I’ve seen the animated short “Almost Home” twice, before “Rio 2” and “Peabody and Mr. Sherman.” Both times, it pissed me off that there were no female characters with speaking parts in this mini-movie.
While I meant to blog about the silent females, I hadn’t gotten around to it yet. So, imagine my surprise today when on “Jezebel” I read that “Home” will be Deamworks first animated movie to star a black character, Tip. She also happens to be female.
So here’s my question, Dreamworks: Why is Tip missing from the promotional short? Please, don’t give me the reason it “makes sense” that she’s gone because in the sequence shown, she wouldn’t be in the story yet. Writers and producers make up the story, they can put anything they want out there, so why did they choose an all male narrative showcasing Steve Martin?
It’s kind of like how the two female stars of “Frozen” were missing from the movie’s first preview which featured the Olaf, the snowman, and Sven the reindeer.
Also, in the posters for “Frozen,” Olaf, once again, gets the front and center position, while the female stars are buried in snow.
Recently, Valentina Perez wrote “Judging a Movie by its Trailer” for Harvard Political Review, about sexism in marketing for children’s movies:
While later trailers did show Anna, even the title distanced itself from any fairy tale or princess story audiences might already be familiar with. Disney did this intentionally to appeal to boys, basing their decision on past Disney research reporting that boys do not want to watch movies with the word “princess” in the title…
Disney’s marketing strategy for Frozen reflects a longstanding belief of movie studios that boys will not watch movies with female leads. This has contributed to the scarcity of movies with speaking, leading, or complex female characters. According to a study by the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, just 28.4 percent of speaking characters in the 100 highest-grossing American films of 2012 were female, a five-year low…
This change in Disney film content reflects the wider Hollywood belief that women and girls are a niche market, meaning that the longstanding, male-focused business model for movies persists as the standard.
Women and girls are not a “niche market.” We are 50% of the population. Not only that, as “Frozen” and “Catching Fire” show movies with female protagonists make money. Hollywood, please stop hiding the girls. You’re teaching sexism to our kids, to expect and accept a world where girls go missing. It’s not kids that won’t see movies starring girls, but sexist parents who don’t read their kids narratives or show their kids movies where girls star. Right now, the group Let Toys Be Toys For Girls and Boys is running a campaign to convince publishers not to create or market books “for boys” or “for girls.” Stories are for everyone. Why don’t we market them that way?