More Than 7 Reasons ‘Frozen’ is Not a Progressive Movie

24 Jan

So, I love Frozen. Like, fairly legitimately love. I’ve already seen it twice and plan on throwing money at Disney a third time once the sing-along version hits theaters. And Olaf the snowman and Sven the reindeer? Definitely on my “most favorite fictional characters” list. They possibly have the most common sense out of all the characters in the movie. Seriously. I love the look on Sven’s face near the end of the movie before he and Kristoff go hurtling back into Arendelle that clearly says, “Why do I have to fix everybody’s shit? I always fix everybody’s shit…”

Thanks Disney! Source: http://www.disney.co.za/movies/frozen/gallery

This face.

But, given all that, I would not label Frozen as “progessive.” Sure, on some points it does marginally better than some of Disney’s previous movies have done, but I think the points made in Gina Luttrell’s PolicyMic article, “7 Moments That Made ‘Frozen’ the Most Progressive Disney Movie Ever” are fairly shortsighted in their praise. I’m rather horrified at the thought that hype around surface impressions of the movie will set Frozen as the new standard for Disney progressivism. Disney still needs to do way better before I grant it the label of “progressive.”

Here’s why.

1. “Elsa and Anna’s abusive parents”

Since when is having abusive parents in a fairy tale progressive? It’s not even new. Cinderella’s stepmother forces her to be a domestic slave. In the original fairy tale, it even happens while Cinderella’s father is still alive. He lets his new wife subjugate his biological daughter. Then there’s Snow White’s stepmother who tries to have her killed. Hansel and Gretel’s father tries to send his children off into the woods to die (but hey, they weren’t his problem anymore, right?) once he remarries. In Aladdin, Jasmine’s father treats her in the usual fashion of female objectification as property. In Mulan, the namesake protagonist’s father orders her about and expects her to be a docile, obedient daughter willing to take her father’s words and decisions without a peep. And while not a Disney film, but in Shrek, Fiona’s parents lock her away because they think it’s the best way to handle her curse. Sound familiar?

Yes, parental misunderstanding of the best way to help a kid with idiosyncrasies of some sort or other is rampant these days. Just like it’s been rampant since always. But while Elsa and Anna’s parents are obviously ignorant when it comes to what they should actually do (like embrace Elsa’s gift and help her learn about it openly, instead of telling her to basically pretend like it doesn’t exist), they clearly always act out of love. And while abuse can often come under the “title” of “love,” I really don’t see anything malicious in what Elsa’s parents do. They were told that if people became afraid of their daughter, they would hurt her. So they in their shortsighted way do what they thought was the best way to make sure nobody would ever be afraid of their daughter. And at no point does Elsa ever indicate that she thinks there’s a better way to handle it or ask for something different. She turns Anna away voluntarily, because she also thought her isolation was for the best.

But then there’s also the fact that even if the actions of Elsa’s parents were abusive, the movie never ventures on to explicitly point out why their response was wrong or suggest how it should have been different.

2. “Elsa’s self-empowerment”

So, I love the song “Let It Go.” I play it on loop. But let’s examine the song in a larger context. Yes, Elsa feels she is finally free to be herself…

…now that she’s been chased out of her community, cut ties with everyone she loves, explicitly told her brand of individuality isn’t appreciated, and decided to continue her life of self-imposed isolation. What’s the message here? “You can be yourself, but only if you’re completely isolated away from the rest of society where you’ll have to deal with disapproval if you do show that you’re different.”

Besides, Elsa still doesn’t completely understand herself or her powers. Sure, she can do some cool shit with it, but she still can’t control it, as we see when she later accidentally nearly kills her sister again. It’s clear that all of the creation that happens during “Let It Go” is coming from emotions like rage, vengeance, and smugness. She’s not calm when she creates. She’s still in emotional throes.

What’s more, it’s not like Elsa’s newfound semi-embrace of her powers came from within. She didn’t just walk outside into Arandelle all, “Look here, people, I’m a BAMF! Watch what I can do!” No. She lost control and was forced to out herself while trying to escape an uncomfortable social situation. The set-up of “go take your strangeness and have it by yourself on some mountain!” is the equivalent of “she was crazy, so we locked her in an asylum.”

