Tag Archives: pixar

Poll: What’s Your Favorite Pixar Movie?

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There’s no meta this week on account of me getting back from California the night before. But while I was there I was at this place:

pixar

 

It got me thinking about what my favorite Pixar film is. I’ve always thought I didn’t have one since they’re all pretty amazing, but then I realized I do have a favorite. One I’ve watched more than the others, one I own on DVD, one I took with me to Italy and actually watched while I was on vacation. And that film is…

the incredibles logo

The Incredibles!!

I have such a soft spot for it for several reasons.

  1. Superheroes
  2. Family
  3. Violet
  4. Everything

Violet is one of the first characters I remember being told was like me. And um, I’ll take it. I love her so much. I was also really obsessed with forcefields and invisibility when I was younger.

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And then she becomes a bamf.

incredibles 3 Who me? YES, YOU GIRL!

Plus, with moments like this:

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incredibles wheres my super suit

how can you not adore this film?

So The Incredibles is my favorite Pixar film. Which one is yours? Take the poll below and also tell us in the comments. Or maybe you can’t pick just one?

pixar in concert

Maybe you’re a Pixar super fan and have seen music from the films performed live! I know I have and it was awesome and I cried a lot. NO SHAME.

breakfast club fist pump yes reaction boss peggy sunglasses reaction

Either way, take the poll, leave a comment, and let’s all have a Pixar party together. 🙂

reaction wait fangirling freaking out mind blown

And guess what? HERE’S A BONUS POLL! Which upcoming Pixar movie are you most excited about?


 

Happy Saturday, people!

Back to our regular programming next week.

Cheers,

M&M

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Do Animated Movies Pass the Bechdel Test?

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It’s time to put animated films to the test and find out which ones pass the Bechdel Test!

The Bechdel test has three requirements:

  1. at least two named women in the film
  2. that talk to each other
  3. about something other than a man

Disney:

  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarves:

There are two women, Snow White and the Evil Queen. They don’t talk until the very end of the film when the queen tricks our heroine into eating the fatal apple. The conversation, though, veers very closely towards what men want: “The little men are not here?” “Making pies? … It’s apple pies that make the men folks’ mouths water.”
So just barely, this one gets a yes.

  • Pinocchio:

There’s only one woman in this film, the Blue Fairy.
So by default, no.

  • Dumbo:

There’s the crew of lady elephants that make fun of Dumbo and tell Jumbo (his mom) to unwrap him faster (when the stork brings him), but that’s not a conversation.
No

  • Bambi:

Devoid of two females that communicate.
No

  • Cinderella:

A lot of Cinderella’s interactions with her stepmother and stepsisters can’t count as conversations since she’s mostly being ordered around. But we do have one kind interaction between Cinderella and her Fairy Godmother, plus the stepsisters bickering about music class, dresses, and how much they despise Cinderella. Disney has their first film that earns it’s passing grade. Cinderella gets a lot of criticism for its love story, but it’s important to note that Cinderella just wants a night off, to go to a party. She didn’t ask to meet the prince and fall in love, that was just a perk.
YES!

  • Alice in Wonderland:

Alice doesn’t meet the Queen of Hearts until the end of the film, up until then everyone she met in Wonderland was male. When she meets the queen, their discussion consists mostly of Alice trying to keep her head.
Yes

  • Peter Pan:

Wendy is the main female in this film and though her relationship with Tinkerbelle is shrouded in jealousy, they do have an exchange briefly in the beginning of the film, though it is not a direct conversation. Tink says something in her language and Wendy responds, “I think she’s lovely.” They, however, are talking to each other through Peter, so I can’t consider this a conversation. Tiger Lily has maybe only one line of dialogue, when she says “No,” to Hook. The only named  female (cause we do have the mermaids) left is Mrs. Darling and she and Wendy have limited time together by nature of the story, but they talk in the beginning and again at the end.
So, kinda sorta, yes.

