Friday, November 29, 2013

Two Things About Disney's Frozen

[Image text: Frozen's main characters, sisters Ana & Elsa]
[Content note: Major plot spoiler for Disney's new animated feature, Frozen.]

So on Wednesday, I saw Disney's latest animated feature, Frozen. I don't think I'll get into a detailed analysis or full run down of the film, but I did want to share two quick things about it.

Again, one of the things I want to talk about is a major plot spoiler. Bail out now if that bothers you.

1) I absolutely loved how the story was female centric.

The two main characters are princesses Ana and Elsa. Elsa, the older sister, has the ability to make/control/shoot/build stuff with ice from her hands. Because she once accidentally hurt Ana as a child, she locks herself away for years, shutting everyone out, and tries to learn to control her power. But eventfully her secret comes out, the townspeople fear and scorn her, and she freezes their whole city, fleeing into the hills. The film's action from there is Ana trying to reconnect with Elsa and help her through the experience. In the process Elsa accidentally almost kills Ana by freezing her heart and the only way to undo it is with an act of true love. And here's where it gets interesting...instead of one of the two potential love interests for Ana being the source of the act of true love, it is by attempting to save Elsa from harm that Ana unfreezes her own heart.

The true love here is between sisters.

Yes. Yes, yes, yes, fucking yes.

2) But then there's this:
It’s not accidental at all that children’s films challenging sexism are ALWAYS set in the distant past and usually involve conflicts that are not relevant or particularly value challenging to today’s U.S. audience (corsets and otherwise constraining clothing, arranged marriages, etc). These plotlines often situate sexism as a problem the modern world has solved. (The Feminist Disney Tumblr.)
Sigh. Yep. I hadn't even thought about this point, which was written about Brave, but is absolutely relevant to Frozen too...sigh again.  There's certainly a lot more to say about this film across many different topics, but I'll leave it here and pass along a few pieces others have written about it.

The Feminist Fangirl's boycott of Frozen

The Slooowly Improving Gender Politics of Disney's Frozen

Pretty Females vs. the Bold Feminism of 'Frozen'

Tumblr Wants a Princess of Color for Disney's 'Frozen'

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