While Disney’s latest princess film shakes up gender norms with a ninja-like Rapunzel, there’s still plenty of traditional gender norms to be had in kids’ feature films.
Toy Story 3 is out, and along with vivid animation, clever dialog and a great marketing campaign, it’s delivering a heaping helping of sexism and homophobia. Yum!
Ms. Magazine calls out the film for a laundry list of offenses against their female viewers, especially the little girls in the audience.
That the latest Toy Story film continues the tradition of downplaying girls power and intelligence isn’t that surprising. Ms. also points out that every film Pixar has made features a male protagonist. They’re not exactly a chick-flick kind of company.
The specific charges against them in the case of Toy Story 3:
- The film favors male characters over female ones by a 7-1 ratio (much worse than the average 3-1 preference for boys over girls in children’s media).
- The boy’s mother is a) nameless and b) a nag.
- The film is peppered with jokes about how women should be quiet, are hilarious when they say something smart, and really only care about romance.
- Ken is portrayed as an effete closet-case who writes in sparkly purple pen but defends his manhood by whining, “I am not a girl toy!” The take-away: the worst thing you can be is a girl. The second worst thing you be is a gay boy.
I haven’t actually seen this film yet, and the Ms. review doesn’t make me long to rush out and watch it with my daughters.
Have any of you seen it? What’s your sense of it’s performance on gender issues?