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What About the Ladies?

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Postby Ashley » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:07 am



Hmm I see where this person is coming from but I don't agree. Perhaps because it reads more like a bitter rant and as such I don't see it as a balanced argument.

Obviously yes men dominate in the Pixar films but one thing that seems to get ignored is the types of men they are which is, to me, important. They are 'rounded' males, not stereotypical 'hard-bodied' males (as one academic calls them). Woody is deeply paranoid, is both affectionate and needs affectionate, caring, supportive etc. Even someone like Mr Incredible is caring (of his family) and helpful (of innocent people, although I'm sure you could argue about the whole "superhero males helping" aspect) etc.

I think that's one thing that makes Pixar films really appealing, the males that are represented aren't simple but strong type of characters. Even compared to Disney's films in which males are historically quite two-dimensional (no pun intended).

Furthermore I genuinely believe that the people at Pixar are just more comfortable with telling stories about males (although you could argue they are not really 'about males' but rather 'about characters who happen to be male') and the story is the most important thing to them. What would be much worse is if they tried to portray women and got it terribly wrong because they just don't know. I'm sure there are dozens of movies/tv shows in which males have tried to write strong female characters and its ended up as nothing more than clichés.
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Postby mogwai_milkshake » Sat Jul 03, 2010 11:13 am

I sometimes wonder if the issue isn't so much that Pixar never has any female leads (Brave notwithstanding), but that they don't appear to be particularly well-represented amongst the more miscellaneous ranks. Several Pixar films have huge groups which all, by default, appear to be male, despite common sense frequently dictating that a few members would have to be female, for the purposes of said group sustaining itself.

Consider that:

None of Muntz's massive army of dogs in Up appear to be female. We certainly never hear any female voices coming out of those collars, anyway. I've actually heard a bit of debate on the significance of those voices and those collars - does Muntz supply the voices himself or are they (Alpha's malfunctioning collar aside), intended to be accurate representations of how the dog would sound if it actually could speak like a human?

It's been a while since I've seen A Bug's Life, so forgive me if I'm wrong, but, other than the passing reference to Molt and Hopper's deceased mother, I don't remember there being any female grasshoppers.

Were any of the scarers or their assistants female in Monsters, Inc? I can't recall. (This is one group which would not, in itself, have to contain any females for the purposes of reproduction, but still, it's interesting.)

One female rat, with one speaking line ("How do you know?") in Ratatouille (but then, other than Remy, Emile, Django and, to a lesser extent, Git, there aren't very many rat speaking roles - I know that Remy's mother was originally intended to be a character, but got scrapped in early production).

Just an observation I've made. I thought I'd add it to the debate.
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Postby ellie-jessie-eve » Sat Jul 03, 2010 6:56 pm

Good observations mogwai_milkshake!
I never really thought about the lack of female grasshoppers.

Anyhow, I recall once a hard core traditional disney fan (rof anything past 1999 or CGI) and I were discussing the lack of female roles in Pixar. She brought up how all of the directors at Pixar, were female, and that Pixar wasn't equal oppertunitists in the character or director department.

But now that I think about it, there has never been a female director at Walt disney Studios either! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure none of them were female, but all men. There are very few female directors in all animation studios, so maybe this is partially the reason behind it. There aren't too many female writer as well.

At least we have Miss. Chapman as a director at Pixar now! I loved Prince of Egypt, so I can't wait to see what she has in store for us with Brave!
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Postby karly05 » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:06 pm

Theoretically, at least some of Muntz's dogs have to be female, or the dog pack would have died out long ago. All the dog voices we hear are male - but all the dog voices we hear also belong to the "guard dogs." Muntz being of an older generation might assign the dogs jobs based on old fashioned male/female roles, so the guard dogs might be all male, while the female dogs have other roles. We don't hear voices from the "staff" dogs, including the one dusting the skeleton, the ones with the dinner menu and champagne, the ones who serve dinner, etc., so any of them might be female.

There are definitely female Monsters working at MI, and I would expect there are female scarers and assistants, they just aren't identified. The lack of female Grasshoppers in ABL wouldn't seem odd except for the scene where they're hanging out at the sombrero - you'd think some of the guys would have girlfriends hanging around. Other than that, we only see the Grasshoppers as this "biker gang"/mob harrassing the ants, and it would make sense that the "gang" is all male.

The lack of obviously female rats doesn't bother me because, as you say, there are very few rats in Ratatouille with even incidental speaking roles.

