The thing about the Disney Renaissance in the 90s wasn’t just that they were churning out lots of good movies that were popular and well recieved. What made it really important was that they were trying new things. They were taking risks and breaking away from the stuff they had done in the past. They did a mythical Chinese war hero and Greek mythology and turned a damn Victor Hugo novel into a musical children’s movie. They did Hamlet with lions! Yeah, there was still some of the same old all-white Western European fairy tales, but they were starting to really break away from that in a significant way for the first time. And it wasn’t perfect (hey there, Pocahontas,) but it was a good direction they were moving in.
And that’s why I’ve been largely very unimpressed with Disney’s latest work and all this talk about a new
Disney Renaissance. Because I don’t see them taking risks and trying to do something new. Tangled was…cute? But it wasn’t anything really new. Haven’t seen Frozen, but as far as I can see, same old stuff. Little tweaks, sure, but nothing really new. I don’t want to see the same kind of stuff that’s already been done a thousand times. I don’t want a company with money and power that can afford to take artistic risks always playing it safe by doing the same thing that makes them money over and over again. Until then, I’m just unimpressed.
#oh no #nope #nein #this was completely and utterly unnecessary #why is this #I mean #now of course I want all the rule 63ed Frollo #gaunt sharp-edged implacable Mistress of Justice #she wanted to be a martyr but Rome fell long ago—she wanted to be a mystic bride of christ but the visions never came #so instead she is this—Sophia and Justita; blind and never-stinting #her flesh mortified and her will righteous #but then #Esmerelda #dancing on the rue de la cite #the love is still terrible and twisted; the shame is still burning under Frollo’s skin however she tries to fisplace it #…but god do I want that story
It was just going to be a sketch and then my hand slipped
oh my actual god yes yes yes
When the Hercules – Zero to Hero Victory Parade rolled into Disney’s Hollywood Studios today back in 1997, it once and for all answered the question, “Who put the ‘glad’ in ‘gladiator’?” – it’s Hercules.
This 14-minute cavalcade celebrated Walt Disney Pictures’ 35th animated movie by taking guests back to the Big Olive in Greece where the townsfolk rally around Hercules after his triumph over the Hydra.
Hercules’ trainer Phil joins in the fun with a float sponsored by the Athens Athletic Union, and even that devious God of the Underworld, Hades, makes an appearance.
Forever the hero, Hercules is the perfect package that “packs a pair of perfect pecs.” Reminding me to go hit the gym. Immediately.
- Nate Rasmussen for Disney Parks Blog
Happy 16th Birthday, Hercules - Zero to Hero Victory Parade! How I wish I could have seen this live.
There has been a lot of debate circulating Tumblr lately about Disney’s upcoming film Frozen. A lot of this debate was sparked by the fact that the character design of the film’s heroine, Anna, is strikingly similar (read: identical) to that of Rapunzel in Tangled. Implications of lazy animation aside, the whole thing once again makes it startlingly clear that Disney, and most all media for that matter, makes stories about the same thin, wide eyed white women over and over again while missing out on any opportunities for diversity.
These are of course, valid accusations and a really important conversation. If these revelations are motivation for choosing to not see or support Frozen, they are perfectly legitimate. They are certainly a contributing factor for me. But I made the decision to not support Frozen before any character design was revealed. In short, the direction that Disney is taking this film is distasteful not just to their own record of creativity — (Say what you will, but I have great respect for the filmaking legacy of the studio. With all the critiques and caveats that media awareness brings, I’m still a fan. )— but to the source material that they are drawing from.
Frozen is, by Disney’s account, an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s story, The Snow Queen. When I first heard rumors and saw concept art for a Disney adaptation of the story, I was overjoyed. The film was originally in development as a traditional animated feature, which was appealing to this old school Disney and animation fan. But aside from that, The Snow Queen is one of my all time favorite fairy tales. It’s epic, melancholy, emotionally complex, and fantastically feminist.
Hans Christian Anderson’s oeuvre is not exactly female friendly. If you think the silencing and lack of agency implied in Disney’s The Little Mermaid is problematic, you haven’t read the original. Anderson so often writes of sadistic punishments for heroines’ slight, heavily gendered sins like vanity and sanctifies heroines for gendered virtues like silence and passivity, that many of his works demonstrate deep seated misogyny.
The Snow Queen is not one of those works, and it makes me wonder what sort of feminist tonic Anderson ingested before writing it. It tells the story of a young girl named Gerda who must embark on a journey to rescue her best friend, a boy named Kai, from both the clutches of the Snow Queen and the soul killing influence of a cursed shard of mirror that has become lodged in his heart.
That Gerda is the active and resourceful rescuer of her passive, male best friend is already a refreshing twist on mainstream western fairy tales, but the female power on display in the story is apparent in other ways. The Snow Queen is what I would call a Bechdel Test win. Female characters outnumber male characters to a startling degree. In fact, Kai is the only significant male character to speak of. Every other role in Gerda’s hero’s journey is fulfilled by a woman, girl or even an expressly female animal guide.
There is the Snow Queen herself, a formidable villain who’s power is treated with respect. There is Kai’s grandmother, who provides an essential catalyst to Gerda’s journey. There is the old witch woman with the enchanted garden who functions as a threshold guardian for Gerda while being characterized in a respectful manner that serves as a good subversion of the old witch trope. There is a female crow who knows how to sneak into palaces, a helpful princess who heads a side plot in which she will only marry a prince as intelligent as her (!!!), a robber and her daughter, head of a band of robbers who kidnap Gerda. The daughter is a spunky, knife wielding girl who befriends Gerda and aids her on her way. And finally, there are two women, the latter of whom helps Gerda understand the inherent power she has always had within her, a power that will ultimately save her friend, and the world.
