Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photos: Disney
The most recent episode of The Other Two, titled “Brooke, and We Are Not Joking, Goes to Space,” is a great example of the show gleaning its sharpest satire by abandoning all earthly logic and going full Looney Tune, as Pat is stuck on a Marvel jet circling the globe with Simu Liu for an entire week and Brooke goes to space twice with men suffering billionaire brain-rot. It also finally pulls away from Cary and Brooke’s perspectives and ends the episode from Curtis’s point of view, as he watches Cary continue to exploit queerness as an aesthetic in a shallow pantomime of representation. He doesn’t know his Marsha P. Johnson from his Ben Platt, but he’s willing to embroider the former’s name on the back of a Billy Porter–style red-carpet look if it means he gets a follow from Pete and Chasten on Twitter.
And why is Cary suddenly the public face of this advocacy? Because he’s playing the “first openly queer character” in a popular Disney franchise. That character is Globby, a new member of the monster squad in the studio’s (fake) Haunted Buddies series. (Any Disney fan worth their salt knows that Disney already has a Buddies franchise about the talking-puppy descendants of Air Bud, and that it released a straight-to-DVD movie in 2011 called Spooky Buddies, but I’ll let that slide.) Globby is a big green amorphous blob of “sexless green snot,” in no way discernibly queer — or discernibly anything, really — on the surface.
“So this goo is homosexual?” Cary asks the execs, who admit that Disney has received “flak” for talking up a character as gay in the press lead-up to a film and then “not really showing it,” a reference to a recurring real-life Disney phenomenon. One recent example is the much-hyped “exclusively gay moment” in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, wherein straight actor Josh Gad, playing LeFou, dances with a woman and then dances for two seconds with a man in a group shot of a lot of people dancing. Another is Onward’s side-character cop, voiced by Lena Waithe, who mentions her girlfriend one time in passing. It never comes up again (and besides: a cop?). These queer characters get Disney a ton of press even if they just exist to be shunted off to the side in straight stories, more marginalized than in the good old days when they were just coded as camp villains.
The Disney execs in The Other Two aim to correct that with Globby by “including a groundbreaking scene where … we see Globby in bed with another Glob.” They call the moment “unapologetically gay” because “if Globby was straight … then he’d be in bed with a human woman. But he’s not. He’s in bed with another Glob.” This makes no sense. It’s a classic Disney gay–fakeout, and the amount of times people say “Glob” and “Globby” and insist that gay Globs like other Globs but straight Globs like “human women” makes it sound like an I Think You Should Leave sketch. But Cary leans into it for careerist reasons, and alienates his friends, GLAAD, and the Westboro Baptist Church (not gay enough, even for them!) in the process. It’s very funny and very silly. And it’s truer than you may realize.
Disney already has …
A queer sentient goo character …
On Big Hero 6: The Series, Disney XD’s television spinoff of the 2014 animated film Big Hero 6, Globby is a pinkish-purple glob of goo who can shape-shift at will but usually takes the form of a humanoid man. Globby first pops up in episode four as a petty human thief named Dibs, who mutates into a Glob-thing after snatching the purse of girly-girl chemistry genius Honey Lemon. Throughout the first season, Globby pops up every few episodes as a minor villain. Andy Richter voices him as sassed-up comic relief, full of wisecracks and comebacks. He’s also a fierce fighter, transforming into kaiju-size dinosaurs and demons and transmuting his molecules into everything from water to whipped cream. In the season-one finale, he teams up with the Big Hero 6 team to save San Fransokyo, at which point he becomes a good guy who helps the crew out throughout the rest of the series. That’s when we get to know the real Globby.
As he sacrifices himself to save the city, he asks Honey Lemon to give a parting message to Felony Carl. He blushes green and a big heart appears next to his face. Felony Carl is his live-in boyfriend, who is a human man and not another Glob. In the following two seasons, we see a lot more of Globby’s home life, and what could plausibly be an ambiguous Bert and Ernie situation becomes more solidified as the series progresses. While we never see the two of them in bed together like in Haunted Buddies 4’s unapologetically gay moment, they snuggle up on the couch together, hold each other, watch trashy reality TV, and co-parent a cat. And Felony Carl actually talks and has a personality: a gruff exterior and the philosophical heart of an artist. When Honey Lemon gives his motorcycle a hot-pink paint job, he says, “Love the glitter. It showcases how comfortable I am with my masculinity.”
Here’s the part that sounds like it was ripped from The Other Two: In the second-to-last episode of the series, “Krei-oke Night,” Globby and Felony Carl sing a love-song duet at karaoke. After the episode aired, animator Jessie Juwono tweeted, “I think that karaoke episode confirmed Globby/Felony Carl,” and “They’re in love!!!!” with some heart emojis. Now, the Disney Wiki page for the character says, “This would make him Bisexual, since he is seen in his debut episode flirting with a couple of women.” The fandom seems to have conflated Juwono, who didn’t work on the show, with her husband, Big Hero 6 supervising director Ben Juwono, and taken these tweets as confirmation of Globby and Felony Carl’s queerness.
Regardless of the ambiguous status as canon, Globby and Felony Carl’s goo-goo-eyed, romantic duet really is unambiguously romantic and gay. Globby is a three-dimensional glob of bisexual goo in a loving relationship with a human man, and that’s more than Josh Gad’s LeFou can say. I reached out to the writer of this episode of The Other Two to ask if she knew already about the queer Disney Globby and have not yet received a response. But either way, whichever Glob you worship, happy Pride Month. Just remember, the “G” in LGBTQ stands for Globby.