The internet really is a wonderful place. It is an actual fact that, with the internet, all the knowledge in the world is at your fingertips (what does that say about you being here?). People use the internet for a variety of reasons: knowledge, pleasure, and voice being among the top three. In this article, I will focus on the third: voice. Everyone is entitled to an opinion, that is a fact. That said, not every opinion is valid, and no – acting on non-valid opinions is not okay (e.g. – let’s say a father decides his kids shouldn’t eat more than once a week, that is his opinion and he is a monster). There is nothing wrong with sharing ideas or talking things out, it is how the mind stays active.
All of that said: I think that this article is pretty silly, and not well-thought out at all. For the record, I do not think that Willie Muse is a stupid person or an idiot in any way… but there are a few flaws in his argument. For those out there too lazy to click on the link, first off: really? Second, Muse is arguing that last year’s Disney film, Frozen, is an allegory supporting gay marriage. His argument hinges on three parts: 1) Elsa Represents Gay People; 2)The Film Shows Flaws of Traditional Marriage; 3)Alternate Family Structures (are) Very Favorably Presented. Three points… let me rebuttal.
1) I will acknowledge that there are certain parallels between Elsa and a repressed gay adolescent. That said, note how I had to use the adjective ‘repressed’ to make the comparison work? If that gay adolescent grows up in an open and accepting household, then this whole comparison goes out the window. Generally, if one detail dislodges an argument: it’s not a great argument. Ignoring Elsa’s repression to say “that’s what being gay is like” can be insulting to all the other forms of repression that are out there. By the logic used, I can also say that Remy from Ratatouille represents gay people. I suppose he kinda does……. Maybe? That would ignore the much larger message though in favor of a smaller perspective. Remy, for instance, is dealing with issues of identity not connected to sexuality but rather with artistic freedom vs. social expectation. People are much more complicated than just their sexuality but to diminish Elsa’s real problem is too miss a good chunk of the movie: ELSA HAS ABUSIVE PARENTS. Seriously, she is living with people who (while not being evil) are incapable of accepting Elsa for who she is. Elsa could represent any child was is abused for being different (whether that difference is sexual, medical, religious, or countless others). Elsa could be a representation of someone with severe anxiety issues who is afraid to leave her home or be herself around anyone until one day she just LETS IT GO and realizes that living paralyzed with fear isn’t a way to live… wait. See, while saying that Elsa represents gay people isn’t the most ridiculous thing, it isn’t a great building block for a strong argument.
2) NO. This is the one I take the most issue with. Prince Hans and Anna do not represent “traditional marriage” at all. They represent the fairy tale notion of one-look true-love destined to be together trope of a large portion of folklore (and early Disney animated features). The only “traditional” element of this relationship is that it involves a man and a woman. Also, while it is true that, in medieval times, marriage was often a political move, Hans does take it a couple steps past political takeover and into full-blown-I-Would-Run-Over-Your-Dog-Too-If-I-Could evil mode (I’ve already written about this in an earlier post). So the film really isn’t showing the flaws of traditional marriage, it is showcasing the obvious flaw of fairy tale marriages: namely don’t marry someone you just met (DUH). For the record, it would be much more like a “traditional marriage” if Hans and Anna were being forced into it (similar to the plot of Brave) but, just the fact that it is Anna’s choice… women didn’t make choices like that back then.
3) I don’t really feel that the trolls are an alternate family structure. They are not Kristoff’s real parents, sure, but that only makes them his ADOPTIVE parents. While I’m no expert on troll physiology (nor do I want to be), there appear to be male and female trolls present in the group. Grandparents, parents, kids: all age tiers are present. Looks like one giant, loving family all living together. Is it superior to Elsa’s and Anna’s parents: absolutely. Funny how having love and supportiveness in a family dynamic will do that. Yeah though, how are they really different from Aunt May and Uncle Ben in the Spider-Man universe? Just because parents adopt children doesn’t make it “an alternate family structure.” If anything (and I acknowledge this is a stretch), the argument could be made that Anna, Elsa, and Olaf represent the alternate family structure… and don’t show it favorably. Two women (sisters no less) bringing life to a snowman through some form of “unnatural” magic, and the resulting creation has no social awareness and just wishes (unconsciously) for quick death at the change of seasons. For the record, I don’t think this is a serious message to be taken from the movie, I’m just saying it to make a point.
Frozen has received a lot of attention, maybe more than it deserves. There can be no question, however, that it is a culturally significant film. A lot of analysis has been, and will be applied to this movie. Some of it will be really insightful and shed lead on why this film had the impact that it did. Some of it… will just be silly.