Disney animation movies that have predominantly caucasian main characters, don’t include characters of color in their movies. The director of the new upcoming Frozen II decided they needed a change. According to articles like Blackfilm and the Chicago Tribune, they are breaking the stereotype of having the same color of characters throughout the movie by adding an African American character named Lieutenant Mattias who is being voiced by Sterling K. Brown who has played roles in Black Panther, This is Us and Waves. A stereotype is the belief about someone’s personal attributes of a group of people. The stereotype for Disney animated movies is usually if the main character is white than the rest of the characters in the movie are also white. In Frozen II, the directors went against this by putting a character of a different race in a movie that has only white characters. Brown explains that for a long time black people had to wonder if they would ever be able to see a person of color as a superhero or a main character in an animated movie. He says, “I love that there’s a character of color in this world of Arendelle,” he said. “I think for such a long time black folks have had to wonder, ‘what would it be like to have someone like me in this show, what would it be like to be Superman or Batman.’ And then you get ‘Black Panther.’ Now, we have this character,Lieutenant Mattias, who I get the chance to vocalize, and I have a little action figures and Legos, and I’m like, ‘Ah, it’s really happening.’”(Brown, 2019)
This movie is also going against the idea of racism. Racism is when a person has prejudicial attitudes and discriminatory behavior towards people of a specific race. Because the directors included an African American in an all white character animated movie, they are going against racism. Having a character of color being added to an animated movie which usually doesn’t happen, opens up new opportunities and doors for other Disney movies to follow in their footsteps. This movie is giving people of color the opportunity to recognize that they also belong in a fairytale or myth. In an interview with Blackfilm.com, Brown says, “I love for people of color to be able to see someone who is ostensibly of color in this world, recognizing that they belong in myth and fairy tale as well.”(Brown, 2019) Everyone in the cast has been very welcoming to their new castmate and Brown couldn’t be more comfortable with a group of people. Not only does Brown love to be able to be part of the Frozen II cast but he also loves the message the movie is portraying. He says to the Chicago Tribune, “I’ve seen bits and pieces [of ‘Frozen II’], and it is every bit an action-adventure movie led by these two heroines that happen to be sisters, and they choose each other over and over again, they don’t need some dude to come save the day, they can save themselves,” he said. “I love being a part of that.” (Brown, 2019). He enjoys what he is doing and the fact that he is making his mark in Disney animation for African Americans make what he is doing and his experience that much better and inspirational.
By Kayla Lopes
Morales, W. (2019, November 14). Exclusive: Sterling K. Brown on ‘Waves’ & ‘Frozen II’. Retrieved from https://www.blackfilm.com/read/2019/11/exclusive-sterling-k-brown-on-waves-frozen-ii/.
Nyren, E. (2019, November 12). Sterling K. Brown on the importance of seeing a person of color in ‘Frozen 2’s’ Arendelle. Retrieved from https://www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/movies/ct-ent-sterling-k-brown-frozen-2-diversity-20191112-zmulgxgevfcihklfc7vubghh4y-story.html.