From The MarySue:
When I saw this quote circulating around Tumblr last night I assumed it was made up. Did Lino DiSalvo, Frozen‘s head of animation, really say that animating female characters is difficult because they’re so “sensitive” and “you have to keep them pretty”? Unlike male characters, who are far, far more stoic than we emotional womenfolk, amirite? But no. It appears that this is a legit thing that he actually said.
Here’s the quote:
Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, ’cause they have to go through these range of emotions, but they’re very, very — you have to keep them pretty and they’re very sensitive to — you can get them off a model very quickly. So, having a film with two hero female characters was really tough, and having them both in the scene and look very different if they’re echoing the same expression; that Elsa looking angry looks different from Anna (Kristen Bell) being angry.
I’m going to throw up. There you have it, the whole reason for the Minority Feisty. There’s basically one type of girl. What can you possibly do with 2, or 3, or 4, or more in a story? How can they all be different? A girl is a girl is a girl, right?
When storytellers challenge the dominance of the Minority Feisty, they will be forced to challenge the sexism and stereotypes that support allowing just one female character– or a tiny minority of them– in a story as well i.e. “Don’t all angry females look the same?” This is why, obviously, the Minority Feisty trope is so pernicious and has stuck around for so long. Change her, change everything.
It’s disturbing that DiSalvo’s sexist mindset is typical of those who have the massive power to create and distribute stories to a new generation of children. A mindset, by the way, that has been dictating stories, and who and what heroes are, through history, art, religion, and politics, for thousands of years.
Who’s ready for a new story? I sure am.