Just thinking about Frozen again got me worked up, so I’m going to go on a rambling ramble now:
I just tend to get worked up over Kristoff’s Sami background because the cues they use in the film are very specific; they only thing they don’t do is actually call Kristoff Sami in the film, and they avoid actually exploring any of the culture in-depth by carting him off with the trolls; I’m actually okay with that; I’m okay with them avoiding turning the Sami culture into Disney merchandise by skirting the issue entirely; on a scale of acceptable to unacceptable, it’s like ehhh; there’s also tons of concept development that started off with Disney researching the Sami people, and originally Anna was going to be Sami too (and Elsa?); most of which is more online on Disney artist blogs and less in the art book….; anyway, I think what I want to drive at is because of the history of the Sami people, there’s a lot of mixed bloodline going on, and getting something like the ethnically correct voice actor would be less of an issue than the fact of getting the cultural aspects right, because that’s sort of the very vital aspect of representing Sami, as far as I’ve seen it in research; the key areas to keep in mind are the culture and the language, because that’s what these nations of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Russia were trying to either stamp out or police when interacting with the Sami people; so the fact that they use yoiking at all in Frozen’s fairy-tale-Norway is, from a cultural and historical representation standpoint, kind of a big deal, and it’s a big deal that they use it to dramatize a European-style monarch using her magical powers and saving the day, when historically said monarch was more likely to have declared the expression of Sami yoiking as illegal (and the question of Sami expression and yoiking continues to be effected by this historical background to present day. You know, in the magical and faraway land of modern-day Europe). And, it’s a bigger deal when the film’s context for all of this is having a Sami character, Kristoff, as being someone whose been taken away from his culture and had his culture effectively erased.
… So I write all of this, and find myself thinking: why are you so worked up over this Teacup. Should I be asking the question of ‘who cares’? Who cares if Disney didn’t do a good job of doing a sophisticated narrative that takes into account non-U.S. history.
And I guess I think about it and it’s like: well, I sure hope I can develop a thoughtful mindset about all of this, since I’m interested in producing works of literature for public consumption, and the way I talk about any topic can and will effect the way others see it too, so I guess I don’t mind going into tangential rambles about non-U.S.-centric history.
…This also reminds me that I totally was going to do magical realism fairy tale manuscript about contemporary-ish Denmark, springing off some concepts I started in my Frozen fanfiction, including talking about Sami historical issues since I seem to be so interested in those topics; but boy with my writing backlog /o/
"Honey Lemon is actually latina!"
Ah! :) If that’s the case, I’m glad that there’s that move towards diversity.
At the same time though, I think it’d be safer for me to reserve my opinions about representation because, via recent example, Kristoff was, ostensibly, supposed to be Sami and quite frankly I still get D:< thinking about how… I don’t know, maybe it’s stuff that only I’ll get mad about… but the bottom line is that, I like Kristoff as a general character, but still think that the use of his character and the ice harvesters was a very, very superficial gesture towards ethnic diversity. So superficial in fact, that they don’t even mention he’s Sami in the official art books, it’s only talked about in interviews and in the Frozen script itself used for the film.
(… Though all of that bothers me a lot less then the fact that I still get D:< and ]8 when the Sami yoiking starts up when Elsa thaws Arendelle. For historical reasons, it feels (to me at least) so culturally insensitive for them to be using the music in the narrative way that they use it, I can’t even.)
Also; I do appreciate the idea of having a character who is Latina and who doesn’t look the way she’s “supposed to” because that’s very important; at the same time, I’m not sure that it’s necessary for Disney to continuously be putting out these large-eyed slender girls with long blonde hair (and all who seem to be adorable and have great in-born talents, but also various personal anxieties they have to overcome) : Rapunzel, Elsa, and now potentially Lemon Honey; it’s not that I don’t like the characters, because they are quite charming; it’s more like it does a disservice to the diversity of their audience to homogenize their protagonists.
Re: Latinos/as in the sciences : You aren’t into “Welcome to Night Vale” are you? Because CARLOS~ :3 Pretty adorable and adorably heroic rare fictional Latino scientist in the wilds of radio podcasts.