Disney movies are pro-homo, gender-bending, and encourage female manipulation of males

23 Apr

The leftists at the Atlantic confirm what we’ve long known…

By preaching acceptance and questioning gender, the company’s kids films offer a queer-studies crash course.

Indeed… The article goes into quite a bit of detail.

The culture warriors have decided: Disney’s Frozen is queer. 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. 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.

Yeah, real accepting of us traditionalists {/sarcasm}… But I digress.

queer kids could identify with Disney protagonists, who are usually outcasts set apart from society by some innate desire (usually indicated by an “I want” song that details whatever dream that particular character is pining to attain). Ariel (The Little Mermaid) wanted to be part of another world, the townspeople think Belle (Beauty and the Beast) is “a funny girl … different from the rest of us” and Pocahontas (Pocahontas) does not want to be steady as the beating drum. This marks the Disney protagonist as odd, unusual, queer. Even classic Disney films featured these archetypes. Initially mocked by his peers, Dumbo (Dumbo“comes out” and waves his freak flag after hallucinating pink elephants and learning to fly. Pinocchio (Pinocchio) 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. Indeed, many Disney romances are examples of “impossible desire,” a trope that is crucial to the queer experience, as gender-studies theorist Heather Love argued in Feeling Backward. It was impossible for Ariel to be with Eric unless she became human, or for Belle to be with the Beast unless he became human, or for Aladdin to be with Jasmine unless he became a prince, or for Pocahontas to be with John Smith unless she left her people.

But wait – there’s also gender-bending and manipulation of men!

In the seminal Gender Trouble, Judith Butler pointed out how gender was in part performance-based, a fact that Disney has often depicted with cross-dressing and gender subversion. The company’s animators cite the drag performer Divine as the inspiration for Ursula in The Little Mermaid. Just as Divine was cast in Pink Flamingos 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. She encourages Ariel to use her body to lure the prince, and her magic not only gives the mermaid legs but also (presumably) a sexual organ, as Ariel emerges from the sea completely naked and must be covered up. In another instance of gender bending, the Genie in Aladdin shapeshifts into many characters, including female ones, and even dons feminine clothes and underwear at different points in the film. Indeed, Aladdin’s romance with Jasmine is much less developed than his friendship with the genie, and his decision to free the genie provides the movie’s poignant climax. 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: Mulan, where the protagonist disguises herself as a male soldier. When the soldiers later dress themselves as courtesans so they can sneak into the palace, the film completes its theme of gender as performance, with women pretending to be men and men pretending to be women. Mulan’s “I Want” song also plays like an anthem for kids born into the wrong gendered body—“When will my reflection show who I am inside?”—and intriguingly, the film insinuates that her male captain fell in love with her while she was masquerading as a man.


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. You don’t need to be up on your queer theory or buy into the “It Gets Better” campaign to understand why any of this matters. Through conventional happy endings for outcasts and oddballs, Disney films let every child know that it’s ok to be different.

The best subversion is carried out right under people’s noses; most people are idiots, and thus fail to recognize it for what it is, and the few who do can be easily marginalized as kill-joy paranoid quacks.


24 responses to “Disney movies are pro-homo, gender-bending, and encourage female manipulation of males

  1. astolfvonalabama

    April 23, 2014 at 5:56 pm

    I wonder if the author at the Atlantic thinks it was a homosexual subtext in Greek mythology when Achilles or Heracles have to cross dress, considering that the Greeks were entirely open about homosexuality in other parts of the same myths.

  2. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    He’d be a fool if he did, then, given that an open, clear bias cannot be considered any sort of ‘subtext’…

  3. astolfvonalabama

    April 23, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    I agree! My first response was rather pithy, just aimed at how cultural Marxists constantly re-interpret anything and everything to make their statement of this or that moment.
    A more important point: I’d argue that there is an open, clear bias on the part of (modern) Disney films against Gender Roles, Paternal Authority, Religious Authority and Tradition in general. They are explicitly Progressive, the pro-homosexual interpretation may be right or wrong, but even if it is wrong, the films are still a destructive force sending the wrong messages about much more than just homosexuality.

  4. Davis M.J. Aurini

    April 23, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    My bigger issue with Disney is the rebellious daughter. Re-watched Aladdin recently, and was blown away by Princess Privilege complaining about being a poor, little, rich girl (in medieval times? Seriously? Count your blessings, sweetheart), while her father was painted as a buffoon.

    I figure they peaked with Beauty and the Beast; you can point to some BS in that movie, but the extent of the characters’ development over-rules that in my opinion.

