Thursday, November 29, 2012

The ribbon dancing is a metaphor.

This is a pictoral 'essay' through which I am going to provide evidence and commentary for my theory that the Disney film, Cadet Kelly, is really about being a lesbian in military school. 

Cadet Kelly stars Hillary Duff and Christi Carlson Romano, and tells the story of Kelly (Duff) who has been raised as a free-loving artist in NYC. Her mother marries a military man, who then takes a job as the commandant of a military academy. Due to the fact that they have to move out into the country, where the school is, Kelly has no choice but to attend the academy.

The very first trouble she gets into is over a rainbow flag blanket which she really, really wants on her bed in the barracks. Her platoon leader, Capt. Jennifer Stone, picks it up and looks at it like it's the embodiement of everything she loathes about herself:
PT at this school involves a lot of making the cadets crawl around in the mud. Capt. Jennifer Stone enjoys her job:
She gleefully makes Kelly crawl through extra mud, in the rain, so that Kelly won't show up to the dance. But Kelly does anyways, because she is determined to dance with the Capt:
Everyone see this, and the Capt. is shocked and embarassed:
She responds by not only yelling at Kelly for her pride blanket, but ripping it up:
Kelly lies in bed, staring at the torn pieces of her pride:
Her only recourse is to sneak into Capt. Jennifer Stone's room, in the dark, at night, wearing this expression on her face:

She "paints Jennifer Stone's hair rainbow." This movie takes metaphors extremely literally:
Capt. Jennifer Stone wants to have a word with her about this:

Kelly is court-martialed, and there is a tense, illogical moment while Capt. Stone is trying to keep it together and read the charges where the judge repeatedly orders her to remove her hat and show her gay hair. That's asking, sir:

Kelly is devastated by the court-martial and thinks in an interior monologue that military school probably isn't for her. Unspoken is her upset at outing Capt. Stone:
Her punishment is to shine and polish the drill team's gear. The drill team is cheerleaders with rifles. Kelly called them robots earlier, and thinks this is a terrible punishment, until she is watching them practice one day, and suddenly she realizes it's really cool and beautiful, and she gets this expression on her face:
What is she looking at, you might ask? Well, immediately after the finger biting, the camera cuts over to:
And then this happens:
Kelly is the equipment manager, and she now has incentive to be the best equipment manager possible, because sometimes that means helping Capt. Stone get dressed:
But it's not enough. Kelly realizes that in order to gain the respect of Capt. Stone, she must join the drill team. So she asks Gloria to help her. Gloria shows her how to handle her weapon:
Kelly's hard work eventually leads to her making the drill team, and then she has a confrontation with Capt. Stone in a field:
Kelly gives Capt Stone a clearly smitten glance, and Capt Stone is clearly uncomfortable about it:
They wind up dancing together, and while it looks like weird military step dancing, they make eye contact and, no shit, do not break eye contact for the entire dance sequence. It's really intense:
Gloria, watching them, gets this look on her face, because she is a romantic:
So then the drill team captain, Brad, says that they have to dance together for the competition, because they have "fire and passion." No really, it's what he says.

There are a couple of adorable locker room scenes, culminating in this one, where Capt. Stone accuses her of doing all of this for Brad, and Kelly says, "Ma'am, no ma'am. YOU are my partner... and commanding officer. I work with YOU."
At the competition, Gloria once again voices her support of their relationship:

And they dance together in front of several military schools and parents:
Jennifer Stone starts to look happy for the first time:
Kelly is already unbelievably ecstatic:
At one point in the routine, they start ribbon-dancing. The crowd is like, "Wait, what? This is military step-dancing." But we understand that ribbon dancing is a euphemism:

They get a standing ovation, and Jennifer Stone cannot contain her happiness:

Kelly wins:
Capt. Stone salutes her:
And Kelly is all, psh, no, I'm hugging you in front of everyone:
We all know that "knocks her hat askew" is another euphemism:
And then in the final moments, Capt. Stone reveals that her father has been transferred to Europe, so she's moving. To Europe. Look at their faces (I included a thumbnail of Kelly's face.) Have you ever seen two people look more devastated?


  1. OMG! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thought this was a totally gay movie!

  2. What's ironic is that this was a Disney film, a company that is notoriously homophobic.