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Disney’s ‘Frozen’ is disappointing from the get-go to a helluva lot of people…

and only partly because of its mayo-based characters.

but it’s also immediately disappointing, enraging, to PoCs because of the apologists and shush-ers who come out of the woodwork to defend it.

Disney doesn’t need anyone to defend them. trust.

the problem with Frozen is when people point to the origin tale and complain that PoC folks are wrong to want or expect PoC characters in a white fairy tale.  confusing centuries-old, hand-me-down stories that have been appropriated and retold by vastly different cultures with some kind of necessary historical accuracy in an animated film is sort of ridiculous.  that’s not what cartoons are about. and if you want some good, old-fashioned bloody historical accuracy, there’s plenty of books and documentaries (hell, some of them not even produced by white people. IMAGINE) that will blow your friggin mind when it comes to what you thought you knew about the color of the world.

telling someone they’re being silly for wanting to see characters that look like them in a cartoon fantasy, when it’s hard enough to find representations of themselves in live-action media…is absurd and offensive.

Disney has been playing fast and loose with ethnicity in fairy tales for as long as they’ve been in business, though usually on the white-washing side, so to me it makes no difference that Frozen's origin hails from a lily-white country. they could retell it with PoCs and still make it wildly successful. it certainly made no difference that the Princess and the Frog came from one, but then Disney took a Persian tale and made Tangled (missing a big fat opportunity for inclusion there).

it does not harm a culture who has never been oppressed to take a fairy tale, a parable, a campfire story, and adapt it to include people of any and every racial background.

it does harm cultures who have been historically oppressed to take their tales and paint them with happy, white brushes.

the question isn’t why does someone want the snow queen story to include PoCs?

the question is why would it matter to you if it did?

for myself…my feeling is that if Disney had any sense at all, they’d have taken a cue from Avatar's popularity, its water tribe characters, and built a truly interesting retelling of this tale.  one that didn't rely so heavily on the mistaken belief that the only characters who sell are white as the driven snow.

Notes

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