Also, what the hell is she going to eat in an ice castle??

3. “Anna’s clumsiness, awkwardness, and honesty.”

Yeah, four words: Manic Pixie Dream Girl

Seriously. All Disney’s done is trade one limiting trope for another.

Also, “until Brave, the idea of an outspoken princess is unheard of.” Really??? How about Belle from Beauty and the Beast, who managed to be outspoken and didn’t sound like an idiot half the time while doing it?

4. “Kristoff’s ability to lead next to a strong woman”

Ah yes, how progressive, we definitely needed another male figure whose authority still trumps that of the strong female lead. Also, “Kristoff is a wonderful example of what a masculine, 21st century man looks like.” Blond, muscular, self-confident and self-made? Ah yes, that totally defies stereotypes and expands the bounds of what we’ve come to understand a man can be in these progressive times…

Really. Kristoff doesn’t seem like the Disney Princes of old because Frozen adjusted its tone to match that of modern teens and twenty-somethings. The characters don’t use the formal language or etiquette portrayed in more period-true movies like Cinderella. For years, Disney’s basically taken modern day people and stuck them in old clothing. But that doesn’t mean they’ve inherently changed at all. When Kristoff first interacts with Anna, it’s to gruffly tell her to move. Dang women, always getting in the way of what men want! Seriously, he can’t even say “please.” Because apparently Anna, obviously a stranger to those parts, is supposed to magically read his mind to know what he wants (because every woman should intuitively know how to please a man, right?). Later, Kristoff escorts Anna to the mountain first because he feels he owes her for the supplies she bought him, and then because he wants Anna to give him a new sleigh. Throughout the entire movie, it’s clear to the audience that Kristoff is condescending towards Anna and doubtful of her judgment. “He’s not afraid to call Anna out on her poor decisions?” Yeah, telling a woman she’s wrong and that a man knows better is really progressive.

Yes, in the end Kristoff falls in love with Anna and tolerates her “quirkiness.” But hey, she is a manic pixie dream girl after all.

5. “Oaken’s gay family”

How progressive is it really if most of the audience isn’t even going to catch what’s going on in this scene? “Oh hey, we’ll make a statement, but nobody will hear it!”

Besides, the man in the sauna isn’t “clearly” Oaken’s husband – he’s much younger and in fact looks like he’s more in the age cohort of the woman next to him. All in all, it’s inconclusive. If he is the gay partner, then great, props. But again, Disney could have done much better.

6. “Arendelle’s unquestioning acceptance of a queen”

“Unquestioning acceptance?” Sure, as long as she’s exactly what they want and expect her to be. But as soon as she exhibits unexpected power, the immediate response is to distrust her and chase her out of the kingdom. Besides, who else does the kingdom even have to rule them??? The previous two monarchs died and the runner-up has been locked in a castle (just like in Sleeping Beauty…) until she came of age. There’s no potential male competitor ever mentioned. And what’s more, all we see is the coronation. Who knows what pressure there could have been on Elsa to marry after that?

Besides, female queens? How about Tangled? Flynn rider wasn’t a prince. He only became royalty because he married into it. Then there’s Brave, which focuses on explicitly proving why Merida’s totally capable of being a ruler all on her own.

And Luttrell’s comment about how at least Anna and Elsa aren’t sitting by twirling around in their ball gowns while a male rules? Yeah, still looks like they’re wearing ball gowns to me. Ball gowns that show off their stereotypical unachievable female figure, no less. And are we supposed to forget the scene immediately before that? The “For the First Time in Forever” sequence where Anna sings about how she’ll get to twirl around in her ballgown and flirt with boys now?

7. “Everyone’s reaction to Anna’s foolish engagement”

Alrighty. The “da fuq?” response to the snap engagement is pretty cool. But yet again, what about Merida, whose story kinda centered around her not wanting to get married at all? I’d say it addresses the trope expecting women to want marriage much more successfully than Frozen, in which, uh, Anna wants to get married. And how about the fact that it’s only Anna who gets chastised for the decision? Everyone focuses on telling her that she’s wrong, but not one single person ever rebukes Hans! Of course, when a bad situation crops up, it’s always the woman’s fault, yet again.

