Ren and Stimpy were not openly recognized as a canon same-sex couple until the Ren & Stimpy Adult Cartoon. This new series targeting adult audiences aired on the new Spike TV. The press release at the time stated: “the duo is back -this time as a gay couple”
The primary complaints were that the original She-Ra was a “symbol of womanhood”, and upheld an idealized example of femininity while the new She-Ra did not. These complaints were made before the show came out, after only looking at a handful of images.
In retrospect, it is almost shocking that a children’s show like Ren and Stimpy was made at all, considering the Care Bear fare of the eighties. But the nineties gave creative freedom back to the animators.
In the first film they are forced together, and share a mutual dislike, bound together by circumstance. Their overarching character development though the franchise is about their friendship, and building of an ohana (together).
The title characters, particularly Stitch, have products a plenty, and are the focus of the franchise. In many ways, this allowed the supporting characters of Jumba and Pleakley to fly under the radar at a time when Disney would not have considered having an openly LGBTQ character. It would be eight years after the TV show finished airing that an out gay character would finally be shown on the Disney channel.