Saturday, July 06, 2013

Dear Pixar: Ever Heard of the Bechdel Test?

We went to Monsters University tonight, and while it's undoubtedly a beautifully-made animated film that looks fantastic, has fabulous voice acting, and has a great Randy Newman score (shades of Elgar and Brahms!), I came out of it wanting to bang my head against the wall.

It's 2013, and Pixar is still making movies where the plot is out of the 1940s or 1950s. For all the technology that goes into the filmmaking, here we've got a film that's equal parts frat boy movie, buddy movie, and underdog-wins movie. Pretty much everyone is a stereotype of some kind: the nerdy underdog, the big dumb lug, the nearsighted librarian, the chubby, unpopular guys, the droning professor. I mean, don't y'all have any imagination? A stereotype with five eyes and three legs is still a stereotype.

And there's only one leading female character to stand up to six or seven leading male characters, plus there are several subsidiary female characters. The female characters never exchange a word.

Even monsters can't be individuated enough and can't break out of stereotypes enough to get a few female characters front and center. Pixar, you should be ashamed of the stereotyping and your guy-centric plots.


Anonymous said...

I don't know if Pixar has a FB page, but your observation deserves a great deal more visibility than just your own blog. (Your blog also needs a 'common man' title. Something provocative!)

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't have expected much of anything else, which is a main reason I didn't go to see this movie.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Life Is Hot, glad you liked it. Not sure what you mean about the blog title. This blog is nine years old and has a decent audience among classical music journalists, bloggers, and fans, who are my intended audience. An identity change at this point isn't a good idea.