‘The Nut Job’ another kids movie allergic to female protagonists

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***


3 thoughts on “‘The Nut Job’ another kids movie allergic to female protagonists

  1. Thanks for making a post about “The Nut Job”, as I was quite curious to see if it would break any of the typical trends. My hopes weren’t high, but you can always wish right? I’m happy they at least didn’t give the pug a pink bow, collar, or long lashes like many films do (I’m so sick and tired of that trend), she seems like a pretty cool character. I’d still like to see it when it makes it’s way to Netflix and at least now I know not to have any high expectations.

    There’s is a film you might enjoy though (and also one I’d love to see you blog on) called the “Wolf Children”. It’s one of my all time favorites but I have some mixed feeling about certain aspects on it. I think overall it’s completely comparable to Studio Ghibli’s and Miyazaki’s films such as Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away, Valley of the Wind, My Neighbor Totoro, in overall quality, and it’s about a mother raising her two children (brother and sister) who are half wolf, meaning that they can shift between human and wolf form. It just came out in a great dub and is a fantastic, if a more mature, sweet and heart warming film. Not sure how it would be for little kids though because there is one implied love scene and a really heart wrenching seen where a loved one is seen dead. It’s also about 2 hours long so little ones might become bored.

    If you do decide to watch it at all, it would be so awesome to see you blog your opinions on it. It can be watched online although I’m not sure if that’s something you normally do. Also the trailer can be seen on youtube.

    Thanks again for the post on this movie, I look forward to more blogs and posts from you!

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