Disney’s Pixar has introduced its first non-binary character in the brand new film Elemental.

On 16 June, the studio behind Toy Story, Cars and The Incredibles finally treated fans to the highly anticipated film – which stars Leah Lewis, Mamoudou Athie, Ronnie del Carmen and Catherine O’Hara. 

As the title suggests, the movie follows Ember a “tough, quick-witted and fiery young woman”, and Wade a “fun, sappy, go-with-the-flow guy” as they navigate the Elemental City’s restrictive societal expectations and standards. 

Upon its release, the film earned rave reviews from moviegoers and critics for its heartwarming storyline, beautiful visuals and creative world-building.

Alongside the aforementioned praises, Elemental has earned acclaim from LGBTQ+ viewers due to the film featuring the studio’s first non-binary character Lake Ripple – who is Wade’s younger sibling. 

In a heartwarming tweet, Lake’s voice actor Ava Hauser – who’s also non-binary and uses they/them pronouns – expressed their excitement over the groundbreaking role.

“BIG ANNOUNCEMENT I got to play Pixar’s first nonbinary character! Meet Lake! I voice Lake in the new movie #Elemental,” they wrote on 16 June. 

“I’m seeing it in theaters tonight with my friends, so you can catch it in theaters too if you wanna see them.” 

In addition to their onscreen appearance, Lake is also featured in Elemental’s junior novelization and tie-in book – which further confirms their non-binary identity and even introduces readers to their girlfriend. 

Over the last few years, Disney and its various subsidiaries have taken steps towards including more openly LGBTQ+ characters in its films and TV shows films. 

Back in November, the studio featured its first openly gay teen character and queer love story in the animated adventure film Strange World. 

The same year, Disney Channel made history by introducing the network’s first openly trans character on Raven’s Home – which trans actress Juilana Joel played.

The entertainment company has also featured LGBTQ+ characters in Pixar’s Onward, Jungle Cruise, Cruella, High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, Pixar’s Lightyear, and a string of MCU projects – including Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Doctor Strange 2. 

Elemental is now playing in theatres.