Disney theme parks are closing and Mulan has been delayed. But as we all grapple with the coronavirus pandemic, the House the Mouse Built says it’s still looking to entertain us—we mean your kids, toooootally mean your kids—by releasing Frozen 2 on Disney+ Sunday, three months earlier than originally planned. The goal, says a press release, is “surprising families with some fun and joy during this challenging period.” That’s putting it lightly.
“Frozen 2 has captivated audiences around the world through its powerful themes of perseverance and the importance of family, messages that are incredibly relevant during this time, and we are pleased to be able to share this heartwarming story early with our Disney+ subscribers to enjoy at home on any device,” The Walt Disney Company’s new Bob-in-charge, Bob Chapek, gushes in a statement released to The A.V. Club Friday.
Chapek does not hold the same feelings about one of his company’s other famous movies, 1946's Song of the South, which has long been criticized for its portrayal of Black Americans following the end of the Civil War.
“I’ve felt as long as I was CEO that Song of the South—even with a disclaimer—was just not appropriate in today’s world. It’s actually true with some of the other things we’ve made as well,” Chapek said at Disney’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday, according to THR. He is likely referring to the disclaimers about racist stereotypes that were added to the beginning of Peter Pan and Dumbo when they were made available on Disney+.
And Bob Chapek, Social Justice Warrior didn’t stop there. When a shareholder raised an eyebrow about Disney embracing the LGBTQ community (she literally said, “Please, let’s not have Gay Pride in the Disneyland parks”), he reportedly responded with this: “At Disney we strongly believe that we should reflect in our creative content the diversity that we find in our fan base and with our audience. And I believe that will continue with an increased commitment as we move forward.... We believe we want to tell stories that our audience wants to hear and that reflects their lives.”
Give us the Gaston/LeFou love story we deserve, Bob!