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Mike Rianda, the writer for The Mitchells Vs The Machines, has written on how to have a queue role in a hope that LGBTQ+ youth can feel Less Alone Growing Up

Mike Rianda, the writer for The Mitchells Vs The Machines, has written on how to have a queue role in a hope that LGBTQ+ youth can feel Less Alone Growing Up

Katie Mitchell's queerness was evident in his story for The Mitchells vs. the Machines. As a result of Jeff Rowe's story, the researchers realized that all people they knew who inspirationed Katie were queer.

In a last-ditch effort to save the family, Katie Mitchell (Abbi Jacobson) is aspiring filmmaker who dreams to go to film school and has a relationship with her father Rick (Danny McBride), who dislikes technology. PAL, an AI system that can be used to control all of humanity, falls on the Mitchell family to save the world.

After discussions with LGBTQ+ members of the crew and Abbi Jacobson, who voices Katie Mitchell, Rianda decided that her queerness not be a conflict in the story, but just a facet of Katie that is accepted and normal, and the problems she should deal with are normal teenage issues.

DEADLINE: How did you come up with ideas for having the 2-D graphics appear over the 3-D?

MIKE RIANDA: This is my favorite part of the movie. Lindsey Olivares, who was our production designer, was always talking about it, and just one weekend without telling anyone, she just stole some animation, and drew on the screen, and made it just with the crappy Photoshop she had on her computer.

Katie's bubbling teenage feelings were shown as white sun beams from your mouth, ears, and eyes, so we were able to sort of like her drawings to externalize all her feelings.

DEADLINE: Katie Mitchell is the first openly queer character in a all-ages animated feature. How were you able to make the decision that she was queer?

RIANDA: Well, basically, the North Star for this film is kind of coming from a place of observation. We were writing the character, and realized that all of our references of our friends we met, who were like Katie, were all queer, and some of the LGBTQ+ members of the crew were asking, Is Katie gay? She seems gay. And so, we talked with them and theyre like, Yes, of course. What, are you crazy? Do it.

All of the artists were great, and they were like, Look, it should just feel very normal, but we should be really explicit about it.

DEADLINE: Is there any pushback on this?

RIANDA: There wasn't any explicit pushback, which is great, not chicken shit about it, which is awesome. But I think people are always sort of nervous about this, but one of our artists wrote this really incredible letter saying, Oh my God, this would mean so much to me. And everyones like, Well, weve got to do it, according to them. And that was really nice, because it wasnt a big fight, but we did need to sort of provide our case

DEADLINE: A factor that some movies do with queer characters is that they make that their final characteristic, which overshadows everything else. Obviously, Katie is not like that. How do you kind of toe that line between being explicit and saying, Yes, she is a queer character without falling into that trap?

RIANDA: Thats a great question, and that was something that we kept going back and forth with the crew. Lizzie Nichols was a great background artist in the movie, and we also talked to her a lot about it. She was like, Look, my hair is blonde, my eyes are green, and those are all just part of who I am. But I also like rock climbing, and blah, blah.

Because Aaron loves a girl in the movie, she was able to say, It should be as proportional to her life as my identity is, or your identity is, or Aaron's identity is in the movie, or Rick and Linda's identities are. Because Aaron loves a girl in the movie, it was important to find a balance between not hiding it, because that would be the worst, but also to make sure it was clear.

DEADLINE: I have to say, it's also really refreshing to see a story where the character is queer, but that isn't a conflict.

RIANDA: Oh, great! That's awesome. Abbi Jacobson, who was Katie's voice, is bi and when she spoke to her, she was like, "Its really important that their problems just be normal teenage daughter problems, and this is never part of the conflict. They totally accept her for who she is, and they just have conflicts about other things like everyone does."

DEADLINE: What's the best feedback you've received about the film?

RIANDA: There are a few things that really make sense, one is, but there was a young girl who could reach her parents, which was really entertaining.

A man and his dad had a somewhat awkward relationship then watched the film together. He got a tattoo of the moose on his leg.

Because the movie has a lot of jokes and stuff, we wanted it to connect with people emotionally, and it's been really nice to see it was.

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