Disney's identikit women


#1

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#2

I wonder how much more input Disney had on Brave than on other Pixar movies. I think that might explain why the film was less successful, a diluted expression of the Pixar brand. Is anyone aware of any stories that might confirm that suspicion?


#3

Cartoons where all the women look the same, sexualized, and have childlike features should be banned.


#4

Why should they be banned?


#5

Disney goes out of its way to use unrealistic female imagery?

Next you’ll tell me that they underrepresent minorities in their movies. Or that their founder is a racist frozen in ice.


#6

You have it backwards. Lasseter runs both like a dictator.


#7

Perhaps they just didn’t want the characters to go too far down the uncanny valley. Also, the men in Disney movies are no more realistic than the women. Nor are the other animals, for that matter.


#8

Also, the men in Disney movies are no more realistic than the women.

They’ve all been making the same smarmy douche-face for 20 years (the Dreamworks dudes as well)…


#9

Because they’re so, so bad!

I was hoping that someone would take umbrage to me lumping anime style in with Disney, because…um…do I have to explain this one?

EDIT (sorry for it being long, I had a thought, it ran long, didn’t want to leave a second comment):

Disney’s a big, faceless corporation so they get to be a target, but as far as I know they have these things called style guides . I’d assume making a small-eyed, pug-nosed, plus-sized princess would be as well-received as it would be if an artist had a gig with Sanrio to draw Hello Kitty and the artist opted to make her into a realistic looking calico.

Plus, after the success of Tangled, I would have been shocked if they’d thrown that style out and started anew. I know my freckled redheaded girls have already expressed an interest in Anna, just based on the fact that she’s redheaded and freckled.

Finally…I remember there being minor outrage over Pocahontas, Aladdin, and Mulan. Bitter complaint about The Princess and the Frog because Tiana falls in love with the racially ambiguous prince from a fictional land. (Hilariously, many complained that he was white because of his French accent…when really, the actor who played Naveen is Brazilian.) Or the people who think that because Saami are considered indigenous, that it’s insulting that the characters in Frozen are white. Heck, for more recent examples, look at the tempest in a teapot that happened by announcing that blue-eyed Sofia is Hispanic. Because there certainly aren’t any white Hispanics. If I was in a position to make decisions, I think I’d shy away from making non-white characters.

Not that Disney needs anyone to feel sorry for them, of course, but it does seem (imho) like they’re currently in a no-win situation; their whole schtick is to make happy feel-good stories that largely ignore the source material (hello Pocahontas and Little Mermaid).


#10

Well, I hate Disney movies, and I don’t really like the subset of anime you’re referring to either. Actually, I wouldn’t have drawn that comparison myself, but I’m certainly not offended, especially since I never understood why people like Disney in the first place (besides the fact that they watched a bunch when they were kids). Can you explain this one?


#11

I don’t get the adults who love Disney as an adult. Sorry, Cory Doctorow, but I totally don’t “get” you, man. My wife’s direct superior goes to Disney World multiple times a year and has covered her house in Mickey Mouse gear. Seriously, I don’t get it, it’s a fun place and all, but there are so many interesting, fun places you can go without spending an arm and a leg. She’d probably feel the same way about the Jean-Luc Picard figure ( a First Contact figure, holding a bottle of Chateu Picard champagne) I have sitting next to my monitor or all the Star Wars and Star Trek stuff I have, so…there’s that.

And I don’t get the obsession with princesses. The huge complaints seem to be about the staggering whiteness of Disney characters or the sameness of style from movie to movie, but I honestly see the obsession with royalty to be the weirdest part about it. I mean, for Pete’s sake, even The Lion King was about royalty. I mean, it’s not as weird as why-does-Goofy-the-dog-have-a-pet-dog weird, but imho it’s weird.


#12

I don’t get the adults who love Disney as an adult. Sorry, Cory Doctorow, but I totally don’t “get” you, man. My wife’s direct superior goes to Disney World multiple times a year and has covered her house in Mickey Mouse gear. Seriously, I don’t get it, it’s a fun place and all, but there are so many interesting, fun places you can go without spending an arm and a leg.

If you’re really interested in the answer to that, I wrote a blog post earlier this year trying to answer that very question.

Regarding the big eyes, I think the character design for Frozen is boring as hell. I really wish they’d try something new. It’s so much more interesting when they let one person’s singular vision dominate the design and storytelling, a la Chris Sanders’ work in Lilo and Stitch.


#13

People who love animation as a medium recognize Disney’s numerous achievements (both the creator’s and the company’s). Despite obvious problems and shortcomings, Disney made enormous contributions to animation, inspired great animators and raised the bar for animation in America. It is difficult to let go of the promise and potential that they once showed. There is still some amazing talent and creativity buried in there and I think most animation lovers still hope to see an animated movie out of them that would blow their minds (like Pixar did a few times). Completely giving up on Disney means giving up on most of mainstream animation in North America, unfortunately. There are little gems out of small indy studios but they usually are shorts doomed to be only seen by small audiences at obscure festivals. If even animation powerhouse Disney stops endorsing animated films as a respectable creative medium and shy away from making it grow, the little ones- however brilliant- lose a lot of momentum.

I love animation. Fortunately, there are great animated films coming out of other markets. But I still hope to see American animation come out of its rut, if for no other reason than ‘the more the better’.


#14

Maybe they’re trying to save manufacturing costs on the dolls by reusing the molds for all of their female characters? If they all have the same face minus coloration, then you can save a lot of money on plastic injection molds.


#15

I wouldn’t know, but that’s one of the reasons why all the characters on My Little Pony have the exact same body type.


#16

The new Disney Star Wars is going to be teh awesomes!

[bleargh]


#17

Quicker to do the 3d modelling as well.


#18

I can’t wait for Leia to be redesigned as a Disney Princess.


#19

Did you ever see these?
[Han Solo in Drag]

One of my friends collected almost all the '95 figures (unironically, I must say). The Leia figure was the best-worst, though. If you pulled off the “skirt” you could see that she had legs like Arnold Schwarzenegger.


#20

Not all anime is like that… Pretty much anything by Miyazaki blows Disney out of the water in terms of how women and girls are portrayed.