  5. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:27 pm

    @ astolfvonalabama: Their bias is readily apparent to keen observers, those of us who are wise to the ways of the cultural Marxists, but do you think the average North American realizes the extent of the subversion? I’d certainly hope so, but I’m not so confident such is the case.

    @ Aurini: Yes, they really do glamourize female rebelliousness and female manipulation; it’s revolting…

  6. Cranberry

    April 23, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    Hated Frozen, had little to nothing to do with the original Andersen tales, which are beautiful testaments to the power of love. In a casual conversation I tried to explain it to my sister; she says I’m overthinking things.
    Aurini, agreed Belle is a dutiful and self-sacrificing character who believes in her father and the Beast, and brings out the best in them both.

    I thought the recent take on Rapunzel was pretty good. Alright, I really enjoyed Tangled. Rapunzel is rightfully rebellious, even if she doesn’t understand the reasons why she wants to escape. Her witch-mother cares only for the power of her hair and weaves an elaborate lie to keep Rapunzel safe. Her innocence and charm draw people to her, to fight for her. Worst part? The end where she gets the chop and a short shag do to symbolize her new found independence (not that I can talk, having recently sacrificed 3″ of my own hair for the sake of healthy growth, insert sad face).

    The Pixar entries into the Disney canon have been more enjoyable and perhaps less perniciously fagala than the fairy-tale take offs. Aside from Andy’s Missing Dad in the Toy Story series.

  7. Cranberry

    April 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    RE: female manipulation, it’s a theme that runs through classical literature. But instead of winning in the end, the manipulative b**** gets comeuppance. Or kills herself. Or is banished. Or buried alive. Choose your own miserable ending, some uppity woman has received it as punishment in one fairy tale or another.

    UNLESS she realizes her faults and overcomes them, AND shows appropriate humility and gives due respect to the one(s) she wronged.

    When Disney does morality plays, being a girl means never having to say you’re sorry.

  8. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    I’ve seen some Pixar stuff, but other than that, it’s been some years since I’ve seen anything by Disney, far as I can recall…

  9. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Exactly, Cranberry; I have no issue with depicting female manipulativeness, or any other vice; I have a big issue with not having a moralistic ending to such a tale, where someone gets what’s coming to him / her for behaving wicked, or gets to repent, or anything other than endorsing it.

    I mean, traditional folk music, like the Irish ‘Whiskey in the Jar’ about a highway robber who ends up in prison, usually contains a moral, and tends to avoid celebrating outright evil. Not always, of course, but often…

    Disney’s take is awful, almost always…

  10. Cranberry

    April 23, 2014 at 9:13 pm

    What is it they say? The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing people he didn’t exist? Disney does the same, convincing people they are wholesome entertainment for children.

    Not at all. I do let the kids watch some TV now and then. They are too small to help with everything I do so when I MUST get dinner on the table and can’t spare an eye to watch them or read a story and not trip over my littlest one, they can watch a videotaped cartoon or two. Sometimes its a Disney Junior cartoon. They’re not too bad, all commercial-free programming with nice characters. Mostly. Special Agent Oso and Sofia the First are terrible thematically and plot-wise (we never watch them). And Sofia the First, her backstory is: only child of a poor single mother whom married the….KING! and Sofia gets insta-royalty and magic powers, to boot. There’s some major ego-stroking and hamsterbation right there for you.

    Oh, sorry, I could go on about this because it’s a subject of great import to parents but no one in my circle cares so I just blacklist most programs and get the kids outside often, easier now with Spring finally making itself known around here.

    Vigilant Citizen did a roundup on Disney’s tween programming. You want some Grade A crap? They’ve got 9 different shows worth for you!

  11. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    I agree, Cranberry; the Atlantic writer details the subtleness of the subversiveness of many Disney movies. They know exactly what they’re doing. And wholesome, they generally are not, by and large – or rather, are too much of a mix of wholesome and evil.

  12. Eric

    April 23, 2014 at 9:47 pm

    Disney’s really sunk, like the rest of American culture. Back in our parents’ generation, it would have been impossible to be gay when you were looking at Annette Funicello on a regular basis! lol

  13. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Ha! 🙂

    {Sigh} The good old days…

    Maybe they weren’t always good, but they were better than now – and contra Billy Joel, tomorrow will be as bad as it seems, if not worse…

  14. Novaseeker

    April 23, 2014 at 11:20 pm

    Look at the fruit. Spears. Lohan. Cyrus.

    The next one is Bella Thorne.

    It’s like sitting on the 405 in LA and watching the planes come into LAX … on a clear night you can see them, one after the other.

