pixar girls.

December 8, 2010

The theme of this week seems to be gender. I was pointed to an article from a few years ago about Pixar’s lack of female characters. I find these observations interesting because I would never notice. But when it’s listed out – oh my, how did I miss it? Because male = neutral is our default mode. It’s similar to the unisex clothing. Male gendered items work for both males and females, but female gendered items are strictly female. And princess movies are geared toward little girls, but anything that attempts to have little boys as the audience won’t have a main female lead.

But this is not a rant by any means. I don’t feel I have a right to throw a fit about something I wouldn’t notice on my own. Just something interesting to share that somewhat fell in line with my post earlier this week. What I found really interesting is the author’s update about WALL-E. I’m impressed that she was able to look past the automatic genders we assign to the main characters. I don’t think I could do that. Even if I was consciously trying.



  1. “Male gendered items work for both males and females, but female gendered items are strictly female.” — Sorry if this comment is of poor taste but toilets seem to be an exception. :p

    • Ha! Good call.

  2. This reminds me of a conversation I was having with Brett a few months ago. We were talking about how stories that explore manhood are much more broadly accepted and easily considered “great,” than a story about womanhood. The woman’s story would get filed under feminist lit, while stories about boys who learn to be men become classics or win academy awards. This came up because he said he didn’t like scenes of women sitting around talking in a movie, and I said that conversations are an important part of how women deal with things, and that important character development was happening before his eyes (also not interesting). It boiled down to him saying the best way to make a story about a woman interesting is if she acts more like a man. I guess that’s how they made Salt, the role was written for Tom Cruise, but Jolie ended up doing it. I really don’t see that as a good solution, though.

    • Ah, but Salt was a terrible movie.

      To be fair too, I think historically men’s activities just lend themselves better to story-telling (war, coming of age rituals, classically male professions). Because for a long time, what did women do? We got married and had kids. Not that ir couldn’t make for a great story. But if I were watching a movie, do I want to watch a woman get married and have kids or do I want to watch a possibly Russian spy evade the Americans only to turn out to really be loyal to America?

      • I didn’t see Salt, I actually can’t pay attention to most action movies – not enough talking.

        I’m not convinced that the issue is simply that men do more interesting things. Why is getting married and having children so much less interesting? Carrying and raising children is much more important for society, and to me seems like the biggest challenge I will ever face. Plus, if it were simply an issue of actions, why couldn’t pixar simply replace the “male” ant/toy/monster with a more female character and have the same success? Even an action movie with a female lead, unless she’s hot, I think would still end up being niche and less interesting to many people. And why should a woman have to act more like a man to be more generally accepted?

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