Yesterday, I took 4 kids to see “The Nut Job.” Here’s the poster for the movie, featuring its star, Surly the Squirrel, front and center.
As you can see by the names on top of the poster– Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglegsias, Liam Neason, and Katherine Heigl– males dominate this movie. Heigl plays Andie, who, like most Minority Feisty, is strong, smart, and brave, but “Nut Job” is not Andie’s movie, it’s Surly’s.
There are two more Minority Feisty I liked: Precious, the pug and there’s a girl scout who cracked me up. There is a pigeon who spoke briefly that is also female.
Typical of children’s movies, Surly, the male protagonist, has a male BFF: Buddy (ha ha)
The evil villain, a raccoon, is also a male. So are the evil rats pictured around him, at least any rats that talked.
Villains in the movie also include a all male band of human robbers: Jimmie, Fingers, Lucky, and Johnny, and King, the boss. Lana is the last Minority Feisty, King’s love interest. When we meet her, the camera pans her curvy body in the exact same way that Cate Blanchett just protested as sexist at the SAG awards.
The police in the movie are also all male.
If the gender ratio of “the Nut Job” were specific to this movie, or even half of movies for kids, it would not be a problem. It is the repetition of assigning the male as the hero and the females in supporting roles that is so damaging for kids to see again and again and again.
Here’s my 4 yr old daughter at the Metreon counting the giant men she saw.
Reel Girl rates “The Nut Job” ***H***