Disney and Intersectionality
This is a Disney Princess appreciation blog that isn't afraid to analyze or break down disney.
I advocate the need for more Princesses of Color (and other characters in general) in Disney films actively if not aggressively.
If you can't handle talking about race, this might not be the blog for you.
This is a body, queer+ and trans* positive blog.
All princesses kick ass.
I attended the “Tangled” show which is one of two shows at Disneyland’s new Princess Fantasy Faire area of the park. The two narrators were two white men and the two stars were the Rapunzel and Flynn Rider face characters. In addition, there were two women of color cast members, an Asian woman and a black woman.
Other cast members included the pianist “Stephen from Morocco” (a white guy) and a few women who sat with the children in the front of the stage and taught them how to interact with the play (shouting “huzzah” and “fie”.)
While the white male narrators sang and led the storytelling process, with Rapunzel and Flynn Rider chiming in, the Asian and black actresses stood on the stage holding props, completely silent.
This casting was racialized and gendered. (Which, okay, it is Disneyland, big surprise, but still— it’s 2013 and a new attraction.)
Women of color were present but silent. The choice of exoticizing the (white male) pianist as from a African and Arabic country is just bizarre (why not say he is from a fictional kingdom such as “Maldonia,” Prince Naveen’s country?) Aside from sing-songy Rapunzel by default, the white men told the tale—complete with some cross-dressing drag for Mother Gothel—while women played supporting roles and looked on, either while voicelessly holding scenery or while caring for the children in the audience.
I hope in the future women cast members get to narrate this play, too (even though the current script is clearly written to star two men…heck, even men of color would be nice.) And leave Morocco out of this.
Did anyone else have a different experience?