Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Princess and the Princess?

Okay, I confess I'm quite excited about Disney's return to traditional feature animation.

Snow White: boy gets girl. Sleeping Beauty: boy gets girl. Little Mermaid: boy gets (fishy) girl. Beauty and the Beast: (fuzzy, scary) boy gets girl. Hunchback of Notre Dame: (handsome) boy gets girl. Lady and the Tramp: boy gets girl.
Okay, that last one is just too wonderful for words.
Great stories all, but isn't there more than one note to played in the symphony of LOVE?
The closest animation has come to gay issues is the Showtime series Queer Duck. There are gay characters in Drawn Together, currently in rerun on Logo, which also has a gay anime' series and Rick and Steve, which is puppet animation a la George Pal.
But it's mostly pretty bad animation. It's what the great Chuck Jones called "illustrated radio", for the most part. Also,most of what is out there is pretty guy-with-guy centered.
There are a great many gay male stories in anime', and much about transgender cahracters, but few lesbian stories. Also, call me a snobbess, but something about the visual style of anime' leaves me cold at times. Not that I don't love Tezuka, but I'd rather read it than watch it.
I like traditional Western animation. And I'd like to see a braver use of the art form.
There are beautiful and sensual stories of men and men, and women and women, and people everywhere on the gender and sexuality spectra, hooking up for physical pleasure, affection and just plain sharing life.
Some studio is missing a bet by not trying to tell a genuine love story about GLBT people in good animation.