Strange World is Walt Disney Animation Studio’s newest film and hidden underneath all the spectacle and action is a heartwarming message about family and acceptance. One of the main protagonists, Ethan, voiced by the exceptional Jadboukie Young-White, is an openly gay teenager. While we attended the Strange World press conference, Young-White spoke about his character being in a film with Disney’s first gay romance. Here’s what he had to say:

I love Ethan’s character just because there is so much that he’s figuring out at this time, and his identify and so many facets of his identity are all of him at once. It’s not a story about him coming out. It’s not a story about him trying to find acceptance for his
sexuality… It’s just Ethan coming into himself wholly, fully, and in an environment that is ready to support him. And I think in any medium, that’s really interesting. And in animation, that’s huge. So, yeah… I’m pretty excited. I think it would’ve been dope if I could’ve seen this as a kid, like, just stuff like this. Knowing that I could be a part of that for somebody else, that’s beautiful. That’s what it’s about.

Jadboukie Young-White

I may have my issues with Strange World, but the character of Ethan wasn’t one of them. He was an absolute joy to watch on screen and seeing the normality and acceptance of his sexuality by others around him was a very refreshing change of pace. I loved what Disney did with this character and I think he’s going to be very important for a lot of people.

ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME– Walt Disney Animation Studios’ original action-packed comedy adventure “Strange World” introduces Ethan Clade, a 16-year-old who longs for adventure beyond the family farm, voiced by Jaboukie Young-White, and his mother, the accomplished pilot Meridian Clade, voiced by Gabrielle Union. Helmed by director Don Hall (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Raya and the Last Dragon”) and co-director/writer Qui Nguyen (co-writer “Raya and the Last Dragon”), with Roy Conli (Oscar®-winning “Big Hero 6,” “Tangled”) producing, “Strange World” releases November 23, 2022. © 2022 Disney. All Rights Reserved.

Strange World is out in theatres right now. Read our review here.