And anyway, what about Disney movies that don’t focus on marriage at all? Alice in Wonderland? Lilo and Stitch? Women have adventures without marriage or relationships even having to be remotely a causative factor.

8. ALL THE REST

There are still so many remaining issues to bar Frozen from being counted as progressive. Like Disney’s continued insistence on perpetuating an factually infeasible female body image. In fact, there was a fair amount of heat before the movie was even released over the comment from Disney’s head animator that no matter what they’re experiencing, no matter what emotion they’re going through, when animating females, “you have to keep them pretty.” Seriously. The very construction of the female’s bodies is ridiculous. BOTH female protagonists, and most of the other women, are still portrayed as stick-thin with eyes that have bigger circumferences than their wrists, heads that have bigger circumferences than their waists, and hands that are actually impossibly too small. The male protagonists fare no better. Both male leads are portrayed as big and burly.

You can’t be “progressive” if you haven’t actually changed anything.

All in all, Frozen takes no drastic steps towards being any different from the rest of Disney’s canon. It’s amusing, it’s got a great soundtrack, and it does mildly better on some points. But better enough to be deemed “progressive?” I don’t think so.

 

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26 Responses to “More Than 7 Reasons ‘Frozen’ is Not a Progressive Movie”

  1. jessherself January 31, 2014 at 10:32 am #

    Agree! With everything. Well said!

  2. Anonymous February 2, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

    So, although I do think a lot of what you said is very valid, there are a few points that I disagree with kind of a lot.

    1. “Elsa and Anna’s abusive parents”: You pointed out a lot of other Disney movies that also have abusive parents, but I would argue that Elsa’s parents’ abuse is very different from that. In the other movies it is very clear that the parents are doing things against the child’s wishes – virtually enslaving them, treating them as objects, etc. But in Frozen, Elsa wants to be able to control her powers because of what she did to her sister. She deliberately isolates herself to avoid hurting her sister again. Her parents perpetuate the idea – already in her own mind – that she is dangerous, and that is their form of ‘abuse’. Your second paragraph seems to contradict your first because you acknowledge this, but still argue that it isn’t any different from other Disney movies. I will agree with the fact that the movie does little to indicate exactly why Elsa’s parents did the wrong thing, though.

    2. “Elsa’s self-empowerment”: I agree with you here. I still can’t stop listening to the song though. 😛

    3. “Anna’s clumsiness, awkwardness, and honesty”: I don’t think I would classify Anna as a ‘Manic Pixie Dream Girl’ at all. I will confess I don’t know much about the exact definition of the trope, but this is what I’m referencing: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ManicPixieDreamGirl. First off, she isn’t there to get him to ‘live freely and embrace life’ and all that; he sort of already does that, considering he hangs out with a reindeer and a bunch of crazy awesome trolls. She is also not obsessed with him in the slightest: he has a sled and a reindeer, which are a faster means of getting to her sister than walking. After they lose the sled she seems perfectly happy to continue on her own, although she understandably wants company (as anyone who has to climb up a freezing mountain probably would). Yes, she is quirky, but that doesn’t automatically make her a MPDG.

    4. “Kristoff’s ability to lead next to a strong woman”: The main things I disagree with in your argument here are in the second paragraph. He tells her to move. Big deal. He would probably say the same thing to a man. He’s freezing and she’s in the way. Not many people, men or women, would take the time to say “Excuse me, but could you possibly move aside a bit? I would like to get through because IT’S REALLY FUCKING COLD OUTSIDE.” Maybe he could have added a please. But it doesn’t have anything to do with gender here. And he takes her to the mountain because she asked and he feels he owes her for buying stuff for him. So what? If he hadn’t, everyone would be complaining about what a douche he is for not taking her even after she bought stuff for him. And I doubt that when he does realize he loves her, he just ‘tolerates’ her quirkiness, so I sort of dislike that phrasing.
    I’m not saying I think the original article’s argument is all correct either; I do agree with the first part of what you wrote on this topic. I just think there are some parts that you’re being picky about to the point where it doesn’t actually make sense.

