I sometimes think the people who panic about ‘the gay agenda’ really ought to pay more attention to kids’ movies. If you’re looking for queer narrative – which never say they’re queer – you don’t have to look much further. For a start, nearly every animated movie revolves around the theme of being true to yourself. You also have numerous movies about parents finding it difficult to accept difference in their child, that child being a misfit who’s not the same as others and is often bullied for it, and who will eventually win by accepting themselves and being proud of it.
All that could just be coincidence, but then there are things such as the fact that a lot of animated movies consciously deal with ideas about chosen families, something you normally only hear about in a queer context. It was this that got me considering the queer side of Ferdinand. Partway though the film, the titular character is insisting the dog he grew up with is his ‘brother’, while the dog says he can’t be the family of a bull because that’s not the way things work. Ultimately that becomes the main theme of the movie – a bull rejecting the toxic masculinity that the other bovines believe is their only choice, and learning that you can choose your own way and your own family, and it doesn’t matter if others think it’s ‘queer’. [Read more…]