Please excuse my while I go squee into a pillow over that roster of amazingly diverse female characters and the female agency on display in this story.
Well, now that I’m done with that, can we just take a minute to reflect on how many incredible female characters Disney had at their disposal. Expanded on with the studio’s signature storytelling skill, these ladies could have made up one of the most diverse, predominately female casts to ever grace children’s media. Not to mention the story’s Scandinavian setting offers a great opportunity for some racial diversity and indigenous representation, from Inuit to Sami and beyond.
So you can imagine that I was profoundly disappointed when I heard that Disney’s adaptation, now called Frozen (a Tangled-reminiscent decision that stinks of avoiding the need to market a film with a female centered title), had cut out every single one of these female characters save for Gerda, now called Anna, and the Snow Queen, who is now Anna’s sister. The women have been replaced with a cast of men, and Anna is now accompanied on her journey by a “Mountain Man” named Kristoff (edit: a helpful anon informed me that his name is not Hans, as I originally stated. Hans is in fact another male character and may be a factor in a possible love triangle for Anna). Kristoff is obviously intended to serve as romantic interest for the now aged up Anna, who as Gerda in the original, felt a love for her friend Kai that was strictly platonic. (Kai, by the way, has been dropped altogether.)
Now I know that Disney often drastically changes the plot of fairy tales that it adapts and I’ve never been one to complain about it. But most of these fairy tales have been simple stories with archetypal characters and a bare bones plot. Most of the changes made by Disney improve the original in terms of depth of narrative and character.
The Snow Queen is not that story. Disney’s changes not only appear to play down the emotional and narrative depth of the story, they violate many of its central themes.
That Disney feels it’s necessary to take a female driven, female dominated story and cut it down to one princess protagonist with a dashing male helper/love interest, is honestly disgusting and one of the most blatant examples of Hollywood’s lack of faith in women in recent memory.
It’s one of those clear examples in which everything that is wrong with our media’s approach to women and female agency is even more apparent, if only because we have a clear source to compare it to, and we can see what the studio chose to change.
A female protagonist who primarily goes it alone? Can’t have that. She needs a hot dude to be by her side so the audience doesn’t get bored by all the lady time, and also she needs someone to get with at the end. And on that note, let’s make her older and also a princess.
A bunch of women who, if expanded, could be diverse and original characters, friends, villains and comic relief? No way that would work. Let’s just replace them with some dudes and a talking snowman. We can’t have more than two women in a story. After all, every other fairy tale we’ve produced has only let women be a princess or a villain. Why break the pattern now? Why let girls know that they have inherent power no matter where they come from? Why let them know they have other options. And while we’re at it, we’ve got to make sure everyone is white.
So yeah, that’s why I’m boycotting Frozen.
Michael Lee on animating Frozen
So that’s their (blatantly misogynistic) excuse for scrapping all but two of the female characters; that they’re too hard to animate? Those emotional female characters, they’re all the same, right? Here’s a hint: their “femaleness” isn’t what’s making them indistinguishable.
Friendly reminder that the quote going around about differentiating the women of Frozen was taken out of context, unsourced, misquoted, and attributed to the wrong guy.
No this is a totally valid point I think! And I’m totally blaming the company for the whole thing as well. I feel it relates to what I told you about my school, where in the animation program everyone is more or less coming out as a bunch of Glenn Keane’s. Not everyone of course. But I did see a friend lose her style to it. And it’s sad. There’s not enough freedom in it anymore. Everything has to have that sort of generic cuteness to it or you can’t sell it.
the sexist Frozen quotes are so embarrassing to read as an animator… i’m a feminist but i’m also an animator and i know people who think like this. i totally get the ‘off model’ too, like i’ve received notes plenty of times to make a female character look ‘prettier’ or ‘less fat’. it pisses me the fuck off when i get them but idk you get it from all sides, even the supposed socially liberal clients. it’s fucked up and i wish we as a society weren’t so rigid about it
i think what people gotta understand is that ALL the media you consume has been put through this filter, especially the things you think are ‘socially progressive’. the chain of command when creating media pretty much guarantees that at some point someone will have to edit a female character to look more ‘acceptable’.
and it’s a moral outrage, and we should be mad because it’s bullshit
but also be aware that you buy it, and you consume it, and you pay for it, every single day. you can act as mad as you want, but you’re a part of it.
it’s not just Disney. it’s everything. the only thing that happened w Frozen is that someone spoke candidly about it
This is why I didn’t want to get into animation, or mainstream comics. There’s too many people who will tell me to change things like this, which is just awful. It’s like I was talking about it not too long ago, about the fact that Glen Keane drew fantastic male characters (The Beast, Tarzan, and John Silver), they can be grotesque and different. But when he drew his female characters (Ariel, Rapunzel, and Pocahontas) for the most part, look pretty similar: small waist, long hair, pretty face. I mean Ariel and Rapunzel look very similar in a bunch of ways and it’s more than just ‘style’. It’s just aggravating. Not saying that thin, pretty girls are bad, but it’s bad when that’s the only kind of character we see. We need variety.
Genderbend Sleeping Beauty
Yeah ok so genderbent prince’s outfit is almost exactly the same as the original one fight me. I did those dresses at least >w>
▣ Frozen (2013) movie poster (edited)
good lord are both the blokes twins aswell
cHRIST THEY mIGHT AS WELL BE
Wait wait wait. HolyJEEZE. I actually had to google the actual poster because I thought this one was actually edited to change the guys’ faces. NOPE. Wow…. why do the two guys look so….. off?