    5. “Oaken’s gay family”: Yeah, not much point in saying ‘Hey look, we have a gay couple, so we’re progressive!’ if no one actually notices…

    6. “Arendelle’s unquestioning acceptance of a queen”: Although yes, they do freak out when she ‘exhibits unexpected power’, I think that’s more because it looked like she was trying to hurt them, and less because they couldn’t stand the idea of a queen being powerful in any sense. The kingdom (minus the guy with the weird tupee, but he had ulterior motives) was perfectly fine with her and her power later on when they saw that she didn’t intend to hurt anyone with her powers. It is good that you pointed out the fact that we didn’t see the rest of her story, though, as it is pretty likely that her court officials would pressure her to marry. From what we’ve seen so far, though, the rest of her subjects probably wouldn’t mind her staying single, as long as some heir is made clear eventually.

    7. “Everyone’s reaction to Anna’s foolish engagement”: There’s nothing wrong with Anna wanting to get married. Elsa doesn’t give a damn, Anna does. There’s absolutely *nothing* wrong with that. And I would argue that the only reason nobody rebukes Hans is because the only two people who are told about it are Elsa, who would naturally feel more comfortable talking to her sister first (and I could be remembering wrong, but I though Elsa said something to Hans as well), and Kristoff, who is alone with Anna at the time. It doesn’t seem like anyone knows they’re engaged. Anna just leaves the kingdom in the charge of Hans; she doesn’t mention that she’s planning on marrying him. It seems that by the time everyone finds out that Hans and Anna were going to marry, Hans has told them that Anna is already dead and they’re just thankful that someone has been designated to take care of the kingdom. I could be misremembering this though, since I’ve only seen the movie once so far.

    8. Their body shapes really bugged me. I agree with you 100% here.

    One thing I’m surprised hasn’t been mentioned, either here or in the original article, is how Anna managed to survive Elsa’s accidental ice blast to the heart. It was an act of true love, but *didn’t involve a man*. All that stuff about true love’s kiss got completely thrown out the window. I thought that was pretty awesome, and is, in my opinion, the most ‘progressive’ part of the film.

    Apologies for any misremembered details. As I said, I’ve only seen the film once, and that was about a week ago, so it isn’t perfectly fresh in my memory.

    This was an awesome article though, especially in response to the original one. 🙂 Thanks for writing it!

  3. devilhawk546Parminder March 19, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    There always has to be some people who nitpick to no end.

    • miceala March 20, 2014 at 6:36 pm #

      Or who disagree with statements of blunted critical thinking/social intelligence and think they are just as justified in presenting counterpoints…

  4. Probably John March 23, 2014 at 12:33 pm #

    I agree with you every time you say “This is nothing that Disney hasn’t done before” and make reference to Brave, among others. So if you’re argument is that is isn’t progressive in that it doesn’t change anything socially, I guess I agree. But there are a few points I especially with, and a few that I adamantly disagree with

    1) I completely agree with you. I don’t see why the parents making a mistake qualifies this a progressive movie, let alone qualifies them as abusive. They clearly do it out of love, and as a temporary measure. As one point, Elsa even insists on distancing herself from them as they try to reach out to her, taking that isolationism further than they did.

    2) The funny thing about “Let It Go” is that it’s a powerful, beautiful song about accepting who she is and reaching her full potential — and Elsa basically retracts the entire thing the nest time she has a conversation with anyone. People tend to analyse it in a vacuum, and come up with these ideas that Elsa was casting off the shackles that society and her allegedly abusive parents forced upon her, and sometimes that she was throwing off all concern for the welfare of others (“No right, no wrong, no rules for me.”) But neither of those are true. Elsa embraces her powers because there is no one nearby that she can hurt. She goes from keeping herself locked away in a room in a castle in a town to keeping herself locked away in a castle on a mountain a short distance from the town. The only thing that changed is that where before, she kept a foot in the door, trying to keep the storm at bay while still going through with the coronation, she now fully accepts her isolation, banishing herself from society — so that she doesn’t hurt anyone — and using her powers in peace. As soon as Anna tells her that the storm she released has been harming others without her knowledge, she has a veritable panic attack trying to contain it.

    So yes, Elsa’s ‘self-empowerment’ is mostly mythical, as was the oppression from which she was supposed to have been breaking free. Her arc was never about empowerment, it was about her obsession to avoid hurting others, even to the point of torturing herself. She needed to learn to let others take some of the burden as well, just as Anna had to learn to take the burden, to make that sacrifice.

