Netflix’s latest animated series Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is getting a lot of praise for a beautiful queer moment.
The all-ages DreamWorks cartoon, which debuted on Netflix on Tuesday, follows teenager Kipo travelling across a post-apocalyptic world with her band of friends, encountering mutant animals along the way.
The show also includes some quiet LGBT+ representation among its leads, with teen DJ Benson, played by Coy Stewart, casually coming out partway through the series.
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts features low-key coming out scene
In the sixth episode, Kipo confesses a crush on Benson, who does not reciprocate her feelings.
Kipo says: “You like me as a friend.”
Benson replies: “Yes. Because, I’m gay.”
Polygon praised the “profound” moment, noting: “Kipo accepts this right away, a bit embarrassed, but otherwise unhurt.
“The interaction is short, and in a landscape where more and more animated shows are finding room for inclusivity, not that significant at first glance.
“But this particular scene is a first for all-ages animation: Benson actually says that he’s gay.”
Viewers praise animated show for going beyond subtext and saying ‘gay’
Queer people on Twitter praised the storyline for the unambiguous representation – while other cartoons have largely relied on subtext to tell LGBT+ stories.
One viewer wrote: “Started watching ‘Kipo and the Age of the Wonderbeasts’ and I’m so in love with it.. it’s so fun and colourful and creative and we’ve already got a confirmed in show gay male character that isn’t white, sexualised, or a gay stereotype ??”
Another added: “hearing kipo and the age of wonderbeasts say the word ‘gay’ so casually and in a positive way makes me so happy. if i can hear a show like that say the l-word then i’ll actually burst into tears probably.”
Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts writer Bill Wolkoff tweeted of the warm response: “This makes me proud. I wrote the episode this piece refers to but the storyline was guided by our entire writing staff.
“All voices weighed in on this moment & how we saw it through.”