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I'm going to make an assumption that the new film by Disney hasn't escaped your notice.

Frozen? Based – heavy on the air quotes – on Hans Christian Andersen’s Snow Queen?

Am I the only one who missed that memo and thought it was a film about a funny snowman?

I'm guessing so.

There is no way on earth I would have taken the girls to see the film if I had known it was a film with not one, but TWO Disney Princesses in it. If they hadn't both fallen fast asleep by the end of the opening number I would have beaten a hasty retreat, but instead, trapped under a sleeping baby, and propping up a sleeping toddler, I was left alone in cinematic hell.

There are many, MANY places you can go and read debate on whether Frozen is a piece of feminist subversion, or whether Disney just did a James Cameron/Titanic style hatchet job on their source material.

I like this review which builds to following heady conclusion:
“But is Frozen the first feminist Disney movie? Perhaps it's more accurate to call it a step in the right direction of the first feminist princess Disney movie”
Of course it is! Because after 91 years, an organisation with the vast resources of Disney must still be finding it so hard to make inroads into the tricky subject of how to depict women. How do we function in the dark when we don’t actually have eyes as big as owls? Can we bend in the middle with such thick waists? Are we virgins? Are we whores? Or are we a combination of the two? Oooooh controversial!!

I will admit that when Elsa first “came out” in her big number I was mentally penning a letter to Disney from “Outraged of Wellington” on behalf of my sleeping children.

(c) Disney 2013
Luckily for the sensibilities of the Disney post room, the song was early enough in the film that I had time to reflect, and realise that actually, this shedding of her childhood chrysalis was timely, and represented a strong message to girls about owning their sexuality. I'm all for that message, every step of the way. I hope my daughters own the shit out of their sexuality, when they are old enough, and that my son respects women who do.

So good job Disney, +10 points for you.

The big steaming pile of caveat to that statement, is the fact that - once again -sexuality has to come in the same impossible package. It’s all very well telling a child to love themselves for who they are, but not if the subtitle to that statement reads “as long as “yourself” involves a tiny waist, huge eyes, a stunning singing voice, and big swooshy hair”.

Dammit Disney, you were so close!

Also, I'm pretty sure there is no royalty in my family tree, so the lives of Elsa and Anna have pretty much zero relevance to the ones my daughters will lead. Our house, while extremely comfortable, is not a palace. Our social gatherings, while fascinating, are not balls. My children will not lead a life devoid of meaningful employment, so why is it that Disney once again chooses to take the easy route and remove social context from their story?

My daughters don’t need to be told that Princesses come in impossible shapes: We’re British, we have Kate Middleton. My children need to know that they live in an imperfect world, with imperfect people of different shapes, who can STILL find ways to be happy.

They need Lilo and Stitch.

(c) Disney

There’s your true story of familial love and sacrifice. THERE’S your strong female character.

If you want to template a formula, Disney, template THAT.


  1. Lilo & Stitch was on tv Easter weekend and I gave it a viewing, it was great. Haven't seen Frozen though, doesn't reach out and grab me. I've always been interested in what's out there both to watch & read for children, and even more so now I'm an Aunty twice over.

    1. Unfortunately Frozen has invaded my house in the worst way. It is literally on every single day at the moment which is making my brain hurt. But then so it is with all films, they watch them to death and then move on. Except Despicable Me, that one doesn't ever get old apparently.

  2. Have they seen Despicable Me 2?

    1. Do bears poop in heavily wooded areas? ;)

  3. There's a great site I frequent called The Dare Wall ;)

    1. I shall be adding that to my favourites. Thank you very much!

  4. AnonymousJuly 24, 2014

    To give Frozen/Disney their due, it does finally disapprove of marrying someone you just met!
    Sure took them long enough to get that message out.

    1. You are absolutely right - and it also finally disapproves of the idea what someone who has the "right title" is by default a person worth marrying. Slow progress, but progress all the same!


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