Pixar deserves ample praise for its commitment to quality storytelling and innovative animation. But if there’s one area in which the company has dropped the blue and yellow ball, it’s diversity. The Tumblr Gifstrips created a post that succinctly highlights Pixar’s shortcomings when it comes to female representation. Accompanied by various Pixar gifs, the post points out the following statistics:
- 10 out of 14 Pixar films fail the Bechdel Test, which asks if a film has two named female characters who discuss something other than a man
- Less than 25% of Pixar characters are women
- Of Pixar’s 14 films, only one has a female protagonist
The Incredibles, Brave, Toy Story 3, and A Bug’s Life are the only Pixar films that pass the test. Meanwhile all of Pixar’s films feature a wealth of male characters who have interactions centered on a variety of topics. In fact, one might say male friendships are the cornerstone of the Pixar brand. Toy Story, Monsters Inc., Up, and Ratatouille all celebrate male friendships. Meanwhile Brave, which centers on a mother/daughter relationship, remains Pixar’s sole attempt at female-driven storytelling in almost 20 years of movie making.
It’s also worth pointing out that Pixar has an even worse track record when it comes to representing people of color, as Josh Spiegel points out for The Pixar Times. In Pixar films that center on animals or objects, almost all of the voice actors are white. And of the Pixar worlds that do depict humans, The Incredibles’ Frozone and Up’s Russell are pretty much the only examples of central characters of color.
Gifstrip’s post notes that Pixar has created some fantastic ladies, but there are far fewer female characters than male ones and these women don’t tend to have meaningful interactions with other women. Dory seems to be the only female fish in the ocean in Finding Nemo, while Bo Peep—Toy Story’s sole female toy—is cut from the second film with a single line of dialogue. Considering half of the population is female, why can’t Pixar populate its worlds with a bit more equality?
These sorts of posts aren’t about condemning Pixar for its mistakes, but rather about pointing out how the company can do better in the future. After all, Disney—which made a name for itself by centering stories on female leads—recently proved that the public is clamoring for animated films centered on female friendships with Frozen. Calling for diversity isn’t about satisfying political correctness, it’s about expanding ones perspective to create richer storytelling possibilities. And that idea matches quite nicely with Pixar’s modus operandi. If the company needs a little help getting started, it might consider checking out Geena Davis’ Two Easy Steps To Make Hollywood Less Sexist.