Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Buzz Is Building About Pixar's Lack of Female Protagonists

As Pixar's newest smash hit, Up, wows audiences in the way that all Pixar movies seem to do, a counter narrative about the franchise's lack of female protagonists is beginning to pick up real steam.

A week ago, from the blog "Truth, Justice, and Tacos", appeared a post, entitled Finding Nema - Where Are The Girls in Pixar Films?.

The thesis and methodological approach from the post:

This is not to say that Pixar doesn't include worthy female characters. But these characters are never the main focus - they're there to support the lead male character in whatever quest he's on. Most often, if you see a female, they're there either as a wife, mother or love interest.

Here's a breakdown of the notable female characters from each film, plus an overall feminist grade on the quality of the female characters:

Then today, appeared this post on the NPR website, endearingly entitled "Dear Pixar, From All The Girls With Band-Aids On Their Knees."

Gotta love this snippet:

I want so much for girls to have a movie like Up that is about someone they can dress up as for Halloween, as Anika Noni Rose said about starring as the voice in The Princess And The Frog. Not a girl who's a side dish, but a girl who's the big draw.

And I'd really, really like it not to be a princess.

My understanding is that after the summer blockbusters of 2010 and 2011 -- Toy Story 3 and Newt -- you're planning The Bear And The Bow, a Christmastime fairy tale rather than a summer adventure. And your first one about a girl -- way to go!

But why, oh why, does it have to be about a princess? Again?

Et tu, Pixar?



Supadiscomama said...


Supadiscomama said...

Interesting. I disagree with her about Jesse from Toy Story 2, though. Yes, she's rescued at one point, but she also kicks Woody's ass when he insults her, and she rescues the puppy at the end (though this leads to Buzz Lightyear's erection). I don't think it's fair to classify her as simply a love interest.

Colette, too, is more significant than the blogger gives her credit for. As she points out, she's a successful female in the masculine world of professional cooking. She's smart, doesn't take shit, and is devoted to her work. Plus, she rides a motorcycle.

It is lame, though, that the first female main character is a princess--but maybe she'll provide an alternative example of what a princess is. We'll see...