While facetiming my brother, I heard my two-year-old niece shout at the top of her lungs that she was “Queen Elsa” and was coming to save me. I had started writing about the Frozen films, when Sara posted on them. So let us continue on this Frozen journey.
Continue reading “Let’s Talk about Frozen 2 by Anjeanette LeBoeuf”
Every summer in the US, movie theatres show their newest big budget films, hoping to draw in large audiences. While I appreciate an air-conditioned theatre on a hot day, I love the opportunity to go to an outdoor movie screening. These screenings are usually community-oriented opportunities for social gathering. In my previous post, I talked about Moana, a Disney film I saw at an outdoor screening earlier this summer. I enjoyed watching this movie with my friends and their families and I was delighted by the story itself. It has several religious and spiritual themes and strong female characters. Previously, I spoke of the significance of myths in this movie. Today, I’m focused on depictions of nature in Moana and their remarkable beauty.
Many feminist and womanist theologians and religion scholars have raised concerns about the interrelated dominations of women and nature, as well as the disproportionate hardships women and children are exposed to with increasing climate change and environmental degradation. Our changing environment affects all life on the planet, but it is the people who are most vulnerable (physically, economically, politically) who at most at risk. Obviously, animals and plants are endangered, too. Ethicists like me are interested in finding ways to address these concerns because we are committed the preservation of life. As feminists, there’s more to it, though. We recognize the way nature itself is often feminized (“Mother Nature”), which makes it even more troubling when it is cultivated without respect for the wellbeing of existing ecosystems and the life forces dependent upon them.
Continue reading “Mulling over Movies: Moana, Pt. 2 by Elise M. Edwards”
I love going to outdoor movie screenings. Sitting outdoors on a summer evening with good company brings me joy. Last week, I went to an screening of Moana, the Disney movie about a teenager who goes on a quest through the Pacific Ocean with the demi-god Maui. Moana goes on this journey to help her people. The movie came out last year, but I didn’t see it. I have to admit that I wasn’t even interested in it until Simone Biles performed a dance to one of Moana’s songs on Dancing with the Stars. It was then that I realized that the movie has an empowering message. I asked my friend Natalie, who is also a feminist religion scholar, about Moana. She has three young daughters, so I trusted her to be more current than I am. Her enthusiastic response sold me, as did her remark, “There’s not even a love story in it!”
Ah, Disney princesses and their love stories! I’m old enough that I didn’t grow up with the Disney culture that children in the past few decades have, but I haven’t been immune to the Disney princess phenomenon. I childhood pre-dated DVDs and digital downloads, but I still knew and cherished the Disney characterizations of Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty. These young women were kind and virtuous and beautiful (according to Eurocentric standards), but their stories culminate with marriage to a charming prince. It’s also problematic that so often, the villains in these movies were older women—wicked stepmothers or evil witches—who were motivated by jealousy and hate.
Continue reading “Mulling over Movies: Moana, Pt. 1 by Elise M. Edwards”