Hey readers! There is almost nothing that I love as much as taking a couple hours out of my life to sit down in a cool theater with a big old bag of popcorn waiting to see the latest Disney or Pixar or DreamWorks animated movie. I might be a grownup (reluctantly) but I’m not too grown up to say that I sang Let It Go for weeks after Frozen came out and that I own every single Shrek movie. No shame. So this week, in honor of one of my childhood favorites going from animated to live action (here’s looking at you, Beauty and the Beast, with your newly inclusive storyline!), I thought we could chat a little about the few animated movies out there that have some awesome queer characters or LGBTQ+ affirmative storylines. So, in no particular order, here are a few of my favorites. Let me know in the comments if there are are that you would add.
Full disclosure, the Shrek movies are some of my favorites and I’m also kind of obsessed with the musical. So when we talk about what makes this a story with positive queer representation, I am pulling from all of those things for information. The biggest thing Shrek does for the queer community is to encourage characters to be themselves. In particular, one of the stepsisters, Doris, is often thought to be a trans woman. Also, the big bad wolf plays freely with gender norms, eventually embracing his penchant for traditionally female attire. Now, could they do more? Sure. But in a genre that rarely sees any queer representation, I’m glad to finally see something.
Just for fun, here’s one of my favorite songs from the musical.
Even if there were no explicitly gay characters in this film, the overall theme is still one of learning to look past labels and to allow individuals to decide who they are going to be without having to live up to any assumptions made by family or friends. It also sends a great message about how the labels we are given come with a certain set of assumptions, but just because something is assumed, that doesn’t make it true.
On a lighter note, there’s also some speculation that the main character’s two arguing neighbors are actually married based on the hyphenation of their last names in the closing credits. And there’s even more speculation that Officer Clawhauser is also gay. Of course, we’ve learned to look past assumptions based on stereotypes, but perhaps if Zootopia gets a part two, we’ll have a chance to learn a little more about these characters. Until then, a little clip…
Now could they do more? Yes. It would be brilliant if the folks producing this lovely film could have let one of the above characters verbally OR visibly acknowledge their queerness. But this movie is contributing to conversations about identity and other people’s assumptions and that is definitely a good thing.
The Box Trolls isn’t a movie that is explicitly queer. However, this movie does make a real effort to showcase the idea that just because a family doesn’t look the way you expect it to, that doesn’t mean it isn’t a real family. They also give a great big shout out to the queer community right at the beginning. Check out the clip below.
So that’s it for today. Hit me up in the comments if there’s anything you think I should add to the list and, as always, happy reading (and watching!)