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Frozen Fans Want Disney to Give Elsa a Girlfriend

Meanwhile, Marvel’s sister franchise Disney Animation is getting petitioned by fans who want Frozen‘s Elsa to get a girlfriend in the sequel. Alexis Isabel Moncada got the ball rolling on Twitter a few days ago.

Others on Twitter quickly joined in.

The Frozen team sounds well aware of the power they have to influence young minds. Co-director Chris Buck said as much last year, shortly after the sequel was officially announced:

We have two very strong female leads in Frozen. We will keep that going in the next one. We will tackle other issues that, I think, are out there today that boys and girls, men and women, are dealing with.

I think we’re very aware of what is happening in society. I don’t think any of us take [them] lightly, even though they can be very funny and entertaining, the messages that our movies have and the influence they can have on young people. When the kids [watch] them, they watch them over and over again, and if we don’t have a decent message in there, I think we’ve missed an opportunity.

Buck is being understandably vague about exactly what kinds of “issues” and “messages” Frozen 2 will tackle, but it’d be great if the future of Arendelle involved canon LGBT characters. A lot of fans (and some detractors) have already read gay subtext into the movie. Elsa’s signature song “Let It Go” plays like a coming-out anthem, and the minor character Oaken (the trading shop proprietor) may or may not have a husband. A sequel seems like a golden opportunity for Disney Animation to double down on its themes of love and self-acceptance by featuring actual LGBT characters — though of course we wouldn’t mind if Moana or Gigantic beat Frozen 2 to the punch.

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Disney Should Take the Lead on LGBT Inclusion

To be sure, Disney’s not the only studio with this glaring blind spot, and their movies aren’t the only ones mysteriously devoid of LGBT characters. Of the seven studios analyzed by GLAAD, four got “Adequate” ratings and three (including Disney) got “Failing” grades. None were rated “Good” or “Excellent.” Nor is Disney the only studio that decided not to feature any gay characters at all in 2015 — none of Paramount’s 12 films did either.

Not that we really needed these numbers to tell us this story. Warner Bros.’ DC Extended Universe and Sony’s last two Spider-Man reboots haven’t been much better than Disney’s MCU about highlighting LGBT characters. 20th Century Fox’s X-Men franchise has lots of intentional gay subtext but no obviously gay characters; Deadpool might be pansexual offscreen but came across as totally heterosexual onscreen. Universal’s Fast and Furious leads come from all over the ethnic rainbow but are, as far as we can tell, all stubbornly straight and cisgender. Ditto Paramount’s Star Trek and Mission: Impossible series. And so on.

But as the studio behind some of the biggest franchises in Hollywood (Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, Disney Animation, all those live-action fairy tales, etc.) Disney is naturally going to attract a lot of scrutiny. Which puts them in a position to lead the industry into a more inclusive era, if they choose to do so.

As the quotes above indicate, the people running their flagship franchises know how to talk a good pro-LGBT game. The fans are loudly clamoring for more LGBT heroes. And the larger Disney corporation has a pattern of supporting LGBT rights. Just recently, for example, the studio threatened to boycott the state of Georgia over an anti-gay bill. Now what’s left is for this studio to take the next step, and actually start including LGBT characters in their stories.

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