About Me

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Lake Charles, Louisiana, United States
Hello, and welcome to my blog! I like to write about children's literature, fandom studies, video games, feminism, and pop culture in general. I've recently earned my Ph.D. in children's literature ( Fall 2012) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. I also teach English (composition, British literature, and women's literature) at Sowela Technical Community College. Oh, and I like cats! [Banner image artwork by Yuki Midorikawa]

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Disney kneeling at the alter of boys and their parents with "Frozen"

Poor Disney – on the fast track to angering its consumer base yet again.

Ever since the perceived “flop” of The Princess and the Frog, Disney has sworn off fairy tales forever. (It must be sobering to realize you’ve constructed an empire for girls, only to realize that now only girls will watch your movies.) Naturally, this swearing off was rapidly followed by the supposedly more boy-friendly release of the re-titled Tangled, Brave, and now, coming this November, Frozen.

Tumblr is already abuzz about the protagonist Anna’s appearance. (Some artists have even taken matters into their own hands.) But not only have Disney yet again shied away from creating a princess of color, they’ve also even decided that the distinctly Scandinavian-sounding name of “Gerda” isn’t generically white enough. (Though it seems odd that when your predecessors are named Mulan, Merida, and Tiana, your own producers find it prudent to dub you “Anna.”)

And that’s not all. Take a look at the film’s IMDB record and you’ll notice a rather surprising number of male voice actors. Anyone familiar with Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” knows that it’s chalk full of female characters, including a female crow, a robber girl, and a princess who insists on marrying a man her equal in intelligence.

These characters seem to have been replaced with others named Olaf, Kristoff, and Hans.

So Disney takes one of Andersen’s genuinely feminist tales and replaces its cast with men.

Okay, Disney. We get it. You screwed up with the whole princess thing. You want boys to start watching your movies again. And you know girls (or the parents of girls) don’t mind watching movies that allegedly appeal to boys.

Do you think if we complain enough they’ll change it the way they changed Tangled back in 2010? If you do want to protest, just remember to do so with your wallet. It’s the only language they’re capable of speaking.

And on a related note, there was all the recent hubbub about Merida finally being accepted in to the pantheon of Disney Princesses.

But not before she underwent a makeover, of course.

Oh, Disney.