Wednesday, September 08, 2010

"I'd kiss him full on the mouth": Homophobia in Disney films?

In ATLANTIS, the Disney movie of 2003, Whitmore says that he lost a bet with his male best friend meaning that: "I'd kiss him full on the mouth". The next shot is a photo of the two men turned away from one another in disgust and spitting. It's meant to be funny.

How does that quip from the yoga-loving Whitmore reflect homophobia? Is it pervasive in Disney's 'family values'? Is it supposed to be a reflection of the time, 1914?

Is it nothing more than two people who don't fancy each other being 'forced' to kiss? If you 'had' to kiss someone who was a different gender from you, would you react as violently? Would those characters have done so?

Is this just normalising for children and parents that same-sex contact is disgusting?

Is there something of a performance here? Clearly there was a photographer to capture their moment. I don't think timers were in use, nor was there a cable visible in the photo to suggest they had immortalised the occasion themselves. So they knew they were being watched. Were these characters then just acting out in a way that was expected of them by their audience?

How does this differ from the very homophobic scene in Ace Venture Pet Detective when the protagonist realises that the woman he had snogged was actually a man? He scrubs himself in the shower as he sobs. He violently vomits, plunger to his face, brushes his teeth with mania. He burns his clothes. He wasn't raped but he treats his body as if it were violated.

When the police officers discover the truth they too start spitting en masse. This is funny because you then realise this woman has been prolific with all the staff - when it was made out that her special attention was for each individual alone. However, the spitting isn't funny. Swapped saliva stays in the mouth for up to ten days apparently. Spitting isn't going to help.

Is this corporeal violence a natural reaction to physical deceit? If your new lover revealed that they were married, HIV+, homeless, adopted, vegan, Hindu or Liberal , would you feel repelled and want to banish remnants of them from your body?

Jim Carey's decision to play this character might have been career-death in a more homo-friendly time/place. Yet now he has gone on to make I love you, Phillip Morris, about a homosexual love affair.

Has he won over the LGBT community?

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