Monday, July 29, 2013

A New Disney Heroine - Anna in "Frozen"!

In Theaters November 27, 2013

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tale The Snow Queen, Frozen will be the 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.

Frozen is a musical comedy adventure about a young girl named Anna who sets off on an epic journey to find her sister, Elsa the Snow Queen, and help rid Arendelle Kindgom of its icy curse. She is joined by a mountain man named Kristoff and his reindeer companion, Sven.

Anna, the 12th Disney princess, is a fearless optimist 
and the youngest member of a royal family. She will be played by 
the voice of actress Kristen Bell (Veronica Mars, House of Lies).

Kristen Bell as Anna, a member of a royal family

Idina Menzel as Elsa the Snow Queen, Anna's elder sister

Josh Gad as Olaf, a snowman

Santino Fontana as Prince Hans

Alan Tudyk as the Duke of Weselton

Jonathan Groff as Kristoff, a mountain man, who owns a reindeer named Sven

Chris Williams as Oaken, the owner of Wandering Oaken's Trading Post and Sauna

There have been many complaints about Anna's resemblance to Rapunzel in Disney's Tangled and many who didn't want another "white" princess. I've also seen complaints about having another princess who needs a man to save her and complaints about the deviation from HCA's original story (even though Disney stated it was a loose interpretation). I'm saving most of my own judgments until after the film has actually released, but I will agree that Disney's princesses are severely lacking in the ethnicity department. I've loved Rapunzel, Belle, Merida & Ariel, but I also want to see more leading ladies like Jasmine, Tiana & Pocahontas (sorry Mulan, I never could get all the way through your movie).

I also stumbled across this interesting post by The Feminist Fan Girl:

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.)

If you're curious about some of the rants, or even interested in jumping in on some of the discussions, I've got links for you:


Sydney said...

I've been hearing a lot of the outrage since news of Disney's "Frozen" broke out. I'm upset that they changed the story so much, especially when the original seemed so much better, and that they, like others complained before, didn't used this chance to have a POC characters. Anna's clothes are even inspired by a certain POC group that lived (and are living) in Scandinavia! The original story isn't even sad enough for children to warrant a drastic change in the storyline. What happened to Kai? The girl who gave Gerda (now Anna) the reindeer? The women that helped her on her journey? It was also supposed to be in the style of the classic animated films of Disney, which I'm also kind of upset about, although I can brush something like that off.

I kind of want to watch it, but I'm really disappointed and angry at what Disney has done with this. I'm sorry for the mini-rant btw.

Mel@Thedailyprophecy said...

You know, I honestly don't care about this all. I just love Disney and their movies. Their animations are always so pretty and I love the stories. It just seems to me that everybody is always looking for something to complain about.. Not trying to offend someone, but can't we just enjoy these movies without all the fuss? It's not like we all complain about movies in general - because there is enough to complain about those.


Disappointing, but I can see why they went with the Rapunzel-like animation. That was the only princess movie that's been any good in a long time. Or at least the only one my girls liked. Although my 5 year old prefers The Corpse Bride, and my 8 year old is into re-runs of Fringe. They may not be normal... If Disney doesn't stop making vanilla movies like this, though, they're going to lose their audience.

Ning said...

Wow I didn't know there were so many controversies surrounding this movie. I kind of understand, but at the same time I just want to say it's a movie and it's for entertainment. Why must people assign important meaning to everything? Although I'd love to see another Jasmine. And being Chinese, I'm offended you didn't like Mulan. J/K. I loved Tangled, and if Frozen is as good as Tangled, then I don't have any complaints.

Addicted2Heroines said...

Thanks for making me feel like a jerk, Ning! LOL!

I can't say I really have STRONG feelings one way or another. Do I want more diverse characters? Absolutely. Will it stop me from watching the movie? No, it won't.

But if Disney won't give little girls more strong, diverse female leads to look up to, hopefully someone else will. And on that note, I really like the look of DC Nation's new Wonder Woman =)

Beth W said...

Although I like the costuming possibilities, I am pretty damn disappointed that Disney is making a loose interpretation of my favorite fairy tale that is actually *nothing like the fairy tale*. Everything I love about The Snow Queen seems to have been removed from this, so I really wish they'd stop referencing TSQ when promoting Frozen.

I've come to expect little-to-no ethnic diversity at Disney, just as there are VERY few (maybe 1?) quasi-realistic body type featured among the Disney princess (I'm looking at you, Merida). Disney is not about setting positive examples for our kids, they're about making money through re-hashing (over and over and over and over again) whatever has sold well in the past.

I understand people being upset, because Disney (like all major corporations) is selling something, and it's very pervasive, and it's not ethical. But we live in a society where people don't get to monitor or affect the ethics of corporations- we can only decide for ourselves how to counter white-washing and unrealistic body images and a heavy reliance on "you must fall in love to be a complete person" attitudes by presenting the other angle, constantly, to try and balance it out.

Talk Supe said...

OK... the movie looks fun albeit her resemblance to Rapunzel.

I agree with diversifying, I'm Asian after all, but at the same time I feel like the "controversy" is a shade or two more serious than it should be.


Post a Comment

Due to an increase in spam, all comments are moderated. Even if you do not see an "awaiting approval" message, please only submit your comment once. Sorry for the inconvenience.