Since winning the Best Animated Feature Film award at this year's Oscars, the popularity of Disney's Frozen has continued to increase beyond all expectation. The film is still being shown in cinemas all over the planet, as well as topping home-entertainment charts and breaking records worldwide with its huge sales and chart-topping soundtrack. However, after a quick search on the internet, I discovered that not everyone is too pleased with the film's phenomenal success. The last couple of months has seen an influx of negative blog posts and articles by people including most prominently, a Christian pastor and some poor Mormon kids' grandma, who have cited the film as "evil propaganda for the homosexual agenda" and declare that it was made by Disney to "indoctrinate children into being gay". Unsurprisingly, these articles and their authors have been heavily criticised for their hateful, misguided and right-wing hypothesis. However, I don't want to berate these people, I want to personally shake them by the neck and tell them THANK YOU.
THANK YOU for pointing out Frozen's repressed lesbian allegory, because now my family and I can re-watch the award-winning film, and the many that came before it and consume them all from an enlightened fresh perspective. We can now enjoy Disney the gay way. As both a parent, and a film enthusiast, I have always managed to avoid the obvious when it comes to educating my children through film and instead of presuming they want to watch whatever big-buck, seat-fillers the movie studios spew out during the holidays. I have always attempted to offer them something more than the obvious CGI cash-cows and empty franchises, with films that fire the imagination such as World Cinema classics from Studio Ghibli to The Red Balloon; the films of Charlie Chaplin, Laurel and Hardy and British masterpieces like Whistle Down the Wind and Kes or, the darkly haunting Something Wicked This Way Comes and Watcher in the Woods, both from the unofficial "Disturbing Disney" range.
Don't get me wrong, they still enjoy cinema trips to watch rubbish like Despicable Me 2 every now and again, but as with everything in life, including music, the media and religion, I encourage them (as I think any responsible parent should) to think beyond the realms of what they are taught and to think outside of the box. So, after reading an online declaration by a grandma, announcing Frozen as the "gayest Disney film of all time", I suddenly realised that perhaps I'd been missing something with the box-office claptrap and I'd been neglecting my poor children of the subliminal advocation of certain "life choices". If Disney, whose ethnic and racial stereotyping I had once disapproved of, had suddenly started rubbing the rainbow flag in peoples' faces, then I wanted my kids to be part of that. So together we sat down to watch Frozen to see if they could identify any of the "homosexual subtext" themselves. Needless to say, they couldn't. Maybe because they're only kids, but probably because the "gay agenda" has magically wormed its way into their skulls and is busy bejeweling their every brain cell.
Anyway, as someone watching it with the intention of discovering gay subtext heres what I found...
Frozenis about a princess called Elsa, who is born with a dangerous power that she is told, by her parents to hide and refrain from using. She is not allowed to mention her power to her sister, Anna. Following an accident, Anna is taken to a magical place, where the memory of her sister's power is wiped. Whilst the outwardly sociable Anna continues to live her life, dancing around town and flirting with boys, Elsa spends her time locked in her room. When news gets out about her power, she is so ashamed that she banishes herself from what she believes to be a rejective society and flees to a life of solitude. Finally, and with the understanding and support of her sister, she comes to accept her as differences, embraces her powers and realises she has nothing to be ashamed of.
So, that's literally the plot and you'll probably have read into that yourself so it will come as no surprise that it can certainly be read as an allegory for a repressed teenage lesbian, rejected by her parents, that then call on some spiritual beings to "pray the gay away" from her sister. She then becomes forcibly closeted by her parents and proceeds to ostracise herself from the community until finally, she accepts who she is and has a big coming out party... Or something like that.
I fear that without the outspoken, and wildly misguided voice of the anti-gay, evangelical pastor, my family and I may have just accepted Frozen as Disney more than likely intended - as a musical update of The Snow Queen, that tells the tale of two princesses and their once imaginary, but now real-life snowman friend. And, without the far-right and hopelessly silly opinion of the Mormon grandma, I fear my family would have missed out on some wonderful dialogue that came from watching this film. So again, I would like to say THANK YOU because not only have you brought some great Disney film's back into our lives but, I can continue to ensure that I am having the right discussions with my children, educating them on the challenges of certain minorities and encouraging them to accept people equally, regardless of their gender and sexuality. What's more, I can use an attractive Disney princess to demonstrate the challenges faced by some gay teenagers, which is certainly better than showing them grainy YouTube videos of innocent Russian kids being violently abused and humiliated in public.
THANKS also for allowing us to apply this train of thought to other Disney films. My kids, who are big fans of John Water's original Hairspray and Cry Baby, noticed that Ursula in The Little Mermaid bore a striking resemblance to late transvestite star Divine, bringing us a minty fresh perspective on that film also. However it was my wife and I that noticed the countless phalluses and the fact that her home bore a striking resemblance to an anus, but we'll save that conversation for when the kids are a little bit older.
Also, THANKS for enabling me to apply your "gay agenda" theory to Disney's Fox and the Hound. After a second viewing I discovered that it's basically a sex free version of Brokeback Mountain for kids. THANK YOU for your insightful opinions, and be sure to keep us posted as the vehemently anti-gay are remarkably talented at being the first to spot the "homosexual subtext" in almost anything. I'm looking forward to seeing which kids' film upsets you next. Hey, imagine if the theme tune for The Lego Movie was composed by a couple of openly gay female twins, what would you have to say about that?
To those of you that haven't tried it, sit down with your family and enjoy Disney films the gay way, as my seven year old son will probably say when the "gay agenda" has finished turning his brain all pink and sparkly, "They're Fabulous darling!".