Congratulations to “Brave”

Last night, “Brave” won the Golden Globe for Best Animated film.


YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! I wish director Brenda Chapman could’ve accepted the award since “Brave” was a story she created, inspired by her daughter, but I know that’s not protocol.



Still, with that wish in my heart, it annoyed me that the male on stage talked and the female didn’t say one thing. I’m assuming they were producers of “Brave.”

The biggest bummer for me was Kevin Costner. He is so arrogant and annoying. But the good news is, we didn’t have to watch three hours of arrogant men. The night belonged to women.

It was so great to see Tina Fey and Amy Poehler up there on stage.


They were so funny. I loved how they quipped about Bill Clinton: “That’s Hillary’s husband!” And then called him Bill Rodham Clinton. Introducing some of the nominees in the audience, they joked about dieting. Fey said, “The Hunger Games…also what I call the six weeks it took me to get into this dress.” Poehler added: “Life of Pi”…which is what I’m gonna call the six weeks after I take this dress off!” Their porn jokes were funny too, and also how they said to Kathryn Bigelow: “When it comes to torture I trust the lady that spent 3 years married to James Cameron.”



I loved the end of Jessica Chastain’s acceptance speech for Best Actress in a Drama:

I want to thank Kathryn Bigelow my director.  I can’t help but compare my character of Maya to you, two powerful fearless women that allows their expert work to stand before them.  You’ve said that filmmaking for you is not about breaking gender roles but when you make a film that allows your character to disobey the conventions of Hollywood, you’ve done more for women in cinema than you take credit for.


It was excellent to see Lena Dunham win and get up on stage twice. She said: “this award is for every woman who didn’t think there was a space for her.  I found my space.”


Jennifer Lawrence won for Best Actress in a comedy. I still haven’t seen “Silver Linings Playbook,” but I’m dying to.


Claire Danes won her excellent portrayal of the smart, complex heroine of “Homeland.”

70th Annual Golden Globe Awards Press Room [NO Germany, Austria]

The incredibly talented Adele took home an award for showcasing her kick-ass voice in “Skyfall.”


Julianne Moore won for her role in “Game Change” as Sarah Palin.


It was funny to see Fey and Moore joke about playing Palin, a character who, of course, neither woman would’ve had the chance to play if she didn’t exist in the real world.

Jodie Foster’s speech was funny and moving and strange and I was so happy to see a woman who is 50, relatively young for a lifetime achievement honor, win the Cecil B. DeMille award.



What did I miss? Whoever it could be, without a doubt, the 70th Golden Globes was the best ever for women, and therefore, of course, the best ever at all.



Disney’s Rapunzel movie changes title and cast to attract boys

The LA Times reports that that after the disappointing box office for “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney is drastically remaking it’s new Rapunzel movie to attract boys. It’s now called “Tangled” and co-stars a “swashbuckling” male in the lead.


Some people are upset. Retired Disney/ Pixar animator, Floyd Norman, says, “The idea of changing the title of a classic like ‘Rapunzel’ to ‘Tangled’ is beyond stupid. I’m still hoping that Disney will eventually regain their sanity and return the title of their movie to what it should be. I’m convinced they’ll gain nothing from this except the public seeing Disney as desperately trying to find an audience.”

But Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios defends the decision. Referring to “The Princess and the Frog,” he says: “Based upon the response from fans and critics, we believe it would have been higher if it wasn’t prejudged by its title.”

Catmull is right about the prejudging. I’m worried that he’s wrong about who and why.

I prejudged “The Princess and the Frog” based on it’s title. I’m the mom of three young girls. I can’t spend any more money to see yet another Disney princess vehicle. (I was kind of intrigued by the first African American Princess, though I heard she spent most of the movie as a frog.) I think it’s great that Rapunzel is getting retooled, because the last thing I want to sit through, or my daughters to sit through, is watching a girl stuck in a tower, waiting around for some guy to rescue her.

