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FilthyGrandeur's picture

Presentation of gender in Toy Story 3

I have previously written about Pixar's lack of developed female characters (herehere, and here).  Before I dive into any sort of analysis of Toy Story 3, I am going to state what I usually do when I analyze anything people are going to get defensive about: I loved this movie; nonetheless it is still subject to criticism.  My discussion of the film is not a reflection of my dislike of it, but is rather an attempt to discuss why this movie is not perfect. 

As with the other Pixar films, the presentation of gender was rather disappointing.  We're quickly presented with "this is what girls play with / this is what boys play with."  Ken is consistently shamed on being a "girl's toy."  It's played for laughs that he loves clothing, or wears Barbie's scarf.  In one scene he's tortured by having to watch his clothes be ripped apart, until he finally caves.

Once again, there's a significant lack of female characters.  According to this trivia page there are 302 characters in the movie.  A glance through the cast list shows that a little over 30 are voiced (i.e. considered major characters).  22 (not including Spanish Buzz) are male.  12 are female.  And we all know that Woody and Buzz are the main characters.  Yeah, there's Jessie, but she's not in charge, and she often defers to Buzz or Woody to tell her what to do since it's understood that as Andy's favorites, they're the leaders. 

FilthyGrandeur's picture

Revisited: Review of Pixar's Up

To celebrate the release of Up on dvd, I am sharing my review of the movie, which was originally published here.

SPOILER ALERT

I saw Up yesterday, and, of course, loved it, as I knew I would. Everything about it--the fantastic premise of a man tying balloons to his house to travel to South America; the sense of adventure; the cute little chubby kid; the goofy dog who becomes pack-leader--EVERYTHING.

I felt the story of Carl, especially, was wonderfully portrayed. There are happy times with him and his wife Ellie, but there is the usual life's disappointments, such as having to put off a long-awaited trip to pay bills. And then there is the sad scene where they find out they're unable to have children. I was choking up when Carl bought the tickets to South America, but then Ellie dies before they can go on their trip. I found it quite touching that Carl was so devoted to her that he fulfills his promise no matter what. Carl's character is wonderfully portrayed, and we sympathize with him as he tries to maintain hold over his house and self--even as there is pressure to enter an old folks' home.

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