As Twitter argues whether to give Disney’s Frozen heroine Elsa a #girlfriend or a #princecharming, U.S. streaming service Hulu is already busy making headway with LGBT+ representation in children's cartoons.
Meet Rosaline, the creative talents of children’s author Daniel Errico and the main star of a new animated short for kids featuring a wicked witch, a sly wolf, a fairy godmother, and a lesbian romance.
The story sees Rosaline picking vegetables from her garden to take to her sweetheart’s house. However, like any good fairytale, along her journey are some unforeseen obstacles that prevent her from reaching her destination. Rosaline combats the tricks of a manipulative witch, and experiences the road blocks from her well-intentioned fairy godmother, who is intent on finding Rosaline a 'Prince Charming'.
Eventually, Rosaline arrives at her sweetheart's house, and, spoilers, Rosaline's sweetheart is a woman.
Errico commends illustrator Michael Scanlon for perfectly depicting how he envisioned 'Rosaline's sweetheart' in his head. Errico is an advocate of diversity in media and his commitment to We Need More Diverse Books is reflected in his choice of character portrayals; Rosaline being queer, and her girlfriend being a person of colour.
Errico recently told Upworthy that the media that children consume isn’t just cute, but “hugely impactful” in shaping the way that they see themselves and the world around them, saying: “I felt that my industry wasn’t really doing its part to help kids learn acceptance of themselves and others. I think it’s important to show kids from all forms of love and identity in a positive light from a young age, so that’s what ‘Rosaline’ is all about.”
Talking to SBS, he added he has "never found a lesbian protagonist" in a fairytale.
"Since it's a genre we consistently draw from today, I think it's important that we broaden it to show all forms of love and identity in a positive light," he concluded.
Rosaline is narrated by actress Teri Polo, who starred in Meet the Parents and is currently playing a lesbian parent in an interracial marriage raising biological, adopted and foster kids in The Fosters. Polo is an LGBTQIA ambassador and recently received the Ally For Equality Award at the Human Rights Commission Gala 2015.
This is Errico’s second animation that depicts same-sex relationships. The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived was released on Hulu earlier this year, depicting a knight who declines the advances of a princess and proposes marriage to her brother, instead.