Subliminal Messages Disney Movies Essay

The company’s animators cite the drag performer Divine as the inspiration for Ursula in because “society saw [drag characters] as perverts so they decided to revel in their status,” so too Ursula is marked a pervert by introducing sex to a children’s animated film.

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Robin Williams's character even acknowledges the queer undercurrent: “I’m getting kinda fond of you kid …

not that I want to pick out curtains or anything.”Another obvious example: , where the protagonist disguises herself as a male soldier.

Thirdly, there is “growth by animals” where pets reflect the inner lives of their queer masters.

Certainly this last conceit is all over the Disney canon, where aside from the obvious anthropomorphism of films like there are also lots of animal sidekicks reflecting the emotions of their masters in films about human protagonists.

First there is “growing sideways”—children who in physical ways signify that they're different—which Disney has depicted through Pinocchio’s nose, Dumbo’s ears, and Rapunzel’s hair.

Secondly there is “delayed growth” as seen in cannot grow until the spell is broken and they become human again, and Quasimodo and Rapunzel have been locked away in towers all their lives, precluding adult socialization.Jiminy Cricket represents Pinocchio’s conscience, Ariel’s pet fish reflects her joy or sorrow, and even villains get their own vicarious pets, like Iago parroting Jafar’s evil.Thus, Disney films have been both traditional and subversive, serving wholesome princess stories to a largely hetero-normative global audience while also subtly appealing to queer children.But the most remarkable thing about queer readings of the film may be how unremarkable they really are.Through both its corporate practices and the content of its films, Disney for decades has implemented the so-called "gay agenda"—which is to say, helping make the world a more accepting place.Ariel () reflects queer anxiety since he doesn’t know how to act like “a real boy,” and he thinks performing masculinity through smoking, cursing, and misbehaving will earn his father’s love.Then there’s the fact that Disney protagonists often reject traditional marriage partners.Ariel wants to marry a human against her father’s wishes, Belle rejects Gaston’s proposal in front of the whole town, Jasmine refuses to marry the sultan’s suitors, Pocahontas refuses to marry a tribal warrior, and Mulan rejects conventional matchmaking.In this way, even though Disney films usually offer a traditional happy ending with a heterosexual marriage, the journey always involves rejecting parental and societal expectations, and exercising a “freedom to marry whomever you love” spirit that is endemic to gay rights. Elsa hiding her ice-powers could be read as a metaphor for the closet, the Oscar-winning “Let it Go” plays like a coming-out anthem, and a character in the film evokes the question of whether homosexuality is a choice by inquiring of Elsa’s powers, “born with it or cursed?” Some liberals have praised the film for its subtext; some conservatives have denounced it.


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