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Even if you haven't seen or heard of Disney's latest film Frozen, you may have heard about this woman's ramblings on the movie at her blog "A Well-Behaved Mormon Woman." An anti-gay Mormon grandmother, Kathryn Skaggs sees an overt "homosexual agenda" advanced by Disney in its most recent movie with the aim of (gasp) indoctrinating children. A sampling of her rant:
The gay agenda to normalize homosexuality is woven into Disney's movie Frozen not just as an underlying message - it is the movie. In a liberal culture tenacious at normalizing immorality, stripping those of faith from their ability to speak out in opposition, this needs to be taken seriously. It's one thing that we've all donated to the cause by making Frozen a record-breaking hit at the box office (myself included), but that's as far it's going, for me, personally.Skaggs has been thoroughly ridiculed across the Internet. As she should be. The idea that Disney created Frozen to "indoctrinate" children with a "homosexual agenda" is, to any sane person, asinine. However, I do have to take issue with many of the comments I've been seeing on sites discussing Skaggs' rant. These comments can be generalized with this archetype:
To Christian parents, who don't support the legalization of SSM, or the normalization of same-sex sexual behavior, oppositional to God, I feel strongly that we must become more aware of how liberal media advocate these messages. It is often accomplished through infiltrating mainstream channels with the specific attitudes and ideologies necessary to advance these practices, as progressive, within mainstream society.
Ironically, I've seen Frozen three times. Not because I necessarily wanted to, but because I had three sets of grandchildren who I committed to take to see the movie when it initially came out. And as it worked out it was at different times and places. I won't deny, either, that I enjoyed watching the movie every single time, for a number of reasons. It actually gave me a good opportunity to confirm my initial reaction, and in so doing, I could blatantly see that the homosexual agenda, to normalize the practice, was not simply an underlying message in the movie Frozen, but is the actual story.
I have seen Frozen X number of times and can confirm that there is nothing gay about it whatsoever!Well, while we can all agree that Skaggs is an idiot and that there is no overt "homosexual agenda" (what does that even mean?) at play here, this gay viewer disagrees with the idea that there is nothing queer about the film and that it has nothing to offer LGBT youth. And if that fans the flames of rage coming from Skaggs and bigots who think like her, then so be it, but pardon me if I don't particularly care what they think.
I went to see Frozen last month with very few preconceived ideas about the movie. I had seen the trailer a few times, but aside from that, all I knew was that my boyfriend really, really wanted to see it and had already memorized most of the songs. Yes, seriously. So being the good boyfriend and Disney lover that I am, I happily went along with him to see it. (Note: Below paragraphs might give away some parts of the movie.)
It didn't take very long for things in the film to start sticking out to me and kicking me in the feels. When the movie begins, we are introduced to young Elsa, the princess of Arendelle, who possesses the magical ability to create ice and snow. What at first appears to be a wonderful power soon shows its dangerous side when Elsa accidentally injures her younger sister Anna with her ability. The king and queen quickly rush the children to a group of trolls to heal Anna and seek guidance on Elsa's power. While they accept that Elsa was born that way, the royal couple decides that it would be best to lock her in her room until she learns to control and conceal her ability. I'm sure I don't need to tell you how well a person could relate to this storyline who was raised thinking the only solution to his homosexuality was hiding in a closet and praying to control the urges. The many years that Elsa spent in her room, locked away from her sister and the rest of the kingdom, absolutely resembles the misery of the closet.
Fast forward several years later. The royal couple is lost at sea, and Elsa--being the eldest princess--is crowned as the new queen. Although she is afraid of revealing her ability, she wears gloves during the coronation to control the powers from coming out of her hands. During the reception, however, she gets into an argument with Anna, and her power comes out in a fit of rage. Now that the entire kingdom knows her secret, Elsa flees the kingdom in a panic, unknowingly leaving all of Arendelle in a constant state of winter.
It is in the wilderness that she finally accepts and embraces her power. She then builds a castle for herself out of ice. And we get this absolutely beautiful song. If you don't watch anything else in this diary, watch this and listen to the lyrics.
Watching and listening to this song, I couldn't help but think of the way I "fled" my small town and moved to the nearest large city for college, where my world just completely opened up and I realized that there was nothing wrong with me. Much like Elsa, I burst out of my bubble and embraced my new identity with open arms, and while I didn't build my own castle, perhaps I did go a bit overboard. I think it was at this point in the movie that I leaned over to my boyfriend and said, "This is totally about coming out, isn't it?" If I was a young LGBT kid watching Frozen, "Let It Go" would definitely be my anthem.
Without giving away too much more of the film, the rest of the plot involves Anna tracking down Elsa to convince her to come back to the kingdom, remove the curse of winter, and be accepted by Arendelle. But, if we're talking about homosexuality, we can't forget that there is at least one more overt reference to the subject when Anna comes across a lodge run by an apparent gay family. Even without the gay family, though, Frozen's overall plot can be found in any number of gay indie films on Netflix.
This is not to say that Skaggs is right that there is a "homosexual agenda" (again, whatever the hell that means) associated with Frozen. Remember, I'm a queer viewer, and I watched the film through a queer lens influenced by my own life experiences. Same for my boyfriend. Same for a few others I've discussed this film with. I'm not saying that Frozen is a gay film intentionally produced as such by Disney. Indeed, the story told by Frozen can relate to any number of people who know what it is like to be "different" and to be on the fringes of the mainstream, not simply LGBT people. There is also a feminist message to be taken from the film, as tmservo433's diary on the subject highlights:
Disney gets a lot of flack for it's portrayal of female characters, which is sometimes deserved, sometimes not. Disney has had a few powerful female characters, and more than a few who aren't, but people tend to remember those who aren't, because of the portrayals of body type and the basic storyline: Girl Meets Boy, Girl Loves Boy, Boy falls in love with girl.The people who do not detect a queer subtext in the film are not necessarily wrong--they simply have not had the same experiences that I have had and are approaching the film from a different perspective. But if this mid-twenties out gay guy took it away from the film, there is little doubt that its uplifting message will get through to some LGBT youth who really need it. Whether or not Disney had an LGBT audience in mind, that's what really matters.
Disney's Frozen, however, goes in a completely different direction. While fans of the original work 'The Snow Queen' may view this as a terrible adaptation - I don't find it an adaptation in any way, more an 'inspired by' as it is significantly different in almost every way - but it stands out as a break from most of the Disney norms with an absolutely non-Disney ending.
The film builds and takes on a lot of stereotypes of previous Disney films - the silliness of finding 'true love' right away is debunked, the fact that people aren't perfect and we are all flawed, finding strength in who we are, and that 'true love' doesn't mean you need an guy to ride in on a horse, and sometimes those who truly love you are family members.
Ultimately, the message of Frozen is accepting oneself and others. And who can argue with that? (Don't answer that.)