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'Lightyear' Banned From Premiering In Malaysia — And Netizens Aren't Taking It Well

To infinity and beyond! Well, beyond Malaysia that is.

Cover image via Lightyear (2022)/IMDb & CBR

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Don't hold your breaths space cadets, it looks like Buzz won't be making his way to Malaysian screens this time

One of the most highly anticipated films of 2022, Pixar's Lightyear (2022), which centres around the "real" Buzz Lightyear and his origin story, will not be showcased in Malaysian cinemas.

The cast lineup is said to include the likes of Chris Evans, who takes over Tim Allen in the iconic role of Buzz Lightyear himself, Uzo Aduba, Taika Waititi, Keke Palmer, and James Brolin.

Image via USA Today

Initially slated for a release on 16 June, the film debut has been hastily pulled from premiering in Malaysia

According to Variety, this comes directly from Malaysia's unaligned vision with that of 'Western values' exhibited in the film.

No official statement has been provided by the Malaysian Censorship Board (LPF), otherwise known as the censorship authority, though multiple anticipated scenes from the yet-to-be-released movie could be the reason for such a last minute retraction.

Image via Deadline

[SPOILER ALERT]: Plot sequences of the now-banned movie will be lightly discussed

A crucial storyline of Lightyear (2022) relates to a queer character that engages in a same-sex relationship in the Pixar animation

One of the main characters of the animation, Alisha Hawthorne (voiced by actress Uzo Aduba), is revealed to have a same-sex relationship with another unknown female character throughout the movie.

A scene from the film showcases Alisha getting engaged to a woman, as well as a display of a montage showing glimpses of Alisha and her partner kissing each other on the lips as a greeting.

Such a scene is slated to be Pixar's first queer kiss in a feature film as a studio.

Actress Uzo Aduba, who voices Alisha Hawthorne.

Image via Wikipedia/CBR

Famously known for banning or cutting down movies which have had hints of homosexuality in the past, this decision does not come as a surprise to some

According to certain guidelines by the LPF Film Censorship Guidelines, any themes, storylines, scenes, or dialogue that features "homosexual and unnatural sex scenes" will be scrutinised.

Among some of the films that have fallen victims to these guidelines include Bohemian Rhapsody (2018), Rocketman (2019), and more recently, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets Of Dumbledore (2022), where these scenes were removed before being released to cinemas.

Having gone through the anti-LGBT butcher, other films that contained strong elements of LGBT+ depictions were completely pulled from Malaysian theatres for their 'positive depiction of homosexuality', such as Brokeback Mountain (2005).

Image via Variety

It was further noted that the LPF had asked for an edited-down version of the Pixar movie, to which Disney refused

While sources close to the distributor say that Disney does respect local guidelines, they have ultimately decided to withdraw its attempt to have the movie approved for theatrical release in Malaysia altogether.

Such a circumstance is similar to that of the release of Disney's live-action Beauty and The Beast (2018), where the studio refused suggestions from LPF for an edited-down version to be shown in Malaysian cinemas (removing a same-sex dance scene). Ultimately, the film was released anyways due to public pressure.

Many Malaysians aren't happy about the announcement, and took to social media to express their disappointment:

Image via Twitter
Image via Twitter
Image via GSC (Facebook)
Image via GSC (Facebook)

This however, hasn't stopped certain establishments from funnily acknowledging the news on social media

GSC even made a meme relating to the ban:

Though the movie won't be released in Malaysia, it's safe to expect that the film will eventually be released on Disney+ Hotstar in time to come

In the meantime, I guess we're watching reruns of the Toy Story franchise.

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