Monday 23 March 2015

More of the same - sexism in character design

More of the same in this blog: CG characters

Every woman in every Disney/Pixar movie in the past decade has the exact same face says Alex.
Nah... can't be, I think.
So, of course I just had to go and see myself.
And, sure... it's pretty much true. There is much more variation in male faces than in female faces.
It's not absolute, not every woman has the same face. The witch in Brave has a very personal, different face. And the dean in Monsters University. Also, the villains and side characters show much more variation.
Now, of course, Anna and Elsa should look similar, because they are sisters, and Rapunzel is their cousin or something. More than that, the main animator is the same, and that just happens to be his style. You can see who's the animator. Little One looks like Fievel. Same animator.

But there was another disturbing things I noticed... and now I can't unnotice it.
Thank you, Disney, for adding more bile to the animated feature films.
These are the last 15 animated feature films by Disney or Pixar. Bolt, Up, The Princess and the Frog, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Cars 2, Winnie the Pooh, Brave, Secret of the Wings, Wreck-It Ralph, Monsters University, Planes, Frozen, Big Hero and Inside Out 6. Bolt was made 2008 and Inside Out 2015.
Now, the main character was male in 9 of these 15 movies.
The partner/sidekick/friend was the opposite gender 5 times, 2 times female, 3 times male, and the same gender 10 times, 7 times male, 3 times female. Making that 5 females to 10 males.
The villain/antagonist was male in 10 of these movies, female in one and there was no real villain in 4 of these movies, of which one had male lead.
The "comic relief"/sidekick was always male if there was one. In some movies a female could have a slightly comical part, and then the female was always fat.

In "male buddy" movies, females have not much of a role.
In "Up" she is dead
In Big Hero, she is mom
In Toy Story... there are some parts for females, but never a big one. In first Toy Story the only females around are mom, Molly and Bo Beep. Jessie has a bigger role, but she kind of does nothing, except needs rescuing. Barbie does more. Mrs Potato Head and Bonnie have also a bigger role, but when most of Andy's toys are male, Bonnie has both male and female dolls. One of the two female toys doesn't even have a name.
They have put in the "obligatory" female among the Cars and Planes.
Kanga is the only female in Winnie the Pooh.

I can't say much about the "female buddy" movies, Tinkerbell and Inside Out, because I haven't seen them. But in Tinkerbell movies all the females are cookie cutter females, with the exact same body and face, just different color skin, eyes and hair, and different clothes and hairdos. The males are all different.
In Inside Out the main characters are "saved" by a male, the "location's" "imaginary friend", an elephant like chimera. 

Sameface Syndrome and other stories, by Gianna