Disney: Due To Emotions, Women Are Harder To AnimateBy: Alex Williams - October 13, 2013
Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Snow Queen” will make its premier on November 27th on the silver screens all across theaters in American in the form of a Disney 3d animated adaptation titled, Frozen.
Lately, Frozen has fired up a lot of controversy surrounding its rehashed Disney-fied version of the story, where most of the female characters are replaced with men. And whether to make matters worse or simply follow the motto that there is no such thing as bad publicity, Lino DiSalvo, the head of animation on Frozen, said in an interview with blogger Jenna Busch that:
“Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, because they have to go through these range of emotions, but you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression; that Elsa looking angry looks different from Anna being angry.”
DiSalvo’s comments were reposted on Tumblr with around 44,000 comments from users. Other well-known artists and animators voiced their input, like comic artist Faith Erin Hicks who mentioned that, generally, women should look human:
With all criticism aside, Jenny Hollander over at Bustle mentioned a motive as to why DiSalvo may have said what he said, adding citations and stating that, “It’s a stereotype that women have all the feelings (whilst men look neutral as Switzerland as they face dragons) but it’s not psychologically disputed that women tend to be more facially expressive than men. Let’s be clear: it’s not that women have more emotions, or are more expressive in general, but women do tend to have a wider range of emotional expressions, use them more often, and don’t try as hard to conceal their emotions.”
Amid Amidi at Cartoon Brew also put his feet in the shoes of DiSalovo, saying, “In fairness to DiSalvo, I get what he’s saying as an animator. Female characters in animation typically have a more limited range of facial expressions than their male counterparts, and they are caricatured only in villainous (think Cruella de Vil or Medusa in The Rescuers) or comedic contexts.”
Critics like Pam Ryan at Film Jam Blog mention how Disney princesses present a falsified sexist image of women, where they’re usually identical to their predecessors; cookie-cut, dependent on men, and always pretty.