  • Lady and the Tramp:

Lady is surrounded by men: her two friends Trusty and Jock, Tramp, and Jim Dear. Lady eventually meets another female dog, Peg, but their conversation revolves around Tramp and his past lovers. Finally, there’s Si and Am, the Siamese cat twins and they have a song about ruining Lady’s life, but that’s not a conversation.
No

  • Sleeping Beauty:

Maleficent talks with the fairies—or more like mocks them towards the end. The fairies themselves talk a lot: for example, the argument they have over the color of Aurora’s dress, and their plans for Aurora’s surprise party. Aurora also talks to the fairies, but most of the time the fairies and Aurora spoke about the man she met in the woods and was forced to leave. If not for Maleficent and the fairies, this movie might not have passed.
Yes

  • 101 Dalmatians:

Praise Cruella De Vil! When the puppies are born, she talks with Anita and their Nanny about the states of the puppies and when she can buy them. She does take jabs at Roger, but that’s not the whole of their conversation. Anita and Nanny also mourn the loss of their adorable puppies. [Does Nanny technically constitute as a named character?] Regardless, we have Cruella and Anita discussing the dogs.
Yes

  • The Sword in the Stone:

I’ve never seen this movie from start to finish, but when I googled it, it came up as a fail.
No

  • The Jungle Book:

No females, except wolf mommy and the girl meant to lure Mowgli into manhood. Tsk, tsk.
No

  • The Aristocats:

We’ve got Duchess and one of her babies, Marie, that have no time to talk about men. They have way bigger things to worry about.
Yes

  • Robin Hood:

I don’t remember Maid Marian and her friend talking about anything besides Robin Hood, but the internet is telling me this is a pass. Anyone have a reason it is? Till then I’m marking it,
No

  • The Rescuers:

It’s been ages since I’ve seen this, but we have a female villain, female protagonist, and one of the Rescuers was female. There’s lots of female interaction going on here.
YES

  • The Fox and the Hound:

No two female characters.
No

  • The Black Cauldron:

Similar to a few other films, I haven’t seen this either and googled it. It got a yes.
Yes

  • Oliver and Company:

There is Jenny and Georgette, though they never speak to each other on account of one being human and the other a poodle.
No

  • The Little Mermaid:

Ariel and Ursula are the only female characters (besides Ariel’s sisters but they are not significant, sadly) and they don’t have an actual conversation. Ursula manipulates Ariel via song and Poor Unfortunate Souls is more about Ursula’s view of things than it is about Ariel’s love interest. Because of the lack of a real conversation, this fails.
No

  • Beauty and the Beast:

This is painful, but Belle only talks with Mrs. Potts and her closet about the Beast. Lumiere’s main squeeze informs Mrs. Potts that “There’s a girl in the castle!” but that’s not a real conversation. The only time Belle talks with Wardrobe about something other than the Beast is about what she’s going to wear and well… um… does Wardrobe count as a name? She never introduces herself that way and all the other main characters are not so obviously named after what object they are (Cogsworth, Lumiere, Chip, etc).
No

  • Aladdin:

Jasmine is the only female character.
No

aladdin done w your shit

  • The Lion King:

There’s a scene where Nala talks with her mom, briefly, but I don’t believe Nala’s mom has a name. Other than that, this a pretty male populated film.
No

  • Pocahontas:

Pocahontas and Nakoma mostly talk about men (“Your father’s back!,” “He is so handsome.”), but Pocahontas and Grandmother Willow talk about her dreams and her future.
Yes

  • Hunchback of Notre Dame:

Esmeralda and that one lone gargoyle are the only female characters and they never interact.
No

hunchback esmeralda

(Not impressed, Disney)

  • Hercules:

Meg, Hera, Hercules’ adopted mom, and the Muses are the female characters of this film and while the Muses sing, telling us the story, that is not a conversation. Meg does not speak to another woman, same goes for Hera and the human woman that adopts Hercules.
No

  • Mulan:

Mulan certainly has conversations with the female family members in her life. She also speaks to the matchmaker. Unfortunately, these conversations are either about marriage or about her father.
No

  • Tarzan:

Jane is the only human female character. Tarzan’s gorilla mom and his friend Terk are the only female gorillas we encounter and I believe their conversations revolve around Tarzan.
No

  • The Emperor’s New Groove:

Yzma goes to visit Patcha’s family in an attempt to gain information about our favorite llama. The conversation is all about stalling Yzma from going after them and earlier in the film, the kids want to know why their dad isn’t home yet.
No

  • Atlantis:

Abstained

  • Lilo & Stitch:

Our protagonists are two sisters and their conversations range in topics.
YES!

