Disney’s male execs famously switched a movie title from ‘Rapunzel’ to ‘Tangled’ to conceal the female star. But in 2011, I count 11 titles that refer to the movie’s male star including Adventures of Tintin, Arthur’s Christmas, Mr. Popper’s Penguins, Kung Fu Panda, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Puss in Boots, Winnie the Pooh, Rango, Happy Feet 2, Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, and The Zookeeper.
Male execs justify this blatant sexism by repeatedly (and I mean repeatedly) stating: boys won’t go to see movies about girls but girls are AOK seeing movies about boys. So you see, this Hollywood preference isn’t about sexism; it’s just biology. What’s a movie mogul to do about that?
OK, in what other instance do the preferences of five year olds dictate the choices of CEOs of multinational companies? They don’t. Ever.
Movies star boys for one reason– because men make the movies! Men are the producers, directors, and the stars. Sexism in kids movies has nothing to do with children and everything to do with grown-ups, particularly Ed Catmull, John Lasseter, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Johnny Depp, Jim Carey, Antonio Banderas, Hank Azaria, Paul Reubens and on and on and on.
If women were running Hollywood by the same kind of majority, they’d be shrugging their shoulders and get quoted in the LA Times saying: “Girls just won’t spend their allowance on movies if we put a boy in the title. Go figure.”
See the sexist gallery of 2011 kids movie posters here.