A lot of criticism has surrounded Frozen’s success as the top grossing animated film of all time. While the film has many victories in the way women are treated and perceived in the film, there is a even larger drawback: not a single PoC was featured in the film. There wasn’t even PoC as extras! I just wrote a post on Cinderella, a Disney film released in 1950, and that had a PoC count of 0 as well. Does Frozen mark real progress? Not so much.
Often in pockets of the internet you can find pretty cool things (once you sort through the misogyny, anonymous cowardice, isms, and violence). I wanted to share with you a phenomenon within Disney fan art. This niche is focused on race- and gender-bending characters. That means white princesses are redesigned as WoC and male princes are redesigned as female.
The images, which I’ve shared below, are striking — but in a good way. They really make you think about the stories you’re being told and perhaps how much more interesting they would be if told from another race’s or gender’s point of view.
I cannot stress how important equal representation in children’s media is. Disney is a socialization agent unto its own; while you make dinner or are busy with other adult things, what are your children doing? They are most likely observing Disney films, playing with Disney toys, or watching the Disney Channel. Finding safe places for children of color within Disney is a major step toward equality in society, as our children face the reality of diversity in their lives.
You can find an interesting blog here and here, with a link to all of the original artists. If you are a tumblr user, please follow the blogs and enjoy some race- and gender-bent Disney on a daily basis!