    4) It seems to me that what you’re doing is taking one inconsiderate thing that one male character said to one female character and declaring that, therefore, this is an affront to all women everywhere. And if one female character makes a stupid decision and one male character points it out, this becomes a statement that all women are stupid and men always know better. If these are your standards, the only way to make a ‘progressive’ movie would be to have the women be always better than the men at everything. (Because as long at you’re demeaning men instead of women, it’s all okay, right?) Yes, Christophe was rude to Anna when they first met. He was equally rude to Oaken, so he doesn’t seem to be discriminating. And if his personality didn’t run counter to Anna’s flippant, somewhat self-centered idealism, there wouldn’t really be a point to his character. He was there to expose her to Elsa’s point of view, to help her grow as a character. If she outdone him every time they interacted, that would have just reinforced her impression that she was right about everything. I don’t really see how that could be interpreted as somehow offensive.

    I mean, you could just as easily say that since Anna hit Christophe in the head with a bag of carrots and he responded by helping her get to where she wanted to go, that the movie is saying that the role of men is society is as lackeys to women who are the real decision-makers and treat their pet men however they like.

    (Also, I’m pretty sure Kristoff agreed to help Anna because he wanted to bring back summer to save his ice business, not because she bought him stuff.)

    6) First of all, they didn’t chase her out of the kingdom. She ran. The only one who reacted with distrust rather than surprise, fear, and concern, was the Duke, and he was a foreigner, so I’m not sure he even counts.

    You point out that Anna in “For the First Time in Forever,” sings about how she wants to meet a man and twirl around in a ballgown and stuff. This is true. She then goes on to meet a man, twirl around in ballgown, and stuff. Then he turns out to be a manipulative, opportunistic jerk who tries to kill her and Elsa and steal their kingdom. Somehow, I don’t think the story is meant to support that way of life.

    (Sorry this is so long. I had a lot to say)

    • miceala March 24, 2014 at 11:12 am #

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments, actually! I find that well-thought-out statements tend to be on the longer side, so no worries about length.

      On number 4 – good counterpoints! I think that I have a tendency to narrow in a tad too much sometimes. Ah, close literary analysis, the pitfalls you throw before me… I suppose I wasn’t so much trying to take issue with Kristoff’s character as “anti-progressive” as much as counter Luttrell’s argument that having a male “keep the female in check” IS progressive. Kristoff is a useful character because, as you said, his realism helps balance out another character’s naive realism. However it’s NOT because that other character happens to be a woman.

      On number 6 – agreed, good observation on how the movie doesn’t *entirely* support Anna’s gown-twirling-quick-love lifestyle. I think I was also trying to point out, however, how the movie *does* still perpetuate the “female in ball gown” stereotype for women rulers. I understand Disney was probably trying to maintain *some* historical accuracy, since the fairy tale is presumably happening “long ago and far away” at a time when women probably wouldn’t have worn pants, but still, Disney could have done better on the “we’re pretty princesses in tiaras and our issues are because we can’t just be socially mainstream good little girls.”

      Anyhoo. Like I said, I appreciate your comments! Good discussion points. I’ll continue to try to further explain my original intent if necessary, but I recognize that I am by no means the definitive word on interpreting the film. 🙂

      • chandrimamitra May 8, 2014 at 10:43 am #

        do u think it could be that Disney was trying to take a more realistic approach towards Elsa’s self-empowerment?

        So the part when she runs for the hills and builds her castle n sings “let it go” was the first step, which was a huge deal for someone as repressed as her.

        then Anna comes along and tells her what has happened and Elsa sort of had a relapse. nobody can break out of a certain way of life in one go. I relapse every other day.

        And then , when she realizes how its okay to open her heart to love and let people share her burden and stuff, that’s when she truly breaks off the shackles holding her back . Like a normal person, she also wanted, i dunno, acceptance?
        when i think about myself, i wanna be strong and independent and self sufficient, but I always feel stronger somehow when i find acceptance of my nature in others..

        well what do u think?? ( ._.)

