Is This Oscar-Nominated, Animated Film Really About a Lesbian Romance?

Snow White and Red Riding hood
Terra Necessary

It’s Oscar Season! Time to pick apart every movie from the last year that’s made the cut! This year, one of the animated shorts is about a love story between Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood...well, not quite. Like so much queer content, it’s right there under the surface. And really, really cute!

Revolting Rhymes is one of the five nominees up for an Best Animated Short Film nod at this year's Academy Awards. The short is the first of two BBC half-hour adaptations of the Roald Dalh children’s book by the same name. The story is a retelling of familiar fairy tales, in this case Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood. Like most Roald Dalh stories, however, this version is a bit, let's just say...twisted. Little Red packs a pistol in her knickers, and Snow White works as the maid for 7 sweet but gambling-addicted horse jockeys.

The BBC short has woven all the stories together in a format that works well for part one. Red and Snow are shown to be friends. Friends who met in flower fields in the woods to hold hands and gift each other mistletoe (subtle.) Friends who spend most of their youth yearning to see each other again. Friends who are willing to murder for each other (this fairytale gets pretty intense.) The two's bond is deep and sweet, bringing comfort into their otherwise rather awful lives.

The film, while cute enough for kiddos who want a little twisted darkness to their stories, becomes slightly more layered and complex when the idea of Snow and Red’s relationship comes into play. The emotions are subtle, but strengthen the story, and the idea of lost love is especially poignant in its fairy tale setting. Alas, the episode ends with Red and Snow heading out (for a date night?) and leaving Red’s kids with the babysitter, which leads into episodes two. The second episode is definitely weaker, which is probably why only episode one is up for an Oscar. (Who knows, maybe Snow had just gotten home in time for date night? Maybe they’re just working out the adoption? This is where the fanfic kicks in.)

Revolting Rhymes is up against some strong contenders, like the twisted and beautiful Garden Party, about frogs invading an abandoned luxury villa, and Negative Spaces, a heart-wrenching stop-motion animation short about a boy’s relationship to his father. Lately the Oscars have gotten a lot of slack for their lack of diversity, especially with regards to race. We’ll see how well this year fairs!

Watch the trailer for Revolting Rhymes in the video below!

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