Pixar is beloved by children and adults around the world, but is the animation studio letting the female half of the planet down when it comes to gender equality on screen?
Tumblr blog Gifstrips has published an enlightening post on the matter of female representation in Pixar films, highlighting certain key facts that suggest that yes, Pixar films are generally poor when it comes to its female characters.
The post has been liked and shared over 18k times since it was published back in June, which leads us to believe that the blog has some pertinent points to make.
It isn’t an attack on Pixar, after all the animation studio gave us amazing female characters like Jessie in ‘Toy Story 2’, EVE in ‘WALL-E’, and Merida in ‘Brave'.
It’s more of a progress report that says: must try harder.
Here’s some of the key facts worth considering…
Most Pixar films fail the ‘Bechdel Test’
The Bechdel Test is a popular gender bias test created by American cartoonist Alison Bechdel in 1985. It’s become more well-known over the last few years and has recently been incorporated by some Swedish cinemas into their ratings advice.
As of November 2014, just 57.2% of the 5557 films rated by bechdeltest.com, passed all three tests.
The Bechdel test asks:
Does the film have at least two female characters with names?
Do they talk to each other?
Do they talk about something other than a man?
Gifstrips says of Pixar’s 14 films, only 4 pass the test: ‘The Incredibles’, ‘Brave’, ‘Toy Story 3’, and ‘A Bug’s Life’.
While ‘Up’, ‘Wall-E’, ‘Ratatouille’, ‘Finding Nemo’, ‘Monsters, Inc’., ‘Monsters University’, ‘Toy Story’ and ‘Toy Story 2’, ‘Cars’ and ‘Cars 2’ all fail.
Only one Pixar film has a female lead
There’s no denying this one.
The lead character in 2015’s ‘Inside Out’ is Riley, a troubled young girl who is struggling to adjust to a new life in a new town, but Pixar definitely has a long way to go if it’s going to match its stablemates Disney Animation Studios which regularly centres its films on female leads - see ‘Frozen’, ‘Tangled’, ‘The Princess and the Frog’.
There just aren’t enough female characters in Pixar films
Again, this is a troubling statistic when you think about it, particularly when you know the audience for kids films is generally split at 50%-50% boys to girls.
The post also notes that Dory is pretty much the only female fish in the ocean in ‘Finding Nemo’, and that while Pixar does create some incredible female characters, “the numbers don’t add up”.
The post signs off with the question: “When it comes to children’s animation creating multimillion dollar franchises in worlds of infinite imagination, surely gender equality should be a cert?”
What do you think? Is Pixar failing at female representation?
Let us know below…
Read more on Gifstrips.
Image credits: Pixar/Tumblr