  • Treasure Planet:

No

  • Brother Bear:

Lacking female characters.
No

brother bear 1brother bear 2brother bear 3

(I know, right?)

  • The Princess and Frog:

I can’t recall if Tiana and Lottie discuss anything than kissing frogs and Lottie getting married, but Tiana and her mom talk about her dream of owning a restaurant.
Yes

  • Tangled:

Rapunzel and Mother Gothel’s manipulative relationship underpins this whole film.
Yes

tangled WHAT THE FUCK

(Rapunzel: We couldn’t get one other woman?)

  • Wreck it Ralph:

Yes

  • Frozen:

Anna and Elsa don’t talk much, being separated for most of the film, but when they do it’s not always about Elsa telling Anna not to marry Hans. They talk about familial love and Anna tries to encourage Elsa to come home.
Yes

  • Big Hero 6:

I haven’t seen this yet and I’m seeing yeses and noes online, so this will be an abstained for now.
Abstained

Total: 37
Pass: 15
Fail: 20
Abstained: 2

It’s interesting to note how many films pass because of mainly MC/Villain interaction. Percentage that pass for this reason: 53% (Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Tangled, Cinderella, The Rescuers, Sleeping Beauty, & 101 Dalmatians)


Dreamworks:

  • The Prince of Egypt:

While getting points for diversity and having some impressive ladies, there are no actual conversations between them that don’t revolve around a man. There is a song, but that is not a conversation.
No

  • The Road to El Dorado:

Chel is the only female character.
No

  • Shrek:

Fiona is the only female character, besides a dragon.
No

  • Spirit Stallion of the Cimarron:

Rain is the only named female character.
No

  • Madagascar:

Gloria is the only named female character.
No

  • Kung Fu Panda:

Tigress and Viper are two named female characters, but one brief exchange does not count as a conversation.
No

  • How to Train Your Dragon:

Astrid and Ruffnutt are two amazing female characters. They don’t talk much, but there are blips of back and forth between them.
Yes

  • Rise of the Guardians:

Tooth is the only female character of merit.
No

  • The Croods:

Haven’t seen this, but the internet says pass, though just marginally.
Yes

  • Mr. Peabody and Mr. Sherman:

Haven’t seen this and the internet scathes it.
No

  • Turbo:

Haven’t seen this. Just barely passes according to the internet.
Yes

  • Flushed Away:

Internet says no.
No

  • Bee Movie:

Internet says no.
No

 (Author’s Note: Yo Dreamworks is doing soooooo bad!)

  • Over the Hedge:

Internet says no.
No

Total: 14
Pass: 3
Fail: 11

crying breakddown snow white do you feel the judgement have i been put on this earth to suffer ron kp kim possible


Pixar:

  • Toy Story:

No

  • A Bug’s Life:

Yes

  • Toy Story 2:

No

  • Monsters Inc.:

No

  • Finding Nemo:

No

  • The Incredibles:

Mrs. Incredible frequently tells Violet she’s in control and talks to the babysitter. However, the only time she has a real discussion of merit with another female character, it was with Edna and mostly over what her husband’s been up to. It passes on the strength of the family dynamic.
Yes

  • Cars:

No

  • Ratatouille:

No

  • Wall-E:

No

  • Up:

No

  • Toy Story 3:

Yes

  • Cars 2:

No

  • Brave:

YES

  • Monsters University:

No

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Man, Pixar, why. Why is there no place for women in your world?

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? [x]


Non-Disney/Dreamworks:

  • Anastasia:

Anastasia and her grandmother talk about their family.
Yes

  • Ice Age:

Not a single female character.
No

  • Rio:

Anne Hathaway is the only female character, besides Blue’s owner.
No

  • Epic:

Queen Beyonce talks to MK briefly about the importance of protecting the pod. There’s also the young girl that adores Queen Beyonce and tells her mother she wants to be her (spoiler alert: she does!).
Yes

(skip to :50)

  • Despicable Me:

Yes, our three children long for a family.
Yes

  • Quest for Camelot:

Kaylee and her mother are the only female characters and thankfully they talk to each other.
Yes

  • The Swan Princess:

Odette and Derek’s mother are the only female characters, besides Rothbart’s lackey, but neither of them speaks to each other.
No

Total: 7
Pass: 4
Fail: 3


The Bechdel Test is the not a perfect test, but it gives you an idea how what kind of roles are out there for women. It’s startling to see that a multitude of films don’t even have more than one female character! That’s just not an accurate representation of the world.

