Post #12: The Importance of ParaNorman

Disney and other animation companies are nearly constantly receiving flack about under representing people of color and for having less than stellar female characters. However, no one seems to be talking about the complete lack of canonical LGBT characters. ParaNorman was the first feature length animation to include a canon LGBT character and no one is talking about this.

Normally I wouldn’t reference Wikipedia, but if you take a look at this list you can see how ParaNorman is the only feature length animation to feature a canonical LGBT character. Sure, there seems to be a bit more in short animations, specifically in anime, but there is quite a lack of representation in feature length films. There are some characters from Disney animated productions that could have intended to be gay or use gay stereotypes. This list includes: Ursula (The Little Mermaid), Scar (The Lion King), Governor Ratcliffe (Pocahontas), Ratigan (The Great Mouse Detective), Hades (Hercules), Timon and Pumbaa (The Lion King), Genie (Aladdin), Pleakley (Lilo and Stitch), Terkina (Tarzan), Shang (Mulan), Merida (Brave) and Hugo and Djali (The Hunchback of Notre Dame). I think it’s important to note that the majority of them are either villains or comic reliefs. However, no matter how many people believe that they could posibly be gay, it has yet to be acknowledged by Disney.

 

 

In an interview with Chris Butler, one of creators of ParaNorman, he was asked why he included a gay character (which right there, should have set off bells; no one asks why straight white men are included in anything, why does the inclusion of gay characters have to be rationalized?) and he explained how two of the main focuses of the film are intolerance and also how each character is judging (usually misjudging) everyone else.

 

When Oaken discusses his family, it looks like he has a husband.

Recently Frozen has been getting attention for possibly have a LGBT character but not much as come from it. One of the main focuses has been Queen Elsa’s lack of a male romantic interest but the song “Let it Go” has gotten a lot of attention about being this generation’s coming out anthem. Interestingly enough, Pastor Kevin Swanson credits Disney as being one of the most pro-homosexual organizations in the country while complaining about Frozen promoting not only homosexuality but also bestiality. Guess he hasn’t looked up how many canonical LGBT characters there actually are in Disney feature length animations.

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2 thoughts on “Post #12: The Importance of ParaNorman

  1. I just want to thank you for bringing this landmark occasion to my attention. I completely forgot that Mitch’s character was gay, and I never realized that he was the only character to be explicitly known as gay in an animated film. This is huge. I’m equally surprised that this didn’t have more traction in main stream media. It is definitely important and should be more widely known.

  2. Pingback: Comment Post *Updated Weekly* | 50 Shades of Animation

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