      • miceala May 17, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

        Hey there! Really good thoughts! Taking Frozen as an analogy for recovery certainly adds an interesting dimension. I do agree that Elsa’s reaction based on her history of repression make total sense. Yes, the way she acts and reacts are what I would expect of someone going through recovery.

        However, while I applaud you for drawing the Frozen/recovery narrative comparison, I do think that it’s not really something that Disney itself focused on in the movie. I’d say the focus wasn’t so much on Elsa’s recovery as on the fact that she “finally got it right” and could thus be welcomed back again. Which makes me a bit uncomfortable. It wasn’t “now *we* can accept you for who you are” but rather “now *you’re* someone we can accept.” Too close to victim-blaming for my liking.

        Thanks for the comment!

        Oh, and on a more personal note, I too tend to feel stronger when I’ve been validated by others. Not necessarily the healthiest paradigm, but I *do* relate.

        – Miceala

      • chandrimamitra September 15, 2014 at 9:44 pm #

        I guess we tend to think about these things more than the actual creators 😀
        thanks for the response, couldn’t have come at a better time 🙂

      • kid3t3rnity April 24, 2016 at 7:32 pm #

        On the points of number 4, gender doesn’t mean jack when someone is being rude to you. Women aren’t automatically programmed to be polite, and men aren’t automatically programmed to be rude. That’s what being human is, sometimes you’re rude, sometimes you’re polite, it’s natural and dependent on the circumstances (that includes the person being a massive dick in the first place). Hell, I bet you’re sometimes not the perfect lady yourself. Kristoff is a mountain man, not a gentleman, so of course he wouldn’t heed social formalities like most people in society, and he was pretty much having a sucky day with all the FREAKING SNOW. And if you ask me, he definitely did not discriminate between Anna and Oaken, he treated them like people, and maybe he would have greeted them better if he was in a more flighty mood, but again, his business was pretty much under crisis because everything (including himself) was snowed up. So, with that said, I’d say his character was very progressive, normal, and devoid of any sexism (something that you passively implied), oh, and yeah, there’s always going to be someone who’ll point out that you’re making some pretty poor judgement calls, like what I just did for you. And I’m a guy.

      • miceala April 24, 2016 at 7:44 pm #

        Hey there! So, you make some totally fair points. I’d just like to clarify a nuance to point #4 that didn’t seem to click with you, given the particular quips you had with it. The objection I was making wasn’t to Kristoff himself; it was to a previous author’s assertion that Kristoff’s male leadership was a progressive aspect of Frozen. The issue is with his role in the plot, not with his character archetype. Portraying a normal, 3-dimensional human, regardless of gender, might be a progressive aspect, sure, but having a male’s decisions drive plot is not, since that has happened before in Disney movies and thus by definition is not “progress.” “Stasis,” perhaps, but not progress.

        And, uh, just a brief aside to mention that “having a different perspective from you on the critical interpretation of a children’s movie character” is not *quite* equivalent to ‘making some pretty poor judgement calls.” (Officiously vaunting, on the other hand…) I know, dang nuances, right?

      • kid3t3rnity April 24, 2016 at 8:22 pm #

        Just so you know, there have been plenty of female characters whose decisions drive the plot of a story. That said, if women in fiction were portrayed as being right all the time, that’s just being a strawman, same goes if it were men. Unless, of course, you’re going for the dreaded Mary Sue.

        I would point out another movie that tried (the key word being ‘tried’) to be progressive; Maleficent. It looked good after the first watch, but after thoroughly analyzing the core of the film, it was just a piss poor attempt at hollow female empowerment, and terribly misandric. Frozen was above it, but not by much. Milan, on the other hand, that movie was way ahead of its time.

      • miceala April 24, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

        Just so you know, I am aware that Frozen is not the only movie or plot structure in existence, thanks. Again, you seem to be talking around my actual point, rather than directly addressing it. My point was not “Anna/Elsa should be right all the time,” “Kristoff should never be right,” or “Kristoff should have zero agency.” My point was that “having a male character direct a female one in a Disney movie is not, as this other author is asserting, a new thing or a particularly socially progressive trope.”

        Having explicitly spelled out what I’m saying, I’m going to check out of the discussion here. Feel free to disagree with my opinion on a minor point of a children’s movie three years ago, even continue to comment, if that’s what makes you feel good. I currently have more important matters to spend my mental energy on and thus will be allocating my attention accordingly.

