Criticism Erupts From Disney Animators’ Comments

Despite Frozen Animators comments in the fall, The movie came out with rave reviews and plenty of box office proceeds.

Graphic courtesy Disney Inc.

Despite Frozen Animators comments in the fall, The movie came out with rave reviews and plenty of box office proceeds.

Antonia Lowell, Staff Writer

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Disney’s newest movie Frozen came out last week to rave reviews and plenty of box office proceeds, making head animator Lino DiSalvo’s remarks last October seem to be water under the bridge.

DiSalvo had been the target of a lot of negative attention this fall for his comments on animating two female lead characters in one movie (Anna and Elsa, the sister princesses of a fanciful Scandinavian kingdom).

“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 . . . 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.”

This quote started circulating around the internet in early October, bringing uncomplimentary comments from people on Twitter, Tumblr, and independent blogs. The most common criticism was that animating two women who have to look different is only hard when you are intent on keeping them pretty, and that beauty shouldn’t be the primary concern when creating characters. People have also pointed out that Frozen animators had the skill to create over 2,000 individual snowflakes for the movie, but two distinct princesses was “really, really difficult.”

A Disney representative defended DiSalvo, saying “Animation is an intricate and complex art form. These comments were recklessly taken out of context. As part of a roundtable discussion, the animator was describing some technical aspects of CG animation and not making a general comment on animating females versus males or other characters.”

Frozen is in theaters now and has been called “beautifully animated,” “squeezably lovely,” and “A delightful animated musical, a return to form for Disney animation with an intriguing story and terrific songs,” by several different critics and news sites.

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