  15. Will S.

    April 23, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    Hey, didn’t you forget Vanessa Hudgens? 😉

    Yep; that alone, tells you all you need to know about Disney.

  16. Dalphon

    April 24, 2014 at 3:15 am

    I’m game to be persuaded, and I can’t bear to read all of this (I skimmed the second half). But the first paragraph quoted does not move or impress me.

    What I read here is that Disney is pro-homo because there are themes like inclusion and exclusion, alienation, fitting in, shame, fate and choice, nature and circumstance and nurture, blah blah on and on.

    But if that is the point, it sounds like baloney to me. It’s just rhetoric to say any of this stuff is homo issues, when it is human issues. Powerlessness, ostracism, again on-and-on it goes, these themes are relevant to gobs of people and homos have zero exclusive claim on it, and a claim that they do is just agitprop baloney.

    Now if Disney is riding along with a modern-day leftist-prog-homo-etc. agenda, I find that perfectly believable. But that long paragraph about the “metaphor” of the movie, it’s just tiresome. Not to you Will, but to the Atlantic, I say, “spare me.” What a waste of my time.

    Again–that’s not to say Disney isn’t all-in on the homo message like every other mainstream political rider of our day. It’s not to say Disney isn’t subversive. It’s just, these arguments here that I read are poppycock. It’s like when people used to say to me any building over 10 stories was “phallic.”

    ***The attempted subversion demonstrated here isn’t Disney, it’s the Atlantic.***

    If I’m wrong I am open to correction. I am not defending Disney here. I’m trying to call out the Atlantic’s screed for what it appears to be.

    For all I know Disney could have commissioned this claptrap to “retroactively” attribute today’s hot fads (homos, female power) to their old movies. See? We were always pro-homo! We were always for/against the war!

  17. Will S.

    April 24, 2014 at 6:59 am

    Welcome to Patriactionary, Dalphon!

    I see what you’re saying; that the writer is trying to hard, and trying to claim for the gay cause, that which Disney never intended.

    Fair enough; I can especially see that being the case with Disney’s older stuff, which predates the time of progs aggressive promotion of homosexuality, which only goes back a couple decades, really; early 90s onwards, late 80s, at the most (when AIDS began to kill large numbers of gays, and they started demanding social acceptance as well as funding for research into cures and controls for the disease).

    But I do think that, as with many institutions in contemporary times, they are certainly now fully on board.

    I’m convinced though that as regards sex-role subversion, Disney’s subversiveness isn’t only contemporary; that the examples cited are realistic, even for the older ones.

  18. Will S.

    April 24, 2014 at 10:25 am

    I do agree that the Atlantic is highly biased in favour of the prog agenda, and that that could influence their perception of Disney’s work, seeing it through the lens of their worldview…

  19. Dalphon

    April 26, 2014 at 12:55 am

    I agree on the observation of sex-role subversion. I couldn’t bear to read so far in it to get to that part.

  20. Will S.

    April 26, 2014 at 5:26 am


  21. Dalphon

    May 15, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Recommend this by J. Donald.

    Summary: “Frozen” is not even much feminist, though feminist-cheerers claim it is.

    Which is right up the alley of my own point though I never got around to reading a thing about the movie myself.

    I think these guys would take you-name-it, Birth of A Nation, or Apocalypse Now, or Oklahoma!, and say “really, in fact this movie is feminist” (or pro-homo, whatever they are pushing).

    In other words, these people make it about them, claim it’s about them, claim it supports them. That’s the nature of the baloney at hand here, is my impression.

    Would never trust a rag like Atlantic or Time etc. to tell me what a movie “means” or “is about.” Would not feel threatened if they told me my favorite movie was “feminist.” It’s like a revisionism attempt on their part. My reply to them: “yeah, right. And I am Marie of Romania.”

    Still agree with your observation on inferior male-female roles. That’s a broad cultural problem. Jim observes, the movie does suffer from that, as usual. As do most movies, tv shows, tv commercials, etc. Most contemporary male-female relationship depictions. Cheers and thanks for your blog.

  22. Will S.

    May 15, 2014 at 7:56 am

    Thanks for the link.

    Yes, I realize the Atlantic frequently tries to spin stuff. It’s too bad; the Atlantic actually used to be a quality liberal magazine, back in the day, one well worth reading (I mean the print edition, a couple decades back). While I still like some of the non- or less- political parts of the online magazine (I don’t read the print version any more), like the photography feature In Focus, it’s gone way downhill ever since Ta-Nehisi Coates became editor. Endless prog griping about racism / sexism / homophobia and/or crowing over victories over racism / sexism / homophobia.