Yet ‘Gargoyles’ is also a fantastic showcase of what can happen when creators possessing privilege write stories about the oppressed without their input. … ‘Gargoyles,’ with its “protecting a world that hates and fears them and has been fairly successful in enacting their global genocide” premise, seeks to be about marginalized peoples. At the same time, it consistently centers and prioritizes the lives of the privileged over those of the oppressed, and places the burden of obtaining justice on the latter.
Looking at ‘Lilo & Stitch’ can provide a valuable lens in which to analyze the upcoming ‘Moana,’ as well as other mainstream films attempting to represent Indigenous cultures. … Regardless of its individual merits, ‘Lilo & Stitch’ is a moneymaking endeavor to benefit the Disney Company, which has not always had the best relationship (to say the least) with representing Indigenous cultures or respecting Indigenous peoples.
In ‘Pocahontas,’ Disney missed an important opportunity to represent Indigenous women in a relatable, empowering way, and instead focused on commodifying their culture for mass-market appeal. … Pocahontas’ life only became a story worth telling when a white man became involved. She only became a princess when a white man recognized her as royalty. She only became the center of a Disney movie because white men realized they could profit off of her myth.
The creator and showrunner of this popular, groundbreaking, and beautiful show is an openly bisexual woman. That is historic and thrilling, and it means that could be me (alas, if only I could write something half as brilliant as ‘Steven Universe’!). … Yes, we need bisexual characters. But even more importantly, we need bisexual creators telling stories…
Sisterhood is powerful, magical, and resilient: that’s the sororal message in the celebrated 2003 animated film… Character distinction between the sisters as individuals is not a major focus for writer/director Sylvain Chomet, although each Triplet has different functions/feelings at specific times. The bond of the sisters as a more monolithic force is depicted instead: Chomet presents the unity of sisterhood. … The agency of older women, including the eponymous trio, is vital to ‘The Triplets of Belleville.’
The film shows how Satsuki struggles with this dual role of acting as the most present parent while still being only a child herself. … While Satsuki fulfills the role of mom to Mei, it’s her status as sister and child that ends up saving the day. … ‘My Neighbor Totoro’ is one of Miyazaki’s best odes to sisterhood, portraying both the struggles but also the benefits of having a sibling at your side.
Belle saves the Beast – not just physically by breaking the spell, but emotionally and psychologically by changing his behavior and smoothing his sharp edges. … Both of them begin as loners and societal misfits, but they end as the perfect fit in each other’s lives. However, this nice, mushy message comes at a cost: Belle’s agency as a character. …When we are introduced to Belle she has no more growing left to do in this film other than learn to be less judgmental and find a suitable husband.
While the show as a whole was run-of-the-mill, it quietly had two of the most brilliantly realized female characters in recent cartoon history: Mary and Susan Test. …Mary and Susan Test are ambitious, intelligent, and fully-actualized. Exaggeratedly brilliant scientists, it’s the twin girls who put into motion most events of the series.
There is more to be said about how essentializing African identities around myth, folklore, the continent, and animals can impose limits on how Black people, particularly Black women, can be written, and how those Black characters are experienced in a more accessible, mainstream outlet. In other words, even Black superhero characters, carry the burden of limitations if the racial stereotypes outweigh the plot and character development.
This is about my favorite chess-playing, mace-wielding, war-crying, winged superheroine role model: Shayera Hol. … Hawkgirl taught me to be observant. She taught me that it’s possible to come through trying times. She taught me that being able to think was just as important as being able to fight, and that good and evil aren’t always absolutes.
Does Riley make decisions of her own, or are her decisions made for her by Anger, Disgust, Fear, Joy, and Sadness? … If Riley were completely subject to the whim of her emotions, they would be able to control her in any way at any time. However, ‘Inside Out’ repeatedly conveys that there are limits to what they can do when they interact with Riley.
In a similar way to Marji (‘Persepolis’), Nasser (‘Chicken with Plums’) must be sent far away to have his journey of becoming. There is something in him — talent — that requires he must go beyond his home. But whereas in Marji’s case she must go away to protect herself, Nasser must go away so he can grow, get bigger and fuller and richer.