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Brave again

I previously pronounced Pixar's upcoming Brave as bilge. I stand by that statement, despite the awesomeness of the protagonist's hair.

Remind me against why I'm supposed to be excited about a headstrong princess defying restrictive standards of femininity and charting her own destiny, thus proving that she's just as good as a man? That trope just reinforces the idea that a female character with self-knowledge has to be an egregiously ass-kicking iconoclast in order to determine her own life. It's a form of exceptionalism that dismisses the much more interesting [and common] stories of the ways that women create their own stories in more ambivalent, less flagrant fashion.

Pixar/Disney clearly thinks it's so great for doing Brave, like they're supposed to get feminist cookies for pushing tired stereotypes. This movie irritates me so much, and it's not even out yet!

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
sailorzeo
May. 31st, 2012 05:08 am (UTC)
My problem with the trailers I've seen is yes, we see her attitude (headstrong, whining), yes, we see the archery contest. But as far as I can tell, I have no idea what the main story is ABOUT. WHAT IS THE PLOT?
(Deleted comment)
sugar_for_sugar
May. 31st, 2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
I can only speak for myself here, but I don't consider Boo an exception-- i.e. I don't forget her, I just don't think she counts. She's not the protagonist and goes through most of the film as more of a prop than a character.

Pixar traditionally has very few female characters in their films at all, true, but even when they do, they mostly serve to prop up, aid, and otherwise be a support for the male heroes who are the focus. Girls always take a backseat. I think Pixar has shown zero interest in even so much as trying to get it right re: women and girls. In fact basically every film studio in existence ever has more or less decided gosh, us wimminfolk are so picky what the hell is it we want anyway, meh trying to be inclusive is so harrrrrd let's just concentrate on boys and their stories forever WOO PROBLEM SOLVED.

Don't get me wrong, Boo was cute and in the end, she pluckily defeated the monster from under her bed. But other than that her role through the whole film was a passive one, with her doing very little other than being passed between characters like a doll. I feel the film includes a periphery 3 year old girl hero, but it is not about a 3 year old girl hero, it's about a couple of dude-friends who work in an office and blunder through uncovering a conspiracy centered on the company they work for that ties into an energy crisis effecting their entire world's economy, which they then solve through the VEHICLE of a 3 year old girl (she doesn't figure it out, just provides the catalyst).

It's like Pixar kept giving half-assed tries and now they're just washing their hands of women instead of, gosh I dunno, sitting down for five minutes with one to ask what they want to see, or shit, WORKING with some to tell a few stories for women and girls too.
blogofstench
May. 31st, 2012 12:55 pm (UTC)
The heroes of Monsters Inc. were Mike and Sully! Boo was just a transactional McGuffin.

And no, I have no idea what Brave is about, though apparently magic bears figure in somehow.
melopoeia
May. 31st, 2012 04:27 pm (UTC)
yeah, that was my response to the trailer.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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