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Saturday, April 29, 2023 

New animated adaptation of Frog & Toad looks like it'll emphasize gay subtext

Back in the 1970s, a children's author named Arnold Lobel penned 4 illustrated books called Frog & Toad, which appear to have been allusions to his own homosexuality. Now, there's an animated TV show being produced on Apple TV-Plus, and in an interview with the Daily Beast, the producer says it'll contain homosexual subtext:
“Every single person on our crew that had a hand in the show—as an artist, as a writer, as a voice actor—they all brought their own version of Frog and Toad to what they did,” Hoegee says. “It was really important to me that I allow as much of that on the screen as possible.”

That’s why Hoegee found it important to consider the queer subtext of the Frog and Toad books. A “significant number” of his cast and crew identify as LGBTQ+, Hoegee says, and he aspired “to make sure that everyone felt that they were being heard and their contribution—their Frog and Toad—lived on in whatever shape that was.”

“You can’t deny it,” Hoegee says. “It is part of the books, it’s part of the legacy.”

Though Frog and Toad are simply called “friends” in the series and in the books, Arnold Lobel came out to his family as gay in 1974, after the books had been published. In a 2016 interview with the New Yorker, Adrianne Lobel called the books “the beginning of him coming out.” Over the years, Frog and Toad have become gay icons. There are shirts that read “Frog and Toad Are Gay.” Even when this series was announced, Them wrote an article headlined “Everyone’s Favorite Queer Couple, ‘Frog and Toad,’ Are Coming to TV.”

“What we wanted to do here is create a faithful adaptation of the books,” Hoegee says. “For people, a lot of readers of a certain age, Frog and Toad as characters seen through a queer lens is hugely important to them. We can’t deny anyone that meaning to them, as far as these characters go. If that’s how you see these characters in the book, it’s fair to say that you will have the opportunity to see a similar viewpoint in the show as well.”

Perceive Frog and Toad however you want, but Hoegee says the most important thing is that you understand how much they deeply care for one another. It doesn’t matter if that compassion is platonic or romantic, the fact that they’re nearly inseparable should teach us all a bit about companionship.

“What Frog and Toad shows us is that there is still the ability to have a deep and meaningful and loving friendship that transcends everything,” Hoegee says. “This is a show that celebrates how two very different characters can still find a common ground and a respect and appreciation and love for each other, that still allows them to have fun together and be inseparable. Our differences shouldn’t divide us, our differences should be the thing that brings us together.”
Ever notice how nobody covering news like this ever discusses whether readers of "certain ages" can view certain creations through an ethnic/national lens (Israeli, Estonian, Armenian, Pervian, etc)? It just shows how sexual preference is the only form of identity politic Hollywood truly cares about today, and judging by how many LGBT practitioners are working on this show, they're clearly intent on making it their own vanity project in some way or other. The gushing attitude the producer employs is utterly embarrassing and head-shaking.

And as far as perceptions are concerned, Breitbart notes:
Like Sesame Street‘s Bert and Ernie, the original Frog and Toad characters from Arnold Lobel’s books have become icons of the LGBTQ+ world, even though the books don’t contain any references to homosexuality.

Arnold Lobel, who was gay, never indicated that the characters represent a gay couple. In the books, Frog and Toad are best friends who embark on a series of adventures, including flying a kite, discovering nature, and swimming.
While he may not have stated directly they were meant to represent a homosexual couple, I did once read some statements he made to the press that both amphibians were meant to reflect some of his own personality, and the producers of this new cartoon are doubtless exploiting that as justification for what they've set out to do. So whether it's a "faithful" adaptation is debatable, but don't be shocked if they go beyond mere subtext in the finished product. My own family once owned a copy of Frog & Toad, but like countless others at the time, had no idea whether it was meant as a statement by somebody who truly believed liberal propaganda that homosexuality was a positive role model.

What's really weird, depending how you view this, is that here, Lobel was married to a woman, Anita Kempler, gave birth to a daughter and son, and clearly was capable of leading a heterosexual relationship, yet somewhere along the way, he decided he wanted to lead a homosexual lifestyle and dumped the lady like cold coffee, all for the sake of that. Seriously, it's just not a good example he set by doing so. Now, decades later, some leftist ideologues are blatantly exploiting his work for their very own agendas. And it's a shame Sesame Street's Ernie & Bert fell victim to the same exploitation along with the whole show itself on PBS, which has fallen victim to LGBT exploitation in recent years. Some of the best children's TV programs of yesteryear have been throughly desecrated as a result.

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