It might be nice if they had a more apparent mix of male/female in the "group" characters, where it made sense, but I don't know if they don't think about that, or if there are other reasons (they don't want to use female voices on the "mean" dogs, they needed ALL the Grasshoppers to leave the sombrero after Hopper's "motivational" speech, so no girls hanging around, etc.).

Switching back slightly to a comment about significant female characters (Major TS3 Spoiler ahead): [spoil]I think they did a really wonderful job with Bonnie in TS3, and props to them for not assuming that Andy's toys had to go to another little boy. I think Bonnie is a wonderful character because she's so real and engaging and doesn't fall into the easy stereotypes of the "tomboy" or the "pretty princess" - she's just this cute, funny, imaginative kid.[/spoil]
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Postby ellie-jessie-eve » Sat Jul 03, 2010 9:16 pm

Once again, I don't have a problem with the lack of females in pixar movies!

But I think what other people have problems with, is that yeah there are female dogs and monsters and rats. they just have a problem that they're not shown. That they're not featured or appriciated.
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:13 am

I still don't care. If the characters are realistic and likeable, what's the prob?
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Postby xCarsLuverx » Sun Jul 04, 2010 3:10 am

Who cares? :roll: I could care less if the character is male or female,although my favorite Pixar character is Sally... :D
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:50 am

xCarsLuverx wrote:Who cares? :roll: I could care less if the character is male or female,although my favorite Pixar character is Sally... :D


Agreed. I think some of Pixar's finest characters are the female side-characters. HELLO?! Jessie? EVE anybody? Never mind....I'm done ranting.
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Postby ellie-jessie-eve » Sun Jul 04, 2010 5:24 am

IncredigirlVirginia wrote:
xCarsLuverx wrote:Who cares? :roll: I could care less if the character is male or female,although my favorite Pixar character is Sally... :D


Agreed. I think some of Pixar's finest characters are the female side-characters. HELLO?! Jessie? EVE anybody? Never mind....I'm done ranting.


hee hee I know! Check out my user name! Pixar females! *gasp* they do exist!
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Postby mogwai_milkshake » Sun Jul 04, 2010 9:31 am

xCarsLuverx wrote:Who cares? :roll:


No need for rudeness. After all, is there really any harm in noticing and discussing such things?

Nobody is denying that Pixar females exist, we're just discussing how, in the Pixar universe, they're not as frequently depicted as males. No need for anyone to get defensive about it - as far as I'm concerned it's just a friendly, laid-back discussion.

Thank you to ellie-jessie-eve and karly05 for their thoughtful responses to my post. :)
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Postby xCarsLuverx » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:20 pm

mogwai_milkshake wrote:
xCarsLuverx wrote:Who cares? :roll:


No need for rudeness. After all, is there really any harm in noticing and discussing such things?

Nobody is denying that Pixar females exist, we're just discussing how, in the Pixar universe, they're not as frequently depicted as males. No need for anyone to get defensive about it - as far as I'm concerned it's just a friendly, laid-back discussion.

Thank you to ellie-jessie-eve and karly05 for their thoughtful responses to my post. :)

*sigh* here we go again :roll: .I not getting defensive about anything.I'm voicing my opinion just like you are.Sorry if I came off rude I'm just in [spoil]PMS[/spoil] mode,and I tend to word things diffrently....
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Postby mogwai_milkshake » Sun Jul 04, 2010 11:41 pm

Aww, forget it. :)
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Postby Badger » Sun Aug 22, 2010 4:50 pm

Really, I don't mind the female-to-male ratio in animated films, as long as they don't claim one gender to be better than the other. And girls in movies are always either cutesy or tomboyish. Or something in between. What ever went wrong with female nerds, for one? I'd like to see a female nerd in an animated feature once...

But then make a female character (especially if it's an animal) TOO tomboyish and people will assume she's a guy...[/i]
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Postby IncredigirlVirginia » Sun Aug 22, 2010 8:36 pm

As long as there are awesome side characters like Collete, Helen and Jessie, I'm good. :D
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Postby Nausicaa » Fri Sep 03, 2010 11:59 pm

In response to the question about female scarers in Monsters Inc., during the advert that Mike and Sulley watch at the begining a female monster in a hard hat turns around and says "I'm Monsters Incorperated". Then Sulley goes "Hey, it's Betty!" I'm pretty sure she was supposed to be a scarer/ assisstant - I might be forgetting parts of the moment though.

In the end I'm not really bothered by the fact that there are more boys than girls in their films. I do hope that they make more films with female protagonists after Brave though.
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