- Published on 09 July 2019
Pixar's inclusion drive in Toy Story 4 is being tested by a Spanish hearing campaigner's petition for the animation company to market a doll of a cochlear implant-wearing child character who appears briefly in the film.
Spanish cochlear implant (CI) user, Marcos Lechet, started his Change.org petition aimed at the Disney-owned Pixar company at the end of June. He won enough initial support to suggest the petition might go to infinity and beyond, and then perhaps even to Disney itself. Applauding the momentary appearance in Toy Story 4 of a boy tot clearly wearing a CI—"it's just a second, but we've waited an eternity"—Lechet urges the company to take the chance to increase public awareness of deaf children and implant solutions by including a doll of the character in their merchandising.
The petitioner calls the fleeting appearance of the child "a small but really important gesture for all we people who wear implants, but above all for implanted boys and girls, who are thrilled when they go to the cinema, eyes shining as they finally see someone like them on the screen."
He says the Pixar films support for inclusion "could have even more impact if Pixar put a doll of this character on sale as part of the film's merchandising. That would not only help people understand what cochlear implants are, but above all help deaf girls and boys to show off their implants with pride."
After two weeks online, the petition had gathered over 17,000 signatures towards its 25,000 target.
Toy Story 4 has attracted a generally positive response for both its female focus and its representation of figures with disabilities, including a Bo Peep showing spirit after the loss of a limb, and a Gabby Gabby toy who yearns to mend her broken voice. But there has been criticism too from some critics. The fact that the film is barely shown in the UK with subtitles drew disapproval from the National Deaf Children's Society (NDCS) in that country, which fears deaf children are being excluded.
Source: Periodistas en Español