Make Up Your Own Mind: 10 Articles About Frozen & Feminism

Disney’s Frozen has generated a lot of debate but specifically on the topic of whether it is a feminist film or not, the answer is a bit more elusive. On the one side, are people who claim that it is thanks to dual female protagonists, a positive message, and a muted romantic theme compared to other Disney films. On the other side, there are claims that the film is merely masquerading as a feminist film and in reality continues to undermine the feminist ideal through subtle and not-so-subtle marketing. Which side is correct? You can make up your own mind with these sixteen articles published in recent months that discuss the film.

November 1st, 2013 @ 20:49:52

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The Case For A Feminist Frozen

‘Frozen’: Disney’s First Foray into Feminism

Not only does Frozen effortlessly pass the Bechdel Test within five minutes, it’s a story that’s centered around sisterhood and the power that exists inside young women.

“Frozen” Sets Bar for Classic Disney Princess Formula

I enjoyed your newest princess movie, Frozen, as both a story lover and as a feminist. As a movie that follows your classic princess formula, i.e. one that has romance as a focus, this is an improvement.

In Defense of Frozen

Disney’s animated feature Frozen, which opens Thanksgiving, has received some attention for 1) its nearly indistinguishable female leads and 2) the interview in which its head of animation, Lino DiSalvo, dared to mention the difficulties of animating two characters who look so much alike

Why the Feminist Controversy Over Frozen Misses the Point

Now that I have seen it, I believe it’s even more important to confront these accusations head on, because not only are they way off base, they distract from the film’s true message and may actually be detrimental to the promotion of feminism in Hollywood. I believe this because Frozen may just be the most feminist animated film Disney has ever produced. Anyone who supports the depiction of strong, independent women in the media, not to mention the positive representation of sororal bonds, ought to be championing it, not organizing a boycott.

Be the good girl you always have to be: Is Frozen’s Elsa the queer heroine we need, but not the one we deserve?

Amid discussions of Disney’s ongoing race problems, feminist-friendly trope subversions, and the eternal question of “why the hell is that Reindeer acting like a dog?” one question stands out to me: Is Queen Elsa, well, queer?

The Case Against A Feminist Frozen

Frozen in time: when will Disney’s heroines reflect real body shapes?

Disney’s writers are clearly making efforts to produce less compliant female leads – so why are we still lumbered with hourglass figures, tiny feet and huge doe eyes?

“Help, My Eyeball is Bigger than My Wrist!”: Gender Dimorphism in Frozen

Giant eyes and tiny hands symbolize femininity in Disneyland.

Think Frozen is About Sisterhood and Girl Power?

It isn’t

Actual Animators Talk “Frozen” Design Controversy

“The skinny waist, large eyes, round cheeks, and tiny nose and mouth are an appealing design,” Stockham added, “but they aren’t the ONLY appealing design.”

The problem with false feminism

I have made absolutely no secret of how much I disliked Disney’s Frozen. I hated it. I spent most of the movie alternately facepalming, groaning, and checking my watch, and when people asked me how I liked it, I made this face

5 Comments on “Make Up Your Own Mind: 10 Articles About Frozen & Feminism

  1. ^ I also recommend feministdisney on tumblr’s response to both the original article and the rebuttal:
    http://feministdisney.tumblr.com/post/75770701564/the-problem-with-false-feminism-in-frozen-medium-com

    http://feministdisney.tumblr.com/post/75894059944/a-partial-agreement-to-the-rebuttal-to-the-false

    And here is her review of the movie, for good measure: http://feministdisney.tumblr.com/post/72728984022/is-disney-frozen-in-time-or-moving-forward

    I personally also really enjoyed reading this look at “Frozen” compared to “The Little Mermaid”: http://www.hoodedutilitarian.com/2014/01/how-ariel-became-disneys-bad-woman-a-look-at-disneys-frozen-and-the-little-mermaid/

    As for the blog post itself: I don’t think either side is completely correct. It’s great that it’s a [mostly] female driven flick [that’s made a ton of money], but I don’t agree with the notion that it’s really breaking a lot of new ground for Disney. Just for me personally I didn’t find the story well-crafted enough (it could have used another few drafts, imo) to really… make that much of an impact. Lilo & Stitch, on the other hand. Now that’s a sister story. 🙂

    • Lilo & Stitch is absolutely a far superior film to Frozen.

      What I tend to remind myself is that all [big budget] films are made for the sole purpose of making money and it’s this that drives all decisions creative and otherwise during production. While Frozen is somewhat of a progressive film for Disney, it is regressive from the standpoint of furthering the concept of animated features and the portrayal of female characters.

      Personally, I think a lot of the feminist debate has been misdirected and my hunch is that Disney’s marketing department have been more than happy to assist in this regard at the expense of a more nuanced discussion of the film’s feminist merits.

      • Agreed on all points. 🙂 Personally, I don’t find the “feminism”-discussion about this film that interesting anymore. It was interesting/enjoyable to begin with, but the articles/blogs seem to get more and more checklist-y, for the lack of a better word.

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