Disney's Frozen is good news for little girls

Frozen has a heroine behind the scenes too; co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee

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The Independent Online

Eve was cast out of Paradise, women got the vote, and then 85 years later a Disney princess passed wind for the very first time.

That might be slightly overstating the significance of the latest Disney movie in feminist history – but only slightly. Frozen, which is released on Friday is very good news for little girls.

Chances are, the first film your child will see, fall in love with and then demand to watch 72 times will be  by Disney. For this reason, the enduring influence of a warrior princess called Mulan is of far more immediate concern than a pop princess called Miley.

For the past 30 years Disney has been including feisty female protagonists in its movies with varying success, but Frozen has a heroine behind the scenes too; co-director and screenwriter Jennifer Lee is the first woman to hold that title on a Disney feature. Most young Disney fans won’t yet be concerned about the under-representation of women in the film industry, but Lee has already proved the inherent value of having women make films for women; In Anna she’s created a character who’s as feisty as ever, but also fallible. We’ll take the fart as evidence of that.

Tough times in Walford

My old friends on EastEnders are having a hard time at the moment.

As if Walford’s statistically improbable murder rate wasn’t enough to worry about, the ratings are down, and cast members, including the outgoing Kierston Wareing and the incoming Danny Dyer, are lining up to slag off the storylines.

I won’t deny the BBC’s soap opera is going through one of its rubbish patches. Alfie and Kat’s latest implausible reunion was a particular low point, and drippy characters currently outnumber compelling ones by a ratio of about two to one, but fair-weather fans who use that as an excuse to switch off are missing the point. Unlike most television, you don’t watch soap operas in search of quality, you watch them out of loyalty and familiarity. It’s just like they’re always saying on the Square – it’s faaaahmly, innit.