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Here's Why Pixar Fans In Saudi Arabia Won't Be Able To See Lightyear

It's very hard to keep a popular franchise interesting from sequel to sequel, but the "Toy Story" movies do their level best to keep things as fresh and fascinating as possible. The first two films explore the strange life of sentient toys. "Toy Story 3" seems to wrap up the story of Andy's toys in a satisfactory manner, before the curveball that is "Toy Story 4" provides a large helping of existential crisis as it explores the higher concepts of the toys' strange life cycle. 

"Lightyear" takes things even further by eschewing the toys altogether. Instead, the movie focuses on the origin story of the "real" Buzz Lightyear (voiced by Chris Evans), whose legendary exploits will eventually be immortalized as the action figure star of the "Toy Story" movies (voiced by Tim Allen). 

It's a pretty fun premise, and if the rest of the franchise is any indication, the movie should more than deliver on its concept. Unfortunately, fans who live in Saudi Arabia won't be able to see what the buzz around "Lightyear" is all about. Here's why. 

A same-sex smooch got Lightyear banned in Saudi Arabia and other countries

"Lightyear" makes history by depicting Pixar's first on-screen lesbian couple, Alisha Hawthorne (Uzo Aduba) and her partner. The couple's granddaughter, Izzy (Keke Palmer), will also appear in the movie. Unfortunately, some countries aren't particularly happy about their inclusion. According to Variety, the fact that Alisha and her partner share a kiss in the film has caused Saudi Arabia to ban "Lightyear" altogether. Other countries like Kuwait, Malaysia, and the U.A.E. have reportedly chosen to do the same.

Pixar's first onscreen same-sex kiss is a notable landmark in the company's LGBTQ representation. However, it has already been the subject of some controversy, seeing as it was cut from the finished film before Pixar staff protests managed to restore it (via Variety). Saudi Arabia has banned movies like "Eternals," "West Side Story," and "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness" due to their LGBTQ representation, so the country's stance isn't exactly an unprecedented occasion. However, for Pixar fans who live in the area and were hoping to see "Lightyear" in theaters, the news is no doubt disappointing.