Evan Rachel Wood said Mulan has “a little bi energy going on there” in an interview this week on the “Big Ticket” podcast produced by Variety and iHeart.
In response to host Marc Malkin’s question about whether an animated Disney film will ever feature a queer protagonist, the bisexual Frozen 2 star said, “I’m still not convinced that we haven’t already with Mulan and Hercules. Come on! Honestly, Mulan is still up for debate.”
“It’s gotta happen one day!” Wood continued. “We’ll see. This is a huge part of [Disney’s] fanbase. They’re missing a golden opportunity.”
Fans declared Mulan to be a bisexual icon last year in the wake of a Ralph Breaks the Internet promo image featuring the character wearing cuffed jeans and a varsity jacket. Mulan was also pictured with one foot tucked halfway under herself, reminiscent of bisexuals’ stereotypical sitting habits.
Many Disney fans also hoped that the hotly anticipated Frozen sequel would feature Princess Elsa getting a girlfriend. Elsa’s voice actor Idina Menzel in 2016 said she’d support the move, but would leave it up to Disney.
“When I signed on for this, that’s what everybody thought,” Wood told Malkin. “I started getting a lot of tweets at me asking if I was Elsa’s girlfriend.”
Wood, in fact, plays Elsa’s mother. Elsa does not come out or get a girlfriend in Frozen 2.
Disney made headlines in 2017 with Beauty and the Beast’s openly gay character of LeFou, played by Frozen star Josh Gad. And Frozen 2 co-director and chief creative officer of Walt Disney Animation Studios Jennifer Lee told Malkin that having a queer protagonist is certainly possible in the future. “I mean, there are no limits to the characters we can have,” she said.
In 2018, Lee addressed the question of Elsa's possible queerness by saying, “I love everything people are saying [and] people are thinking about with our film.”
“Where we’re going with it, we have tons of conversations about it, and we’re really conscientious about these things. For me ... Elsa’s every day telling me where she needs to go, and she’ll continue to tell us,” Lee told HuffPost.
But the company has yet to prominently feature a lead LGBTQ character.
Still, Frozen 2 co-director Chris Buck maintained that Disney “captures the best of America, the best of the world, the best of people out there.”