Tag Archives: Frozen

In defense of Frozen

 

Photo on 9-8-14 at 11.56 AM

While surfing the internet, I found this curious article:

Mayim Bialik: Why My Sons and I Hate the Movie “Frozen”

static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frozen_french_poster_2847.jpg
static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frozen_french_poster_2847.jpg

The article slams the movie Frozen, and Mayim Bialik explains why she hates it.

I don’t think she’s wrong to not like the film. That’s an opinion. I just want to offer my own counterpoint to her points.

Her first point was that the film’s plot was not feminist at all. She states that the main goal of the film was another romance, like most Disney films.

My argument to that is that, no, the romance is not the main point of the film. In fact, it’s a subplot in the film!

Frozen is actually about the sisters love for each other. It is not a true love’s kiss that saves the day, but an act of sisterly love.

 

Disney_s_Frozen_Ending_Good_QualityDisney_s_Frozen_Ending_Good_Quality-2

Both gifs made by me

And even with the romance, there’s no marriage at the end. The couple  ends up seemingly dating. And until the day comes that Disney makes a princess movie with no love interest or a same sex love interest, I think a realistic portrayal of dating is a step in the right direction.

Her second point is that it promotes man bashing.

Now before I offer my counterpoint, this below should warn you if you haven’t seen the movie.

 

img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131110022936/disney/images/6/6f/HANS2.png
img3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20131110022936/disney/images/6/6f/HANS2.png

Now in the movie, Anna, the main character, has been locked away all her life. So when she finally meets other people, she instantly falls in love with the first man she sees, which is Prince Hans.Hans and Anna decide to get married, which everyone else in the movie calls them out for. It looks like Disney is poking fun at itself with this.

Even with that, Hans, at first, seems to be a really awesome guy. He helps Anna, watches the kingdom while she’s off trying to find her sister, and tries to bring the sister back herself after Anna doesn’t return.

After Anna’s heart has been struck with ice, it’s stated the only an act of true love can save her. The characters assume that means true love’s kiss. Anna returns to Hans, hoping to share true love’s kiss with him.

And then this scene happens:

 

Copyright Disney

img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140310203723/disney/images/5/53/Hanskillselsa.jpg
img2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20140310203723/disney/images/5/53/Hanskillselsa.jpg

That’s right, Hans is EVIL. He’s a manipulative, back-stabbing, son of a bitch. He pretended to love her so that he could get the throne.

Mayim Bialik was annoyed at this plot twist because it implied that  men can’t be trusted, and that it was too confusing for kids.

That is where I disagree.

Hans is an example of what can happen if you try the whole “love at first sight” thing in real life. People like Hans exist. Instead of promoting something that could hurt them, like many early Disney Princess films, why don’t we show that love takes time?

 

http://img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141127202932/disneyprincess/images/b/b5/Anna3.png
img4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20141127202932/disneyprincess/images/b/b5/Anna3.png

Mayim Bialik’s final point was, admittedly, a fair one. She complains about how the female characters are stylized. She complains about how they have huge eyes, tiny noses, thin waits, etc. She says they look like dolls.

And true, most media do tend to portray females like that, and there is room for improvement.

However, the characters are stylized.

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Anime_eye.svg
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bb/Anime_eye.svg

Huge eyes? Has this lady seen anime?

 

And to be truthful, the characters could be much worse. Be thankful that Anna and Elsa weren’t designed by someone like Rob Liefeld.

https://40.media.tumblr.com/5569b0ca1c2789609b9fb68096e5205a/tumblr_mgqr67ODdc1r3ppg5o1_400.jpg
https://40.media.tumblr.com/5569b0ca1c2789609b9fb68096e5205a/tumblr_mgqr67ODdc1r3ppg5o1_400.jpg

…shudder…

Again, I don’t think Mayim Bialik is wrong to not like the film. That’s her opinion. However, as a feminist, I feel like we should engage in calm, rational argument. I just wanted to offer a counterpoint.

Disney and the Bechdel Test

Photo on 9-8-14 at 11.56 AM

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bf/Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_%28Bechdel_test_origin%29.jpg

The Bechdel test was originally coined in the comic strip Dykes to Look Out For in 1985. The test can be for any media.

The test states:

1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it.

2. Who talk to each other.

3. About something besides a man.

The majority of films released in Hollywood fail the test. In fact, here is a video I made showing only a few of the many films fail the test.

It must be stressed that the test does not say whether the media is actually feminist. If in a film, two named females were to talk about dresses and make up, the film would technically pass the test. However that doesn’t mean that the film is actually feminist.

I decided to take several different disney films and see whether they passed or failed the test.

Snow_White_1937_poster
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/49/Snow_White_1937_poster.png

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves:

The first full length animated film released in America.

In this film there are two named females. These are Snow White and The Evil Queen. They have only one conversation, which is at the end of the film. There is some debate about the conversation, as the ‘little men’ (the dwarves), are mentioned in passing, but the conversation is more about the poisoned apple.

This film passes the test (though it’s dubious).

abTy6ariL

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Lady-and-tramp-1955-poster
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/39/Lady-and-tramp-1955-poster.jpg

Lady and the Tramp:

There are multiple named females, such as Lady, Peg, Darling, and the Siamese cats who are assumed to be female based on their voice actor.

In one scene which takes place in a pound, two named females, Peg and Lady, talk to each other about Lady’s license, and how it’s Lady’s key to getting out of there.

This film passes the test.

abTy6ariL

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Sleeping_beauty_disney
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/43/Sleeping_beauty_disney.jpg

Sleeping Beauty:

The majority of the film’s cast are female.

The good fairies talk about about things other than men most of the time, like hiding Princess Aurora from the female villain Maleficent.

In fact, this film fails a reverse Bechdel test. the males always are talking about the females.

This film passes the test.

abTy6ariL

clipartbest.com/cliparts/abT/y6a/abTy6ariL.png

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Mousedetectposter
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a4/Mousedetectposter.jpg

The Great Mouse Detective:

There are four named females, two of whom (Olivia Flaversham and Queen Mousetoria) are important to the story. However, none of them ever have a real, back and forth conversation with each other.

This fim fails the test.

dc7eRGpc9

clipartbest.com/cliparts/dc7/eRG/dc7eRGpc9.png

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Aladdinposter
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/Aladdinposter.jpg

Aladdin:

There is only one named female character, Princess Jasmine, in the entire film.

This film utterly fails the test.

dc7eRGpc9

 clipartbest.com/cliparts/dc7/eRG/dc7eRGpc9.png

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The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster.jpg

The Nightmare Before Christmas:

Yes, this is technically Disney.

There are two named females, Sally and Shock. However, they never speak to one another.

This film fails the test.

dc7eRGpc9

 clipartbest.com/cliparts/dc7/eRG/dc7eRGpc9.png

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frozen_french_poster_2847
static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frozen_french_poster_2847.jpg

Frozen:

This film sure is popular lately.

There are two named females, Anna and Elsa. They have multiple conversations about things other than men.

For example, the first conversation in the movie is about them making a snowmen. That doesn’t count as actual men.

This film passes the test.

abTy6ariL

clipartbest.com/cliparts/abT/y6a/abTy6ariL.png

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As must be stressed, the Bechdel test is not meant to indicate whether a film is feminist or not. It’s just the lowest bar possible for women representation. As you can see, Disney is pretty hit or miss with passing in test

Again, the majority of films from Hollywood fail the test. This could be pretty damming of how far we still ned to go for better gender representation.