Sunday, July 10, 2016

Princesses!

And the flak Disney takes for them.

... Already ... “Elena of Avalor” has run into questions of princess parity, starting with the medium: Why is Disney introducing her through a television series aimed at children 2 to 11 and not in a full-fledged family movie, like her counterparts? “It really seems like a shun,” wrote Mandy Velez, a co-founder of Revelist, a publication targeted to millennial women. ...

Seemingly everyone has an opinion — often delivered as a demand — about what Disney should be doing with its characters, especially when it comes to diversity.

In 2014, tens of thousands of people signed a petition pushing for a Disney princess with Down syndrome. In the spring, the company faced an online campaign to make Elsa from “Frozen” a lesbian. In recent weeks, an online brush fire has broken out around “Moana,” an animated Polynesian adventure to be released in November; an overweight male character has been criticized as offensive to Pacific Islanders. ...

Okay, the male character in Moana might be comfortably built, but doesn't the fact he's voiced by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson (not comfortably built) count for anything?

Probably not.

Obviously an entertainment conglomerate that desires the continuing goodwill of the public has to keep tabs on various bubbling cauldrons of discontent and address centers of anger. But placating one group sometimes alienates another.

How about having characters serve the contours of your story and using analogies ... in the way the fox, rabbit and other animals work as surrogates for humankind in Zootopia ... instead of being heavy-handed and hitting this issue or that directly on the head?

Nah. Somebody would complain.

3 comments:

Matthew said...

Damned if you Do, Damned if you Don't. Where's the acknowledgment between previously having NO diversity back when Disney mainly did all white characters & supporting casts, to apparently now having "too much" diversity of LGBTIQ and the broader visual ethnicity of humanity. Yet now being called prejudiced based on a characters physical on-screen interpretation. As vague as these criticisms often are, artists & writers should just focus on getting the best story & designs they can wrestle into existence. In these days of joyous social media tsunamis that appease no one, the primary hobby of the internet seems to be engaging in outrage and the criticism of ideas, rather than facilitating the sharing and construction of new & better ideas. Who'd have thought this is where we would be in the Digital Age?

Steve Hulett said...

Somebody is always bent out of shape. Somebody is always complaining.

Not that there's anything wrong with griping. It's how problems are brought to the attention of Those In Authority.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

We have to remember that Steve. As I would say, nobody is truly satisfied at all. There's always something to complain about because it doesn't fit you tastes or view or opinion. People have to have an agenda for these things. I suppose the digital age has magnified this greatly since it's easier to get the word out through any means possible than in the days of newsletters or letter-writing campaigns. We could bypass that in the minutes it takes to set up a web petition and click ENTER.

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