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April 2016

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CALLING OUT HATERS Quickie: Mitch from “ParaNorman” (SPOILERS)

Mitch Portrait- Paranorman by ~Andersiano on deviantART

Before you read this I would highly recommend watching ParaNorman which I personally think is one of the best animated films of this past year and most certainly will provide major context for the rant that I am going to get into.

Now all things considered with Laika’s follow-up to Coraline, all the times it was able to Get Crap Past The Radar (Some of which where it doesn’t seem they are even trying to), the one that seemed to only get any real heat is the revelation near the end that Mitch Downe (Casey Affleck) had a boyfriend. To say Chris Butler, Sam Fell and the crew at Laika had balls to include a character coming out so to speak in a PG-rated animated film is an understatement, it is also commendable about how they handled it. Mitch is not a flamboyant stereotype and they don’t his preference blatantly obvious, on one hand plays to the humor of throwing the final nail in the coffin of Courtney’s (Anna Kendrick) infatuation with him but on another shows that people who are gay are not explicit about it, he also plays it pretty casual which is another good aspect about the line that I really like.

Now what comes with this revelation? Scorn from conservative minded people who do not think that homosexuality is acceptable in any form, that this film was suddenly going to indoctrinate children to think that *gasp* gays exist. And to those people it can only be stated enough that this was obviously not the freaking movie for them. Considering a major theme throughout the movie was acceptance, and the subject matter dealing with a kid that can talk with the undead, people who like the film yet don’t let the gay revelation is nothing short of ironic. You accept the fact that it has dead, undead and the wrongful execution of a gifted child but once homosexuality is added as an element to the film, you feel like Earl of Lemongrab and want to scream to the heavens: UNACCEPTABLE!

As I’ve said many times before, not everyone subscribes to the conservative mindset, so not everything in the media is going to cater to their world set. As much as they try they can’t shelter children to everything, the world is much more diverse than what they say, there is always going to be something they’re going to be exposed to that might challenge any perceptions they have. As well such things can lead to ignorance and lead attempts to censor which steps on First Amendment rights.

If anything filmmakers should be allowed to tell the stories the way they want to, not have some lobby groups or movement or ideally studios tell them otherwise. Mitch’s sexual preference not only was a somewhat humorous way to cap off a subplot, but also fits within the themes of the film it’s presented in. Just because it challenges certain people’s worldviews is no reason to censor it.

End of Rant