But did they change that part? Or just the title?

I can’t tell. It’s ironic because the LA Times article is supposedly about Rapunzel being effaced by a boy but mostly all they report on is that boy, the title, the male executives, the male audience, and the male animators. What about Rapunzel? Here is what the article tells us about her: “The demure princess is transformed into a feisty teen.”

Steve Jobs,  Ed Catmull, John LasseterSteve Jobs, Ed Catmull, John Lasseter 

A good sign, I suppose. Though I’m not sure about “feisty.” Would one call a boy “feisty”? It seems to imply strong yet cutesy. Maybe the male equivalent is “jaunty.” I’m mincing words here, but this is all the information they’ve given me to go on. And my extensive, past experience with Disney’s treatment of girls, along the reporting here on Disney’s hyper-concern about attracting a male audience, worries me.

Note to Disney executives: your potential female audience is sick of the princess movies too. We’re not sick of girls, just princesses. We represent half the population, and we’d like to see some more variety in your plots, and we’d like to see multiple strong female characters in your movies.

Also, we’d like to know why you bend over backwards to make a movie appeal to boys (market research, plot and title changes, characters added) but don’t preform the same production gymnastics to attract girls. Or even try to figure out what girls want. Do all the male executives, animators, and directors at Disney just assume they know what girls want to see? Or will put up with?


The issue here is not putting “princess” in the title. The more controversial, unmentioned issue is that Disney executives are concerned about putting a girl in the title role at all. It’s prime Hollywood real estate because it means she’s the star of the show. Historically, Disney allows a girl to claim that space only if she’s a princess. It’s kind of like how you can win a scholarship if you compete for the Miss America title, but first you’ve got to parade around in your bikini.

Movies from Pixar/ Disney with strong females including “Monsters and Aliens” or “The Incredibles” usually have the power woman hidden in an ensemble cast. Can you imagine a movie blatantly touting its cool girl star, perhaps called “Fantastic Ms. Fox?” Do you see the gender divide here– it would be considered some crazy feminist art film.

If you’re going to comment that’s it’s in our DNA that girls will see movies about boys but boys won’t see movies about girls, please see my post here from a couple days ago. The basic point being girls don’t have much of a choice, and they’re just expected to suck it up.

Executives, Director, producers,  and stars of Washington Post 

Executives, Director, producers, and stars of “Up”

There’s some hope for the future though. Buried at the bottom of the LA Times piece is some incredible news, especially in the wake of Kathryn Bigelow’s Oscar win, making her the first female director to win an Oscar in 82 years.

“Concluding it had too many animated girl flicks in its lineup, Disney has shelved its long-gestating project “The Snow Queen,” based on the Hans Christian Andersen story. “Snow Queen” would have marked the company’s fourth animated film with a female protagonist, following “The Princess and the Frog,” “Tangled” and Pixar’s forthcoming “The Bear and the Bow,” directed by Pixar’s first female director, Brenda Chapman, and starring Reese Witherspoon.”

Director  Brenda ChapmanDirector Brenda Chapman 

Did you catch that? Brenda Chapman is Pixar’s first female director. Yes, she’s making an androgynously titled movie, but it’s “starring” Reese Witherspoon, and there’s no indication that Witherspoon will be a princess.

I like the title “Tangled.” I have to admit, it’s witty. The LA Times elaborates: “Disney tested a number of titles, finally settling on ‘Tangled’ because people responded to meanings beyond the obvious hair reference: a twisted version of the familiar story and the tangled relationship between the two lead characters.”

And somehow, in spite of everything I know, the reconceived, witty title gives me hope that the movie is also reconceived in a way that could be just as imaginative and special. I mean, really, how much worse could the original plot be?

Disney should be re-imagining these misogynist fairytales. I’m just hoping that Rapunzel doesn’t disappear from her movie the way she has from it’s title and the LA Times article about it all.