Angry Disney Fans Create Their Own Ethnic Princess After Latest Film Features Another ‘Generic’ White Female
Sadie Whitelocks, Daily Mail (London), July 2, 2013
Disney’s newest Caucasian female lead has been given an ethnic makeover by critics angered by her ‘generic’ appearance.
Elsa the Snow Queen, who stars in this fall’s fantasy-comedy animation Frozen, sports porcelain skin, long blonde hair, glassy blue eyes and a Princess-like sparkling gown.
But in a bid to highlight Disney’s lack of racial diversity Tumblr users have re-imagined the character as Tibetan, Mongolian, black and Inuit under the url and hashtag This Could Have Been Frozen.
Rachel McGuffin decided to redesign the Frozen film poster to show Elsa with dark skin.
She explained: ‘I was feeling rather hopeless about Disney’s whitewashing the past Princesses so I went ahead an racebent their future white characters.’
Meanwhile a Tumblr user under the name Spesiria, put forward a Mongolian-style Snow Queen as an alternative to the traditional image.
She is seen with dark skin and black hair wearing traditional dress consisting of a purple hat, a long caftan-like garment, sash, belt and boots.
The image is captioned: ‘Honestly, the concept art that I’ve seen of the Snow Queen disappoints me the most . . . When you Google image search “snow queen” (or “ice queen”), all you’ll see are those exact same designs.
‘There’s awfully little out of the box thinking going on here, Disney (oh how easily the genericness could have been avoided had they chosen a different setting).’
Another artist, Madi The Freckled, also imagined the Snow Queen in another setting – ‘Greenland during the 1940s’.
The fictional character is pictured in Inuit dress – skins, furs and sturdy boots – with a trusty dog as her companion.
And Heysawbones decided to set the tale in Tibet and cast the Snow Queen in traditional ‘Tibetan garb [which] can be very colorful! And pattern-y!’
Commenting on the collection of artwork, le-frenchzombie wrote that the ‘objective of this project is to raise awareness at the lack of representation of different cultures in Disney movies, or just animated movies in general.’
He continued: ‘Obviously since the 90s Disney has given numerous characters of colour and introduced stories that represent different countries and cultures, but the majority of their movies are still very European or American based.’
A 2009 study from the University of Central Florida in Orlando looked at the impact of animated characters on young girls’ self-image.
After watching clips of cartoon characters who were princesses, many of the girls involved in the research aged three to six, reported that they would need to change their hair color, clothes and skin color.
Frozen is loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen. It will be the 53rd animated feature in the Walt Disney Animated Classics series.
It will also feature the twelfth Disney princess, Anna the Ice Princess, who is brought to life with vocals provided by actress Kristen Bell.
The film is currently scheduled to be released on November 27, 2013 in the U.S..
Of the canon 12 Disney Princesses in the brand, including Anna from Frozen, eight are white.