Disney’s ‘Frozen’ Left Out Little Girls of Color…Again

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  • Shawna

    My 11 year old daughter, 6 year old niece, and I loved the movie, Frozen, also. I definitely related to the story-line and thought the music was spectacular. The animation was top notch so it was technically a very sound film.

    I wasn’t affected by the fact there were no black characters because I think social conditioning tells blacks not to expect black characters in most films. Most of the time if they’re added to the cast it’s a pleasant and welcome surprise! Sometimes, it’s a buffoon-like character that doesn’t seem to add value and goes unappreciated.

    In the case of Frozen, I did notice quite a diverse audience in Chino, CA – whites, blacks, latinos and asians, and even more to my surprise quite a few people in the millenial generation were there without children….So, if it were a black cast, or black main character, I honestly don’t think it would have drawn the crowds or the $$$$ Disney knew they wanted to make on it…

  • The problem is that despite all the gains we’ve made, we are still underrepresented behind the scenes in Hollywood so in order for us to be given equal screen time, we need to be the ones writing the scripts, producing, etc.

    I’ve also been wondering if we need to protect our children from media that is not diverse just as we would violent movies/shows. I wonder about its long term effects :-/

  • Sarah

    I’ve been worried about this too with lots of animation companies. I think they don’t make characters only white (which seems to be diversities like American, Canadian, Swedish, German and so on people) on purpose (for the most part) but that’s the problem. Discrimination is not always a conscious action. It happens among women and men, too–for example, a man may be picked for a job instead of a woman. Discrimination also happens if someone has a “foreign” sounding name, rather than an “English” or “white” sounding one.
    That’s why I agree with you that it’d be great for animation companies to make characters of several diversities and sexes and even sexual orientations “just because”. It’s important to have lots of different types of people, and it makes lives more enriching because of the cultures I can learn about. If Disney had a movie where there would only be light-skinned people, then they could work diverse characters in there somehow and explain it (like, a person from Sweden is a transfer student in Haiti, or a person from India is a transfer student in North Africa). Even in the old days, lots of people traveled all around the world.

    I don’t always think about this, but light-skinned people are diverse and can be minorities (First-Nations, for example) and it’s important to remember that. There is a big problem with First Nation women in Canada being domestically abused because for some reason authorities turn a blind eye to those issues on purpose. It happens with people of color, too (I don’t want to say African-American, since not all dark-skinned people are African, or American. They could be Canadian-Swedish or something. I try to be careful. What do you think is the best term to use?).

    Anyway, though, sorry–I went off on a tangent. I’m glad you mentioned “brown” and “black” people, which probably would be people who were First-Nations, Hawaiian, Middle-Eastern, Indian, Thai, Taiwanese, Spanish, Mexican, Puerto-Rican, South-American, African or Jamaican (among others; I could go on), and also British, since there is a large population of people of color in Great Britain like I said earlier. Unfortunately, Great Britain has a problem with discrimination even today. I heard about it on the radio recently and got pretty bummed out about it. I’ve also been doing research to help me with writing diverse characters so I don’t make any ignorant comments. The sites talk about how to describe skin colors and how to do proper research if I wanted to write a fictional story about a family from Mumbai, or something. I’m glad I checked it out because there are things I could have been saying that I didn’t think were offensive but would be to someone else. I’m Caucasian, so sometimes I could have trouble with understanding how minorities’ lives are without knowing it, so doing research and reading lots of kinds of literature is a great thing for me to do so I don’t say insensitive things.

    Well, I sure rambled. I really hope that in the future, Disney (as well as other animation companies) will become more accepting and will have lots of diverse characters “just because” it will make the world better and safer.

    I hear in the near future (within the next five or ten years) that minorities won’t be minorities anymore, so that’s great! It’ll mean things like wage gaps and discrimination could go away pretty soon if people work at it. I just heard a couple stories on the news about how lots of people think there isn’t a wage gap for women, and it was pretty dang ridiculous.

  • maxpain7

    To be honest, I did not feel the need to have Asian character representation in this movie. The movie is based on an old story book for children by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen.The message is powerful enough for me regardless whom ever delivered it.

    I wouldn’t want to have a Mulan’s character played by Merida from Brave, or Tiana from Princess and the Frog, or Pocahontas. It’s fine the way it is.

    It’s a movie. There’s a story, characters and plots. Get the message regardless who deliver it.