Well, how’s this for a story on a slow Tuesday afternoon? Following the barrage of totally crazy editorials on the subliminal messages in Wall-E, we were almost disappointed that nobody seemed able to unscramble Up’s secret politics. Enter /Film’s Hunter Stephenson, who wonders today if Kevin, the exotic, rainbow-colored bird in Up, is a subtle statement from the studio in support of gay issues.
Kevin is named by a young kid, the ambitious boy scout, Russell. To Russell’s surprise after-the-fact, he discovers that this Priscilla, Queen of the Desert-looking creature is actually, whoa, a female. Kevin has babies after all. When Russell first finds out about Kevin’s sex, he giggles something rather cheesy yet profound like, “You mean, Kevin is realllllly a girl?!?” What is interesting to me is how many times Kevin’s name is said loudly by Russell on screen afterward. The effect of “Kevin” being said over and over is curious — family film formula, and pet calls withstanding — and Kevin itself constantly stands out against all surroundings, so as to be a deliberate decision on behalf the filmmakers. To young kids watching, I wondered then and now if a message was being implanted and hammered “home”: what “looks” and appears to be a boy can sometimes be a girl.
We don’t quite buy it, but it’s certainly more plausible than some of the things we’ve read about Pixar’s politics.
Essay: Is Kevin, the Tropical Bird in Pixar’s UP, a Nod to the LGBT Movement? [/Film]