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"someone who is beautiful and gets to do whatever she wants all day"

So if Thor is a woman now, and Marvel is a Disney subsidiary, does that make her a Disney Princess? For Tor.com, historian and geek Ada Palmer answers this joke question seriously and thoroughly while using it as a springboard to look at what makes a Disney Princess and what it says about us.
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 20, 2014 - 44 comments

the snow instigateth not lugubriosity within me…

The Egyptian singer Nesma Mahgoub, in the song’s chorus, sings, “Discharge thy secret! I shall not bear the torment!” and “I dread not all that shall be said! Discharge the storm clouds! The snow instigateth not lugubriosity within me…” From one song to the next, there isn’t a declensional ending dropped or an antique expression avoided, whether it is sung by a dancing snowman or a choir of forest trolls. The Arabic of “Frozen” is frozen in time, as “localized” to contemporary Middle Eastern youth culture as Latin quatrains in French rap.
So Disney used to translate its movies into Egyptian Arabic but recently switched to Modern Standard Arabic, which is somewhat more formal.
posted by MartinWisse on Jun 4, 2014 - 19 comments

And now they know

So, in writing about Elsa, from Frozen, as having an iconic value in an emerging canon of a new trans creative mythology, of course I’m not saying that’s what Disney intended. What interests me is not the official image, but how the image gets ported into a kind of dynamic sensation of sympathy within a collective group. The number of trans women who told me — “I never liked princesses, but I get Elsa.” What are we all detecting in her at such a shared resonance?
Imaging Frozen's Elsa as a trans symbol. (trans 101)
posted by MartinWisse on May 12, 2014 - 71 comments

Same Face Syndrome

"I seriously believed that someone with too much time on their hands had photomanipulated some screenshots of Rapunzel and tried to pass them off as the official Frozen designs. After all, there was no way that a major animation studio like Disney would knowingly, willfully produce three princesses with the Exact Same Face." -- Why do the Frozen heroines Anna and Elsa have the same face, a face they share with Rapunzel?
posted by MartinWisse on Mar 25, 2014 - 119 comments

You too can be a professional princess

"Little girls are AWED by a princess. A woman in a big, sparkly, puffy dress is a thing of power and glory to them. They will stand and stare, or scream themselves hoarse in excitement, or become paralyzed in wonder by A Princess. Some little girls start hyperventilating. Some just sit down on the floor, their knees giving out from under them. They run up to touch your dress with the same crazed look of a Twilight fan trying to touch that Edward Cullen guy at a movie premiere. It's so different from seeing a face character at Disney World because to them, Disney World is a far-off fantasy place full of strangeness and unreal scenes. But this is A Princess, in the real world, in their own home." [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Aug 31, 2012 - 148 comments

The Good Artist

"Among all who read Walt Disney’s Comics and Stories during the ‘40s and ‘50s, there was one common term for the unknown artist who drew the Donald Duck stories. Comics readers and comics fans all over the U.S. independently applied the same term to him. To fans in Ohio, California, Arkansas and Pennsylvania, he was 'The Good Artist.' His name was never signed to his work, and his publishers—until the early ‘60s—never revealed his name to his public, though many of us wrote (unforwarded) fan letters. His name, as we finally learned, is Carl Barks." How two determined fans found out who the Good Duck Artist was.
posted by MartinWisse on Jul 27, 2012 - 40 comments

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