Pixar wants an ‘authentic’ actor to play its first-ever trans character, leaked casting notice reveals

Josh Milton
·3-min read

As US lawmakers try to deny they even exist, trans teens might soon be looking up at a cinema or laptop screen and see a Pixar character just like them.

Pixar Animation Studios is set to break new ground by reportedly introducing the animation giant’s first trans character – 14-year-old Jess.

She’s described by a casting call sheet shared by a San Francisco-based trans Pride organisation as a “compassionate, funny” girl who “always has your back”.

“Pixar is casting a youth voice-over role for an upcoming animated project,” the casting call flyer, tweeted first by Trans March, reads.

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“We’re looking for actresses 12-17 years old who: Are enthusiastic, outgoing, funny, and energetic, feel comfortable acting in front of a microphone [and] can authentically portray a 14-year-old transgender girl.”

“If you know a child who fits the description and would like to audition for the role, her legal guardian should contact: casting@pixar.com.”

The call sheet does not specify whether the Disney-owned Pixar’s project will be a film, a short film or something else entirely, or what it will focus on.

Trans March claimed in a follow-up tweet that the project’s casting director, whom they did not name, confirmed to them its legitimacy.

“Sorry folks, we should have been more specific with how we know this is real,” they tweeted. “We talked to the casting director and they sent us this flyer.

“They’re reaching out to other orgs as well, but we got the sense we’re the first to post about it.”

An automatic email from The Pixar Casting Team states that those “emailing about the Jess casting call” should be aware that “we are only auditioning people who live in and are legally authorised to work in the US”.

The team stressed that it will not reply to emails from under 18s – “a parent or legal guardian must email us,” they said.

Pixar working on a project about a trans girl comes at an imperilling time to be trans in the US.

Across countless states, predominantly Republican legislators are bulldozing bans on trans teens being able to play in school sports or have access to life-saving healthcare.

Disney, long haunted by its problematic legacy, has increasingly sought to rewrite the past with remakes of beloved childhood classics once watched on VHS tapes. All while embracing LGBT+ inclusivity by animating stories inconceivable to Disney decades ago.

The live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast, dropped in 2017, featured a fleeting scene that suggested that a key charater was gay.

In Onward, Disney saw its first-ever openly queer character, Officer Specter, voiced by Lena Waithe. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker also featured a minor same-sex kiss.

While Out, dropped on the company’s streaming service, Disney+, was a short film that told the story of a queer man trying to work up the courage to open up to his parents.

Pixar has also hinted that future movies may include non-binary representation.

Away from the silver screen, and Disney recently ditched its famously gendered dress code for employees on its theme parks, including Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida.