After years of wondering whether Lefou is gay for Gaston, Disney have finally confirmed our suspicions, officially outing Josh Gad's character in the live action adaptation of Beauty & The Beast. The animation studio has made history with this groundbreaking decision, putting a new spin on a tale as old as time — but what does this mean for future Disney remakes such as The Lion King?
In recent years, #Disney have begun to diversify their output, placing princesses of various ethnicities at the forefront of their animated line. While such progress is commendable, #LGBT representation has remained conspicuously absent. Sure, things are beginning to change following the appearance of a #lesbian couple in Good Luck Charlie and hints that #Frozen's sauna owner may be #gay.
However, now that Disney has taken the plunge and officially outed one of their own, the closet doors are swinging wide open for other #queer-coded characters to embrace their sexuality too. With the impending release of The Lion King remake, there's a strong chance that Timon & Pumbaa may be the next iconic Disney characters to follow in Lefou's footsteps. Let's take a look at why.
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Are Timon & Pumbaa Gay In Disney's 'The Lion King'?
The loveable duo may not explicitly identify themselves as gay in the original Lion King movie, but that doesn't mean Timon and Pumbaa are heterosexual either. After all, none of the characters in The Lion King boldly proclaim their sexual orientation, regardless of what the orientation might be.
Many fans have questioned Timon and Pumbaa's 'friendship' over the years, citing a number of clues which suggest that they shared an inter-species love that transcends your typical, everyday bromance.
- Timon and Pumbaa were ostracized from their communities for being different.
- Timon and Pumbaa rarely show interest in female characters.
- Timon and Pumbaa adopted Simba together, raising him in a similar manner to same-sex parents.
- Timon dresses in drag to distract the hyenas during the film's climactic end.
While that last point is questionably stereotypical, there's a lot of evidence to suggest that Timon and Pumbaa could be gay. Let's face it; 'Hakuna Matata' is not too dissimilar from LGBT anthems of pride, and you can definitely feel the parental love tonight when Timon and Pumbaa tear up at the sight of Simba together with Nala.
"I can see what's happening..."
Sure, there's still a possibility that Timon and Pumbaa are just close male friends who live together. Instead of sharing any romantic feelings, the pair may have just decided to raise Simba as friends, developing a relationship that's more homosocial than homosexual. Personally though, I can't help but feel the love tonight.
Will Timon & Pumbaa Be Gay In 'The Lion King' Remake?
Whether you believe that Timon and Pumbaa are gay in the original animation or not, there's still a chance that director Jon Favreau may code the pair as such when The Lion King remake finally hits cinemas.
Lefou was never explicitly outed in the original #BeautyandtheBeast, yet director Bill Condon still chose to reveal the character's sexual orientation in his adaptation regardless. It wouldn't be too difficult for Favreau to follow a similar line of thinking for his take on The Lion King too.
Aside from the inevitable conservative backlash, the only other obstacle that could potentially hinder such a move is the fact that Timon and Pumbaa are animals. It's one thing to reveal that a real-life person such as Lefou could be gay, but outing a meerkat and his warthog partner as lovers could seem rather strange in comparison. However, heterosexual love between two lions is likely to remain a key plot point in The Lion King remake, so there's no reason why Favreau couldn't present another aspect of love in this way too.
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If Jon Favreau reveals that Timon and Pumbaa are gay in the live-action remake, the Pride Lands could take on a whole new meaning, one that ultimately represents a far more positive take on homosexuality than Lefou's representation in Beauty & The Beast. After all, Lefou may pine after a man who will never love him, but Timon and Pumbaa are in it for the long run, reminding us that love is love, whether it's between a man and a woman or a gay meerkat and a gay warthog.
Should Timon and Pumbaa be gay in The Lion King remake?
(Poll Image Credit: Disney)