After writing numerous blogs about the sexist penguins of Madagascar, I finally saw the movie today. I don’t think my 5 year old stopped laughing once during the first 20 minutes, a period of time in which also featured almost no females, just like the rest of the movie. I deduced this sad ratio from the preview (not to mention the 3 previous Madagascar movies.) What I didn’t know was that Eva the owl, the Minority Feisty in the North Wind group of 4 males– not to be confused with the Penguin group of 4 males– would be the love interest of Kowalski. He goes ga-ga when he sees her for the first time just as Emmet does when he sees Wyldstyle in ‘The Lego Movie.” At the end of the movie– surprise, surprise– Eva and Kowalski kiss. Typical of a new trend I’ve noticed with Minority Feisty, Eva has the impressive title of intelligence analyst, but we don’t see her actually use her skills much at all.
Why couldn’t the head of the North Wind, a male fox, have been female? Half the members of the North Wind? All of the members?
Why couldn’t the villain, an evil scientist octopus, Dave, have been female? What about all of his octopi underlings who also had male voices?
Technically, Eva is not the only female. There are a few others in the long line of penguins at the beginning of the movie. There are 3 mermaid penguins who have a small part, shells covering up where I suppose their breasts are supposed to be. These mermaids are so insignificant, I can’t find a pic of them on Google images to post here. There a couple human girls and women with tiny parts. As far as gender stereotypes, the best thing I can say about this movie is that evil Dave is purple, a girl color you know. That’s something my 5 year old pointed out to me, telling me that at least I could blog about that. So there you have it.
Reel Girl rates “Penguins of Madagascar” ***SS***
Here are ten things I hate about Pegiuns of Madgascre
(Sorry for bad grammar and misspellings)
1. The only female, Eva is weak, quite dim-waiting (relying on males for all help, no brain of her own) and nothing more then a pretty face. She speaks very little… And when she does it is in a Britishish hawty voice sounding out of a fashions show, saying something like “Hello DARRRRRRRLING” (not what she really says, what she could say and have the voice fit, if that makes sense.
2. The only other female with a speaking role I can think of is a skinny, sexed up redhead women who screams when the “evil” penguins get unleashed. The ONLY other. She has no name, is not mentioned in the credits and yeah… She doesn’t really even SPEAK. Just scream. And yes other characters that are males scream to. Still, SEXISSSSST!
3. The egg in beginning kinda is a slur to childbirth. See, the males “give birth” to Private. Male childbirth is a thousand year old cliché. In the Greek myths, Zeus gives birth to his daughter, Athena. And Kronos gives birth to his children the gods. All of this is technically correct (I.e Kronos vomits up his children). The only power women used to have was childbirth, and see, we make movies where males take that power.
4. I thought the credits could be better, maybe a female artist like Beyoncé or Nicki Minaj doing a quick, fun song? No… The music in the credits is even male dominated!!! It’s Pitbull….
5. All Eva does with tech is saying “where’s the sound” nothing more needed. She was dubbed tech expert and she can’t fix a Skype error.
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Written by Nikki Roseworth:
Nikki Roseworth is a eleven year old girl who lives in a small town in Oregon.
She has a dog named Charlie and loves rock climbing, archery and fencing.
This is great, it’s 5 things not ten. Will post.
Haha. I meant to correct it to five. That’s pretty funny. I have a bad memory/bad math skills.
“I don’t think my 5 year old stopped laughing once during the first 20 minutes”
Sorry to hear that.
Dreamworks is an interesting case as they seem to really make a point of chasing name talent for voicework. Not that the casts in other animated movies are full of nobodies but generally they don’t hire the biggest stars. Contrast the cast of Shrek or Madagascar with the cast of almost any Disney movie other than The Lion King.
I bring it up because I’m curious if it’s entirely a creative problem or if it’s also a talent problem. That is, do they just not write any female characters? Or are there also not enough actresses to cast should they write the parts? That’s not an excuse. If anything, I think it’s another problem to address. We need to write more and better parts for women so that more actresses will be recognized and celebrated and thus able to lend their names and talents to better projects.