Reconstruction Through Deconstruction: Frozen and the New Disney Princess

It was only a few months ago that Frozen, the latest Disney Princess movie, was the subject of some controversy when one of the lead animators said some seemingly sexist things about designing female characters. This led to a fair amount of distress for feminists and other not-sexist fans of Disney animated films… which is ironic because Frozen is, in the opinion of this straight white male, quite possibly the most feminist Disney Princess movie ever. And if you’d like me to illustrate why, please follow me past the jump (fair warning, there be SPOILERS).

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Everybody Calm Down About the “Noah” Trailer

Alright, first off I’d like to apologize for my absence the last couple of weeks. There’s no particular reason for it, I just got all lethargic-like and wasn’t getting any writing done. The most positive part is that I spent my free time watching movies instead of doing this, which I think is a fair trade-off.

Secondly, and much more importantly: the Noah trailer dropped yesterday. Darren Aronofsky’s next movie (and one of my most anticipated of 2014) has seemed like a big risk from the get-go, and now we’ve finally gotten a glimpse of it and reaction has been… muted, to say the least. io9 called it “Ye Olde Day After Tomorrow.” Drew McWeeny said it looked like “noisy blockbuster fare.” Devin Faraci called it “a pixelpit of meaningless proportions.” And I am here right now to say CALM THE FUCK DOWN.

Let’s be honest here: does the trailer look amazing? Not particularly. But it also doesn’t look bad; more than anything it looks a little broad and anonymous (which admittedly is the worst artistic sin possible). But let’s also be realistic about this. Noah is a $130 million movie for Paramount. Do you really think they would try and sell it with the sort of weird WTF moments that you’d expect from an Aronofsky fantasy movie? Of course not! They want as many asses in the seats as possible, and by traditional Hollywood wisdom you can’t get a big crowd with something like The Fountain (which is the best-case comparison for Noah I’d suspect). At the end of the day, this is a trailer, and trailers can be cut to make a movie look like anything. And considering the number of times you’ve seen awesome trailers for shitty movies, I’d think it’s possible to believe that a great movie can have a lame trailer.

Having said that, is it possible that Paramount is going to cut the hell out of the movie to make it match what’s in the trailer? Absolutely, and that would be a shame (at least until Aronofsky’s director’s cut hits Blu-ray and it achieves Kingdom of Heaven levels of redemption). But it is just as likely that all of the six-armed angels and other crazy bullshit that Aronofsky has planned is just being hidden from the disapproving religious audiences that Paramount is hoping will turn out for opening day? I definitely think so, and for now I’m just going to stay excited for Noah until the credits roll and I can form a real opinion.