12 kids movies of 2011 titled for male star; 1 titled for female star

Last year, Disney execs switched the title of “Rapunzel” to “Tangled” because they didn’t want to highlight the female star. They did this with no shame at all, to practically no protest, giving interviews to media outlets about their decision. So female stars are practically banned from kids’ movie titles but males are featured in them again and again and again? And this is OK? What message does this blatant sexism send to kids?

Here’s a list of 2011 movie titles that refer to the male star:

Alvin and The Chipmunks: Chipwrecked



The Adventures of Tintin

Arthur Christmas

Puss In Boots

Mr. Popper’s Penguins

The Zookeeper

Kung Fu Panda 2

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Winnie the Pooh

Kids’ movies of 2011 that feature a girl in the title? One: Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.

When girls are continuously, relentlessly relegated to supporting roles, both genders learn that girls are less important than boys. Is this really the message we want our young kids to learn when they go to the movies?

I have three daughters ages 2 – 8. We pay our $10 like everyone else. My kids want to know where the girls are. Hollywood, what should I tell them?

You can see Reel Girl’s Gallery of Girls Gone Missing From Kids’ Movies in 2011 here. The Gallery features 20 movie posters from 2011.

10 thoughts on “12 kids movies of 2011 titled for male star; 1 titled for female star

  1. I do agree with anyone who says that there aren’t enough girl stories for kids. I do think this article is very biased unfortunately. I do want to add that girls are far more complicated than boys and it’s really not very refreshing to see yet another girl story in the princess genre. I’d love to see a story about Jessie from Toy Story. And there are PLENTY of opportunities for doing interesting back stories on bad girls and villainesses (such as in Wicked). If anyone were paying me to write stories for Disney, I’d be the first one digging through the gold mine of alternative stories and back stories that are interesting and character-building.

  2. You missed a few –

    Gnomeo and Juliet
    Spy Kids (one of the kids is a girl)
    Hood Winked Too
    Mia and Migoo
    Mars needs Moms (*spoiler alert* – yes, it’s mostly about the kid, but it’s Mom who sacrifices her life to save her son).
    Soul Surfer
    Turtle (the turtle is “she”)

    btw – when you start labeling moves as either “Sterotyping” or “GirlPower” (http://margotmagowan.wordpress.com/2011/11/25/questions-to-ask-when-considering-a-movie-for-your-kids) you come off as being very biased, and folks notice that you only listed one of eight movies with female leads in the title.

    “When girls are continuously, relentlessly relegated to supporting roles”


    • mntest347,

      This is a list of movie titles for young kids (2 – 8) that refer to the movie’s male star only i.e. what “Rapunzel” would have been had it not been switched to “Tangled.”


      • How does “Hood Winked Too” not make the list? It’s for kids, and the stars name is “Little Red Riding HOOD”.

        And how does “The Zookeeper” (Griffin Keyes) make the list? “The Zookeeper” is less of a name than “Soul Surfer” or “Turtle” (they are not titled “The Soul Surfer” or “A Turtle”. Also “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” (Greg) and “Kung Fu Panda 2” (Po).

        You’ve left out movies that meet your criteria, and included movies that don’t meet your criteria to get your 12:1. That’s not “research”.

        • mntest347,

          Hood Winked Too is a verb pun, it doesn’t make me think of a subject, a star, someone’s name. I wish it did, but the reference to Little Red Riding Hood is hidden.
          Zookeeper refers to the Zookeeper, the guy pictured in all the posters, the man, the star.
          Soul Surfer is great but its for older kids. This is a list of movie titles for little kids.
          Turtle is a documentary. Its in a different category, not included in most lists of kids movies. I agree it should be highlighted in its own post. Its about a female turtle and that is cool. I will do a post on it.
          Diary of a Wimpy Kid & Kung Fu Panda, see Zookeeper comment.

          Thanks for visiting Reel Girl.


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  5. And of course, Disney is the mega-corporation at the top when it comes to children’s programming, so their decision to put profit above message is damaging in that it further creates a culture where movies featuring male leads are bound to profit more, thus ensuring that shows produced by smaller companies have even less of a chance of finding backing and support for shows that try to buck the trend.

  6. After the less-than-fairy-tale results for its most recent animated release, “The Princess and the Frog,” executives at the Burbank studio believe they know why the acclaimed movie came up short at the box office.

    Load. Of. Crap.


    The film [p+frog] premiered in theaters with a limited run in New York and Los Angeles beginning on November 25, 2009, followed by wide release on December 11, 2009. The film was originally set for release on Christmas Day 2009, but its release date was changed due to a competing family film, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, scheduled for release the same day.

    On its limited day release, the film grossed $263,890 at two theaters and grossed $786,190 its opening weekend. On its opening day in wide release, the film grossed $7,020,000 at 3,434 theaters. It went on to gross $24,208,916 over the opening weekend averaging $7,050 per theater, marking it the highest-grossing start to date for an animated movie in December. The film went on to gross $104,400,899 (in the United States and Canada) and $267,045,756 (worldwide). [bold emphasis mine]

    If animated films do suffer financially because the title showcases a female figure, this is a very poor example to be hauled out to highlight that trend. And “The Little Mermaid” minus “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves,” in years, unless my math is off, is something like…half a century or so? They both did alright, right? So if female reference pronouns have to be dropped from the title in order to give the film a shot at financial success — when did this start, exactly? And why?

    Not buying it. They’re coming up with excuses. Flimsy, nonsensical excuses.

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