Hilarious Fake Frozen Trailer Deconstructs Disney’s Message About Men

Part of this hilarious fake trailer for Disney’s blockbuster movie Frozen is an amusing critique of the current trend in girl-power narratives from the land of Mickey Mouse. I’m all for girls learning independence and self reliance. Thank god Disney is done telling girls to wait for their prince.

That being said, at about 1:45 minutes in, the folks at Honest Trailers deconstruct the subtext about men (princes and otherwise) in Frozen. Watch it. It may get you thinking how male characters are taking quite a turn both in Frozen and in other Disney girl power flicks like Brave. The princes in that movie were nice but laughable oafs. A new trend perhaps? Princes as motivation for independence?

 

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Comments

  1. Jezebel, one of the sites where you dump your partner if they’re a regular reader.

    Is it me or are most/a lotttt of kids/family movies musicals?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wow, what a stupid video. For one time, there isn’t an evil queen but some mean guys as the antagonists, and INSTANTLY all men are evil? Just wow. #dumbshit

  3. Chrissy says:

    Yes, Disney’s subtext is most definitely “men are expendable and/or evil.” What a brilliant, nuanced take on this piece of SATIRE. What in the world was Disney thinking, including TWO female protagonists!? Sending MORE messages about strong young women? Avert your eyes, young boys, your self-esteem is sure to plummet after seeing this wholesome family film.

    Sorry, but I don’t think you get to make these assertions: “I’m all for girls learning independence and self reliance. Thank god Disney is done telling girls to wait for their prince.” followed by this one: “You’ll rethink the message your boys are getting in the newest blockbuster from Disney.”

    Before criticizing the girl power trend, do some research. You’ll find staggering facts like this one: “Males outnumber females 3 to 1 in family films. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946.” (Source: Geena Davis Institute on Gender in the Media. http://www.seejane.org/research/index.php)

    • QuantumInc says:

      That captures my initial reaction perfectly. I never got the impression that the movie hated on men, or strongly wanted to pigeon hole them, really it promotes a positive message for many men in it’s quasi Hans vs Kristoff love triangle, i.e. that being selflessly caring is more important that rich or charismatic. The movie focuses on the women, but in the context of SO MANY movies that focus on men it’s almost necessary. A lot of the seeming weirdness about the men simply comes from the fact that they’re secondary or tertiary characters; however there are a lot more movies where the same thing happens to the women.

    • Eagle35 says:

      “Yes, Disney’s subtext is most definitely “men are expendable and/or evil.” What a brilliant, nuanced take on this piece of SATIRE. What in the world was Disney thinking, including TWO female protagonists!? Sending MORE messages about strong young women? Avert your eyes, young boys, your self-esteem is sure to plummet after seeing this wholesome family film.”

      Funny how, when its pointed out that all the male characters are portrayed as oafish or baffoons that its SATIRE. But I’ll bet if the female characters were treated less than ideally, you’d be foaming at the mouth and screaming that’s sexist.

      “Sorry, but I don’t think you get to make these assertions: “I’m all for girls learning independence and self reliance. Thank god Disney is done telling girls to wait for their prince.” followed by this one: “You’ll rethink the message your boys are getting in the newest blockbuster from Disney.”

      You’re wrong. We have every right to make these assertions. Just because a story calls for strong, independent female characters doesn’t mean you should treat every male character as less than or stomp all over them in the name of their development.

      “Before criticizing the girl power trend, do some research. You’ll find staggering facts like this one: “Males outnumber females 3 to 1 in family films. Even more staggering is the fact that this ratio, as seen in family films, is the same as it was in 1946.”

      And I’m sure you’ve cited a reputable, unbiased source right?

      Listen Chrisy, this latest trend of girl power is a crock. It’s dressed up too look like a healthy thing but peel away the layers and you’ll find something more insidious: Female characters getting away with hurting or belittling the male supporting characters. That’s something I’m seriously against as someone who was hurt in the past, traumatically, by girls and women as a young lad in addition to boys and men yet find it difficult to heal completely with the former since society is still reluctant to hold girls and women accountable for their ability to hurt and abuse boys and men. The last thing I want is girls and women to get the message that men and boys are viable targets for bullying an abuse.

