A lot of people are confused about how squash-and-stretch works in animation. It’s very simple! They are just exaggerated frames in-between the “alpha frames” that makes very subtle enhancements to the animation, thus creating the beautiful flowing movement in the animated gif we see above. This technique was perfected by Glenjamin Keen Disney
Hey remember how Kuzco rejected all his prospective wives and then spent the entire movie hanging out with another dude, at one point dressing in drag and pretending to be that other dude’s wife, and no one in the mainstream media had a freakout
but MERIDA likes shooting arrows doesn’t have a fiance so gosh Pixar must have a Gay Agenda u guyz
So lately I’ve seen a lot of posts about Frozen, the upcoming Disney film, on my dash.
I’ve seen a lot of complaints about how it’s yet another Disney film with white main characters. And, unbelievably, I’ve seen a lot of people coming up with shit like, “It takes place in the north, that means the characters have to be white and blond,” or, even more embarrassingly, “It’s a Scandinavian story, it would be rude to replace the white characters with POC.”
Which, just, what the fuck.
Hello, I’m white and blonde and Nordic. (Not Scandinavian, because I’m from Finland, not that most of you will know the difference so w/e.)
I will say this as many times as it needs to be said: I am not underrepresented in Western media. You do not need to defend the right of white Northern Europeans to be represented in a Disney film.
A lot of people have brought up the Saami people in this debate, reminding people that there are indigenous POC in Europe. I don’t claim to speak for the Saami people, because I’m very much not entitled to do that, but I will say this, because I’ve gone through the Finnish school system so I might know a bit more than most non-Finns:
The Saami are one of the few remaining indigenous peoples of Europe. Traditionally, they live in the northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and Russia, but many have of course migrated south to the larger cities. They used to live in more southern parts of what is now Finland, but were forced to migrate north with the arrival of a people who were to become Finns.
The Saami people have been oppressed for centuries. Their children were forced to learn Swedish or Finnish, they were forcefully converted to Christianity, their lands were taken from them. (Especially land-ownership was and continues to be an issue in Finland, what with some of the Saami people still making a living from reindeer-herding.) The Saami have suffered a very similar fate as most indigenous peoples in the world, and it’s something that is still not discussed enough.
During the past decades, there has been a revival of the Saami culture, but a lot of people still don’t respect their culture or their traditions, and their representation in Parliament is severely lacking. Their languages are not being supported enough either, with just a couple of TV programmes and radio channels available in the Saami languages, and a scant few actually studying all the way through high school in their mother tongue (most switch to Finnish-speaking schools along the way). I can’t speak for the other Nordic countries, but I’m pretty sure that things can only be marginally better elsewhere. I think Norway and Sweden are dealing with this a bit better than Finland, but Russia is not exactly known for its great treatment of the rights of minorities.
To sum it all up: in Finland (and in other Nordic countries), the Saami people have been harshly ridiculed and brutally oppressed and treated as an “exotic” and inferior people, and there is no way you could ever think that white Scandinavians need more representation than any of the oppressed minorities of indigenous peoples in Europe.
Someone already pointed out that most folk tales are stories found in many cultures, and we can be pretty sure that Hans Christian Andersen did not come up with the Snow Queen all on his own. Stories get taken over and modified all the time, and Disney has already displayed serious proficiency in this.
Another key fact: the artwork I’ve seen for Frozen so far displays seriously arctic landscapes. Like, you would not find that in Denmark. Or here in Helsinki. Or even up in Lapland. You’d have to go all the way to the North Sea to find anything remotely resembling that. And I can guarantee that most of the people you’ll find living there will not be white and blond.
It’s Disney, for crying out loud. They take liberties with everything. Saying that they have to stick to showing people who look like your typical Scandinavian stereotypes is ridiculous, and also kind of sad. As a white European, I don’t need you to stand up for me when it comes to this. You are not doing me a favour with your thoughts for us poor “oppressed” Nordic people.
In fact, I’m pretty sure that most Finns (and Nordic people in general) don’t think about the Saami people and don’t understand their history and the things they have gone through. We’re pretty educated up here, so you’ll find a lot of people with a lot of sympathy for Native Americans or Aboriginal Australians, yet they might not know much about the Saami and might not be aware of the slow suffocation of their culture that has been going on for centuries. History books and society in general likes to turn a blind eye, because we Finns are used to thinking of ourselves as the oppressed underdog, not as the oppressor.
I’m not saying Disney is the answer to everything, but the people calling Disney out for yet another set of white, blond main characters have a point. A Disney film with Saami characters would make it big in the Nordic countries, and would force us to face the truth about our own mistakes. It could rekindle the discussion that we desperately need to have.