom associated to the (lupine!) transformations a queer reading. Apart from that, Robyn fought to break free from gender roles. While 17th-century Ireland doesn’t feel as welcoming as the seaside town on “Luca,” the animation turned it into a scenic playground for the besties. Watch it on Apple TV+.
“SK8 the Infinity”
How could we not include an anime entry on this list? “SK8 the Infinity” is about high school sophomores and best friends Reki Kyan and Langa Hasegawa’s skateboarding battles at an abandoned mine turned race course. It’s about the importance of finding joy in your chosen sport and with your friends.
Like Luca and Alberto, Reki and Langa seem like they’re more than friends. Or, at the very least, that one of the show’s characters (we won’t spoil who) canonically has a crush on the other. Here’s another pair of best friends with an intense bond who inspire each other and do semi-dangerous stuff together.
If you’re specifically looking for queer Disney and Pixar content, the short film “Out” is the studios’ first short film to feature a gay main character. There’s also an on-screen same-sex kiss and the film doesn’t treat it as something to shrink away from.
We see Greg packing his stuff with his boyfriend Manuel because they’re moving in together in the city. Unexpectedly, his parents arrive to lend a hand and Greg panics because he isn’t out yet. Another dilemma? Greg suddenly swaps bodies with his dog. Will he be forced to come out? Watch it to find out.
“The Saint of Dry Creek”
Released in partnership with It Gets Better, short film “The Saint of Dry Creek” is based on a memory told by Patrick Haggerty who is a queer country music icon. A son of a dairy farmer, Haggerty recounts how his father visited him during a school assembly which he dressed up for. Mind you, this was in the 1950s.
It’s a touching story about the power of parents telling their kids not to hide themselves—whether they’re in the closet or still in the middle of figuring things out.
“John and Michael”
Multi-awarded short “John and Michael” is a tribute film to two men with Down syndrome whose loving relationship deeply affected its filmmaker. It not only talks about finding someone who truly understands you but the sadness that comes with losing that person as well.
Photo screengrabbed from the “Wolfwalkers” trailer