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Brave New World: Pixar’s Latest a Test for Girls

So how difficult is it to get a cartoon movie made with a female protagonist?

Very.

Joel Stein has a great story in Time on the behind-the-scenes struggle to bring Brave, Pixar’s first flick featuring a female lead, to the big screen, complete with initial shrugs during the pitch and culminating with director changes. It’s a fascinating look at what goes into making a movie, but there’s one thing that really stuck out for me — something that really shines a spotlight into why it’s taken so long for Pixar to feature a female lead.

Says initial director and Brave creator Brenda Chapman: It’s not that boys, the apparent drivers of movie decisions, won’t see a movie with a girl. It’s that the cultural thrust of the times — media, parents, you name it — tell them they shouldn’t. This is a new problem, argues Chapman.

“Back in my day, boys and girls both went to see Cinderella and Snow White and Sleeping Beauty,” she says. “It’s just a change in media and advertising.”

That. That right there. That explains it.

I grew up watching those same movies and didn’t think twice about it. They were awesome cartoon movies. What more could I want?

Growing up nowadays, there’s a firm pink-blue wall that seems to divide everything. Boys have their Cars, and Girls have their Tangleds. Toys, clothes, TV shows — pretty much everything is split up. Mind you, it’s not for the good of the kids. It’s so companies can sell twice the crap to the same houses.

I’m hoping Brave comes up big, so we see more strong female characters on the silver screen. Our girls deserve to see them. And so do our boys.

Mike Adamick writes at Cry It Out!

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Photo: Time
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