      And just in case you decide to throw an accusation of sexism and hatred of strong independent female characters period, I’ll cite The Hunger Games Trilogy and Nasicaa Of The Valley Of The Wind Manga series (and the movie adaption) as but a few examples of stories with strong, independent female characters done properly. Why? Because, unlike the current crop of stories targeted at youth, the men and boys are treated as fully fleshed out, three-dimensional characters who get things done on an equal level.

      You can empower women and girls without stepping over the backs of the boys and men in case you didn’t know.

      • A discussion of how male characters are portrayed is not a rejection of how the female characters are portrayed. You’re viewing questions about the male portrayals as a rejection of strong female characters. Not the intention at all… but an understandable reaction given the history of these kinds of conversations. Just a general comment, by the way…

  4. QuantumInc says:

    For the few who haven’t seen it: Frozen represents a pretty strong heel face turn on many of ideas suggested by previous Disney Princess movies, while still maintaining enough of the same ideas and themes to be considered a proper princess movie. It continues the emphasis on true love, but contrary to previous Disney princess movies the true love is not with the prince, or even the more average guy, but with family.

    Kristoff’s redeeming feature is that he genuinely cares about the people he meets. It’s not even romantic attraction that makes his want to help Anna (it’s ambiguous how much he’s in love with Anna, obviously the trolls read into that, but the fact that he wants to help her isn’t ambiguous, and he generally feels the same way about others, even the annoying Olaf). He is seemingly pathetic, but doesn’t have to conquer the fact that he isn’t rich or charismatic, he doesn’t suddenly gain a ton of confidence and beat the other guy in an epic duel. He just demonstrates that selfless concern for others is a very good trait for a man to have.

    Watching the trailer I realized that Frozen is a perfect example of a massive trend in Hollywood to extoll the virtues of the “extremely average guy” (there is probably a better term out there). There is a larger sense in contemporary USA culture that young men are having a failure to launch, ending up in dead end jobs, being lazy, playing video games on the couch, not getting married, not having kids, not pursuing their careers, and are either unwilling or unable to get the things that marked adulthood for previous generations. While many of these things are also true of women, you often see this idea that women have surpassed men.

    So yes, there’s the love triangle with the prince, princess, and the somewhat pathetic working class joe. He’s perhaps nonthreatening to the men who simply couldn’t find the great job promised to them and instead in some terrible, low pay, non-career occupation, well he sells ice for a living. You might have trouble making friends, or get rejected by girls, or feel left out of the high end parties, well his friends are a dog-like reindeer and a bunch of literal trolls. While a lot of men of my generation look with envy to the myth of the “successful man” he’s looking with envy at the prince (who later turns out to be a lying sociopath).

    It’s good that Frozen, and the rest of the current crop of Hollywood movies are acknowledging that you do not need to be rich and charismatic and manly to be both male and a worthwhile person; however they have developed certain consistent tropes to convey this idea, it’s an archetype that you see everywhere nowadays.

  5. But all men ARE expendable … Or so my media educators have led me to believe..
    And I’m a man ,.. Or at least I wannabe one .. Definitely gotta pander to the girlie audience. Coz the guys aren’t watching the movie anyway, and it’s pretty easy to slip information subliminally into male mental slugs who wannaget laid for saving their ‘that’s priceless ‘ ( or actually that is pricey ) girlie friend from the evil of paying for a ticket.

  6. Isn’t it a good think to be independent woman? That means we don’t need to manipulate men with sex, or expect them to pay or support us. So what if we don’t need you? it is better to be wanted than needed anyway… How dare disney teach this to young kids? hmmm…

    • Yes, definitely.

      I think most of the criticism of the movie comes from the male characters, which was certainly something I noticed, myself. It didn’t hinder to movie TOO much for me, except that it seemed like they were trying to hard to send a particular message that they didn’t put much thought into the male characters, and fell onto male tropes.

