Entertainment

Even Though Disney’s Latina Princesses Stirred Controversy, We Should Have More Of ‘Em

Disney, as you might already know, is gearing up for the debut of Elena of Avalor, its first-ever Latina princess for people to argue a whole lot about. If this sounds a little familiar, it’s because we went through the same debate on Latino-ness with Disney’s other first-ever Latina princess, Sofia the First.

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Credit: Disney / Tumblr

It’s because of, not despite, the debate surrounding these characters that Disney should strive to make even MORE Latina princesses. Lots of ’em. From all different places, with a variety of skin tones, hair textures, dreams, goals and abilities. Also please make at least one of the princesses goth.

The reality is that there will always be a certain level of (healthy) trepidation surrounding an announcement that a POC character (or, in Sofia’s case, a white/maybe-Latina character) is being presented to us by a large corporation aimed at bringing in as broad an audience as possible.

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Credit: Disney / Starkidnutty

Disney, and similar companies, aim to appeal to as wide an audience as possible and, as is often with the case with entertainment media, whiter (or, similarly, white-washed) characters are deemed more marketable and–blegh–relatable to wider audiences. (More on why “relatability” is silly later.) So when companies present characters who aren’t necessarily Anglo, there’s a fear of potential stereotyping, of tokenization or of otherwise presenting this character through the lens of a presumed very white, very myopic audience. There’s also the concern that these corporations and studios, which might not fundamentally understand something like Latino identities or history, will profit off these portrayals at the expense of actual Latinos. Then there are, of course, arguments against the ideas of Disney princesses in general.

All of these are valid concerns.

And yet…

Representation only becomes better the more there is of it. Particularly now, at a time when social media allows all kinds of voices to be heard, groups that haven’t been able to see themselves adequately and accurately reflected onscreen (even as magical girls from faraway lands) are demanding not just representation, but thoughtful, smart, funny, inclusive representation.

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Credit: Disney / Nickelodeon /  Miryuu Chan (via Mashable)

And the reality is, many Latinos are used to relating to white, Anglo characters (and, increasingly, to black characters and Asian characters). I mean, we consume a LOT of media, and a big chunk of it doesn’t involve us at all. Why would non-Latino viewers not, then, also relate to us? After all, plenty of little kids from all backgrounds adore Dora the Explorer and want to be just like her. And who doesn’t love Jane (you know, the virgin)?

Providing us with more Latina princesses also offers a chance to explore how diverse of a community Latinos are, both in terms of physical looks and interests.

If Sofia is deemed too fair and light-eyed to accurately portray a large swatch of Latinas, it’s because that’s true of any Latina. Which is why there should also be Afro-Latina princesses, princesses of indigenous American backgrounds, Japanese-Brazilian princesses, Chinese-Cuban princesses, Latina princesses with bright red hair and freckles, Latina princesses who don’t speak Spanish, Latina princesses who are fifth-generation Chicanas.

Btw, don’t get too hung up on the historical plausibility of these princesses, you guys. They’re literally cartoons. There’s no way that, like, Tinkerbell’s wings could possibly hold up her body mass, or that ANIMALS AND ENCHANTED FREAKIN’ TEAPOTS CAN TALK AND ALSO SOMETIMES WEAR JAUNTY TUNICS, so let’s just draw a line right here.

Basically: More is more. And we should have it all.

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Credit: Source image by Disney / Disney.Princess.com

READ: Disney Just Hired a Chicano Cartoonist Who Criticized Them for Years

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Disney Just Confirmed Their First Bisexual Lead Character And She’s Dominican!

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Disney Just Confirmed Their First Bisexual Lead Character And She’s Dominican!

Disney +

Whooot whoot!!

Disney Channel is officially bumping up its diversity efforts. The television channel recently confirmed that it is debuting its first bisexual lead character in a new series. Disney’s latest series “The Owl House” is an American animated fantasy television series created by Dana Terrace and premiered earlier this year on January 10, 2020.

Luz Noceda is the series’ 14-year-old Dominican-American girl and the channel’s first LGBTQ+ character.

While Luz isn’t the first LGBTQ+ Disney character to be featured on Disney (that goes to a character in Pixar’s short “Out” on Disney Plus) she is the first bisexual character to appear on a Disney television series.

“The Owl House” is a series that follows Luz a teenage girl who accidentally falls into a portal leading to another world instead of going to a juvenile detention summer camp.

Speaking about making Luz, her creator Dana Terrace shared that initially “certain Disney leadership” had not been thrilled about the LGBTQ+ character.

“I was very open about my intention to put queer kids in the main cast. I’m a horrible liar so sneaking it in would’ve been hard,” she explained in a tweet. “I was told by certain Disney leadership that I could not represent any form of bi or gay relationship on the channel.”

Terrace, who identifies as bisexual, said she fought hard to have Luz be bisexual on the Disney series as well. “Luckily my stubbornness paid off, and now I am very supported by current Disney leadership,” she explained.

Fortunately, viewers have given Terrace and her character quite a bit of support.

Fans of the series have thanked Noceda for bringing the representation of the LGBTQ+ community to Disney.

Alex Hirsch, the creator of Disney’s “Gravity Falls,” shared in the comments that Disney kept him from including LGBTQ+ in his series. “Apparently ‘happiest place on earth’ meant ‘straightest,'” he remarked. “Thanks to Dana Terrace and team, there are explicitly queer animated main characters on Disney TV… This time, Disney- you did good.”

In response to all of her support, Terrace urged her supporters to continue to fight for representation on-screen and other forms of media. “Representation matters!” she exclaimed.

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Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Entertainment

Disney Just Announced That We Won’t Have To Wait For The Pandemic To End In Order To Watch Mulan— Thank The Ancestors!

Rich Fury / Getty

After months of delays and waiting, Disney has announced that Mulan fans will no longer have to wait for a major theatrical release to see the live-action version of the animated classic. On Tuesday the Walt Disney Company revealed that the film will no longer seek a major theatrical release and that the blockbuster’s debut will take place on the subscription streaming service, Disney+.

To see the movie, customers will need to pay an additional $29.99 on top of the cost of the monthly subscription for Disney+

“In order to meet the needs of consumers during this unpredictable period, we thought it was important to find alternative ways to bring this exceptional family-friendly film to them in a timely manner,” Disney CEO Bob Chapek explained in a statement according to Variety. “We see this as an opportunity to bring this incredible film to a broad audience currently unable to go to movie theaters.”

The company has said that it plans to release Mulan in theaters in areas where Disney+ is not available to audiences.

According to Variety, “The decision to put Mulan on premium video-on-demand further emphasizes the studio’s increased reliance on Disney Plus at a time when most of their business — from theme parks and cruises to movie theaters and retail stores — have been crippled by the pandemic. Research, Chapek says, suggests that bringing a high-profile release like Mulan to homes “will act as a fairly large stimulus to sign up for Disney Plus.”

Mulan had been originally scheduled for a theatrical debut on March 27 and was meant to be Disney’s biggest theatrical release for the year.

Disney shelled out a $200 million budget and in early March the studio set up a lavish red carpet premiere at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. Days later, the COVID-19 pandemic forced Disney to postpone the movie’s release. The movie’s debut was then pushed back several times before Disney announced last week that they would indefinitely remove it from the release calendar. Fortunately, they’ve changed their mind and Mulan will debut on the streamer’s new platform on September 4, 2020.

Disney’s latest version of Mulan stars actress Yifei Liu as the titular character based on the legend of a female Chinese warrior who disguises herself and takes her father’s place as a soldier.

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