… Oh great, Disney is going to straight up bastardize another Andersen story.
Have I ever mentioned how much I adore Andersen stories and how much I research them? Have I ever mentioned that The Little Mermaid is an incredibly loose adaptation of the original Andersen Story?
Well, this version of The Snow Queen makes Disney’s The Little Mermaid look like a sincere retelling.
I’m not even upset that she looks like Rapunzel. I don’t give a rat’s ass about the character designs anymore because Disney’s graduated from sipping that Koolaid to straight up swigging bleach when it comes to their characters.
THE AMAZING THING ABOUT THE SNOW QUEEN STORY IS THAT IT IS ABOUT A LITTLE GIRL NAMED GERDA WHO GOES ON AN INCREDIBLY HARROWING ADVENTURE TO RESCUE A LITTLE BOY. AND SHE MAKES THIS DECISION ON HER OWN. AND SHE FIGHTS AWAY THE PEOPLE WHO TRY TO HOLD HER BACK. GERDA IS A KICKASS LITTLE GIRL.
BUT NO. DISNEY CAN’T HAVE THAT. ONLY LITTLE BOYS FILL THEATRE SEATS, WAAAAHHH WAAAAHHH WAAAAAHHHHHH.
Disney is SO averse to having a willful, female hero WITH TOTAL AGENCY, who ISN’T under the thumb of her parent or some idiot GUY, that they’re going to GUT a PERFECTLY GOOD STORY to make the damn thing more marketable. Take a cue from Miyazaki - girl heroes can SELL.
I am 5000% done with Disney.
From the Disney Wiki:
On March 5, 2012, author Eric Eisenburg reported the original details about Frozen: “The story is based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen and is about an evil queen who kidnaps a young boy named Kai. Following his disappearance, a young girl named Gerda goes on an adventure to save him.”
On July 29, 2012, a new story plot was given by The Walt Disney Animation Studios: “When Anna is cursed by her estranged sister, the cold-hearted Snow Queen, Anna’s only hope of reversing the curse is to survive a perilous but thrilling journey across an icy and unforgiving landscape. Joined by a rugged, thrill-seeking outdoorsman, his one-antlered reindeer and a hapless snowman, Anna must race against time, conquer the elements and battle an army of menacing snowmen if she ever hopes to melt her frozen heart.”
What gets me is how blatant the marketing change is for this one.
It’s upsetting that Disney is taking this approach with their present films, because the most celebrated part of Disney’s legacy—the Disney Renaissance—was built on stories about coming-of-age stories about girls with full agency. They were marketted as “family films,” never “princess/girl films.”
Actually, I remember in the Making Of segments of The Little Mermaid (the first of the Disney Renaissance classic films), there was a portion where the studio of animators were told not to get their hopes up, that it was a “girl movie” and “girl movies never do well.” …And, of course, the movie made bank, and the rest is history.
Even knowing this, even knowing it’s what made them the juggernaut they are today, they still feel like if they don’t shallowly appeal to boys they’ll fail? Really?
One of my male cousins adored The Little Mermaid as a child. Honestly, pretty much all of the “princess” films can appeal to everyone. I hate how the male demographic is all that Disney’s worried about nowadays. It drives me mad.