Check out the DVD for ‘Epic,’ what’s wrong with this picture?

Yesterday, my 7 year old daughter and I were shopping at Whole Foods when we saw the DVD  for “Epic” in the check out line. What’s wrong with this picture?


Out of 21 movies for children in 2013, “Epic” is one of only 4 to feature a female protagonist. But if you look at the art, who is in front, with the big face and the big sword? Who, from this picture, would you think is the star of the movie?

My three daughters and I loved “Epic.” When I reviewed it on Reel Girl, I gave it two Hs which is almost the highest heroine rating you can get. In that review, you know what I wrote was one thing that bugged me about the movie? The scene pictured above. In fantasy movies for kids, while it’s common to see males steer and fly all kind of beasts, it’s a rarity to see a female riding solo on a creature, not to mention riding a female creature with a male positioned behind her. The female rider is, almost always, in the passenger seat.

I found out there is a term for this position, riding bitch, and you see it all over children’s media and adult media. Look how Tina Fey, the star of her sitcom, was put in her place on the cover of Rolling Stone.


So why, out out of all the images they could chosen for the DVD cover, do they pick the one that shows the female star behind the supporting male? I was talking about this with my husband, and I said, it’s like a social reflex, everyone is so scared to show a female in a power position. It’s like we’re protecting the egos of little boys the way women are supposed to protect the egos of men. But instead, we’re fucking up a new generation of kids. It is not OK to continually and repeatedly marginalize girls and force them into supporting roles, in the imaginary world and in the real one. It limits all kids.



3 thoughts on “Check out the DVD for ‘Epic,’ what’s wrong with this picture?

  1. I didn’t get to Epic until quite some time after you wrote about it the first time, so it seemed too late to comment, but I did notice something really interesting about your concern with the way the girl and boy rode two-to-a-bird. At first, much is made of MJ being clumsy and inept, clinging to the back of the dude while riding. BUT when she has her pivotal moment, when she has her idea about how to save everyone, she immediately leaps onto the bird and grabs the reins, and the hero climbs up behind her. I loved that she had that journey, as so many male heroes do, of acquiring her confidence and authority through experience, and a personal epiphany, and that it was symbolised by her taking charge of riding the bird.

    • Orlando,

      That is a great observation and exactly why its so important to see girls on the damn creature, in front, steering


  2. Thank you for this post! I completely agree and just to further prove your point my daughter happened to be watching Epic beside me when I saw this so I asked her:

    Who is the main character of the movie?
    Daughter: The girl
    When you look at this cover, who does it look like is the main character?
    Daughter: The boy…..huh? *makes a disgusted face*

    Kids see this and they know what’s up. It may seem passive but it’s not harmless. We need to talk with our kids about what they see and what they think about it.

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