      To me, what was fantastic was seeing a character like the “Mom” in Tangled. She was a truly frightening villain who didn’t “turn to the good side” at the end like most other female antagonists. I love what they did with the characters in the bar, hiding their dreams behind being tough. And I love how Repunzel was motivated to leave her tower for something besides “finding love”. Heck, they even pointed at “all men are creepy, vile creatures out to kill you” and made that the villainous plot to be disproven. I think Tangled did a lot more right than Frozen to be honest.

    • Completely support the independent girl power message. Just asking how boys fit into the equation. Seen Brave lately? Again, oafs as male leads. Even her dad was trying to kill his wife.

      • Chrissy says:

        You write as if there haven’t been negative/infantilized/seeming stupid women portrayed in animated movies just as much! Urusula? Cruella DeVille? The Evil Stepmother? Wicked Witches? And those evil characters are often juxtaposed by infantilized, weak women. Until women are represented even half as much as men, this isn’t a story. It’s a sad excuse for substantive cultural commentary.

        • Please don’t consider a comment about one subject to be the absence of awareness of another. It is unfair to assume my thoughts or feelings about a separate subject. I could just as easily assume you that you don’t care about men’s issues in any way implying you are partisan and ultimately a destructive voice. Would that be any more fair? No, it would not.

        • Eagle35 says:

          “Until women are represented even half as much as men, this isn’t a story. It’s a sad excuse for substantive cultural commentary.”

          I suppose you’d say the same thing about men and boys being hurt and abused by women and girls then? Since women don’t represent a majority of the perpetrators then it’s not a “story” or “Worth worrying about”.

          I’ve got a better idea. How about we treat both issues as substantiative and problems worth equal consideration and support instead of having to constantly play semantics here.

          And how about we stop trying to insert “Well women don’t make up the majority of this or that so shut up about it!” into every conversation that calls out how men and boys are getting a raw deal in aspects of society.

          Unless you think this is going to set womens rights back to the stone-age (god knows how that has anything to do with what we’re talking about) or it will take away from womens issues (which you’ve already implied in your responses here), then don’t get so riled up about it.

    • Eagle35 says:

      “Isn’t it a good think to be independent woman? That means we don’t need to manipulate men with sex, or expect them to pay or support us. So what if we don’t need you? it is better to be wanted than needed anyway… How dare disney teach this to young kids?”

      The issue here is that current stories of this ilk take the one step too far. It’s fine and dandy to be independent and never needing to manipulate a man with sex or expect them to carry your burdens on their shoulders. But do they have to portray men as bumbling buffoons or selfish one-dimensional oafs to sell that message to the masses? What if there is a strong, independent man to compliment the independent woman? No, we can’t have that. Have to cut him down to size by showing that the female is always right and he is always wrong, rub it in his face, and top it off with some physical violence so he gets the message.

      This is the issue.

      • I started to craft a response to your MANY comments and then thought to myself, “What’s the point? This dude probably belongs over at Reddit or on a men’s rights page. Because being a part of the oppressed majority is SO DARN HARD!”

        Instead, I’m gonna go back to work advocating on U.S. policy focused on efforts to integrate gender-based violence prevention and response into our foreign assistance–work that includes engaging men and boys as allies and is predicated on a conception of gender equality as a tide that lifts all boats (a concept that seems to elude you). Bravo to the men who are brave enough to recognize that “Frozen” is a small step forward in an overarching effort that will require SO MUCH MORE effort. 1 in 3 women (35.6%) worldwide will experience physical and/or sexual violence because of pervasive cultures that tell men AND women that women are not good/strong/smart enough.

        I challenge you (and the author of this piece) to be on the side of progress, solidarity, and empathy, instead of whining about “oafish” male characters.

        • Mark Greene says:

          Until the abusive and dismissive tone about men is removed from these dialogues, your goal of universal empathy will be a challenge to reach.

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