  5. MayBell March 24, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Your use of swear words distracts me from the actual artical

    • miceala March 24, 2014 at 11:15 am #

      As far as I’m aware, I only used the word “shit” three times and a modified version of “fuck” once, which doesn’t seem to be overly gratuitous to me in an article of this length…

      • Mark May 5, 2014 at 5:43 pm #

        Why do you think swear words serve a purpose in intelligent writing on Disney films? Were you writing about excrement or sex. Oh wait… I forgot this is all about being ‘progressive’

      • miceala May 17, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

        Hello Mark,
        I use swear words for the purposes of tone and emphasis. I also use them because I write in my vernacular here on my personal blog. I keep the rigid academic writing for my rigid, academic papers. Additionally, the four swear words I use represent 0.002% of the 1,849 words of the post. I’m a bit surprised that you’d find slinging insults at 0.002% of the content more worth your energy than reacting to the discussion of misogyny, sexism, unrealistic body image standards, and promotion of repression present in Frozen that makes up the bulk of the post. Priorities. Just saying.
        – Miceala

  6. Anon April 3, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    I’m sort of in the middle on this subject however there is one thing in your article that is a little bit off. Elsa wasn’t chased out of Arendelle. She ran out of Arendelle.

    As soon as her powers went off just about everyone in the room made a shocked face (I can’t really blame them for that, I would be a little shocked as well) but no one besides the weselton guy (ie one of the antagonist) said anything negative. And no one gave chase, Elsa ran across that frozen harbor alone.

    In addition, after Else left none of their faces looked angry (except the weselton guy) only confused and somewhat worried about the fact that it was snowing during the summer (which is fairly reasonable I think). And there wasn’t any attempt by the crowd to stop Anna from going after her sister.

    And finally when Elsa did return to the town and it was revealed that Hans lied to all of them the people immediately accepted her as their ruler. And I guess you could say it was because they knew Elsa could control her powers now but at the same time Elsa learning how to control her powers didn’t change who she was and by that logic the villagers accepted her for who she was.

  7. Cardeen August 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    Hmm…regarding Elsa being Queen…I think the difference is that she’s included as a Disney Princess despite being a Queen, the only one to not be a teenager, the second one (after Rapunzel) to have powers, and the second one to not have a love interest (after Merida).

    BUT ANYWAY

    Well said! Obsessed with Frozen, but I agree other Disney films did some of those “tropes” before.

  8. Destany March 17, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

    What about Eugene in tangled? Repunzal started out bit quirky but also meek but quickly found her strength and etc and that didn’t make him turn away. As the story progressed it seemed she needed him less and less and they fell in love at the end instead of instant “I love you! Let’s get hitched!” Frozen isn’t the first “man stands by strong woman”.
    Also Pocahontas. She is a very strong independent woman yet both johns fell in love with her. So strong women with men who love them for that isnt new

  9. kid3t3rnity April 24, 2016 at 8:24 pm #

    I meant Mulan. Good, I hate autocorrect.

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  1. Battle of the Sexes: Ending Gender Stereotypes | even stephen - March 27, 2014

    […] But I disagree with this sentiment, because I don’t see the progressiveness of this film (and blogger Quill Aquiver agrees with me). This kind of thing is a perfect example of the times we live in; people know what gender […]

  2. One hundred minus one day - April 16, 2014

    […] fandom is just going to have to agree to disagree on whether Elsa’s parents were abusive or lovingly misguided.  Either way, it’s clear that “conceal, don’t feel” was horrible advice to […]

  3. Warning: Contains Swear Words | Quill Aquiver - May 17, 2014

    […] Or keep reading. Whatever. It’s your choice. I’m not forcing you to read this blog. You did so of your own happy accord. Which is why it confuses me, a bit, when readers call me out on language. Which happens, funnily enough, in just one place on my blog: in the comments on the post about how I don’t think Frozen *quite* managed to be an all-out progressive movie. […]

  4. Frozen 2? | XY Feminist - May 29, 2014

    […] meantime, here’s some feminist-themed speculation about everyone’s favorite slightly less sexist than usual Disney princess movie, […]

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