The Bechdel Test is also not an accurate representation of how feminist a film is, because films like Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Shrek do not pass the test.

Beauty features an MC that knows who she is and is unafraid to be that person. She loves books and she loves her father, characteristics that make her seem alien to the town. She refuses to marry a shallow and egotistical man that sees her as nothing more than a prize. She can see past an ugly exterior and even an ugly interior if that person is willing to change.

Mulan features a female warrior, but she ultimately defeats Shan-Yu not as a woman pretending to be a man, but as a woman. She uses her intelligence, fighting skills, and a traditionally feminine fan to save the day. The majority of her conversations with her family are around her father or about getting married. For this reason, Mulan does not pass, but it should not be looked down upon for this failing.

In Shrek we meet princess Fiona, a character that completely subverts the common princess mold we’ve seen. She’s pretty and dreaming of her happy ending, but she can’t sing, is a fighter, and ends the movie as an ogre.

Side note: It is 2014. There is one kind of feminism. The kind that wants equality for the sexes. Nothing else. First wave of feminism, second, etc they are all relative to the time period they were in. Today, for us, we’re in 2014 and feminism has one, simple definition: social, political, and economic equality between the sexes.
This site is not here to debate the meaning of feminism. This site operates with the above meaning of feminism.

What do you think? Do you agree with our ratings?

Follow Animated Meta on Twitter & Tumblr!

Cheers,
-M&M!

Buzz Lightyear and Freud’s Defense Mechanisms: Denial

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Buzz Lightyear is a character from the 1995 film Toy Story by Pixar Animation Studios. Upon first viewing, his character seems nothing more than an amusing space ranger that threatens Woody’s status as Andy’s favorite toy. But with further investigation, it becomes apparent that the funny little space ranger is more than he seems.

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Sigmund Freud would describe Buzz as someone using a defense mechanism to the extreme, leading to a maladjusted personality. Yes, we’re about to get psychological here. All for fun, of course.

Defense mechanisms help people cope. They don’t change our reality, rather they distort our perception of it (Carducci, 2009). Sigmund Freud pioneered the idea of defense mechanisms in his psychodynamic theory of personality (Carducci, 2009). No matter how many times Buzz is told he’s a toy and not a space ranger and even given concrete evidence of this (ie, his laser not working), he hangs onto this belief that he is, in fact, a space ranger and needs to get home to defeat the Evil Emperor Zerg.

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Freud would say that Buzz is in denial. And Buzz’s denial is prevalent throughout most of the story. It is his mind’s way of reducing anxiety to keep him in balance.

When he arrives in Andy’s bedroom, his first lines are, “Buzz Lightyear to Star Command, come in Star Command. Star Command, come in, do you read me? Why don’t they answer?” With a single line, the magnitude of Buzz’s denial is obvious. Then he notices his “space ship” has been wrecked (which is what happens when kids rip open the box that holds their new toy captive). Buzz is in physical distress and records a mission log saying he was run off route on his way to sector twelve. Sector twelve is now Andy’s bedroom and Buzz claims that the impact awoke him from hyper sleep. He looks at his gamma gauge, which is actually a sticker, searching for information about the air quality. He goes through all the motions of what an actual space ranger has been trained to do.

Upon meeting Woody, Buzz jumps into defense mode.

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He uses his laser, which is actually a red light that does nothing (but would probably amuse children). The laser is useless and Buzz seems indifferent to this, denying it. Instead, he turns to focus on repairing his ship’s turbo boosters. He wants to know if we, “still use fossil fuels or have [we] discovered crystallic fusion?”

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Woody, flummoxed, has no chance to respond as the rest of the toys appear and Buzz again shifts into Scary Space Ranger Mode. He relies on his laser for the hundredth time, but upon confirmation from Woody that the new arrivals are safe, allows them to come closer. He allows them, as if he’s the one in charge. The brave, commanding space ranger immediately takes control of the situation and is already ordering people around. The denial feeds his image of being a powerful space ranger, giving him confidence.

When asked where he’s from, there’s a joke about all toys being produced overseas, but Buzz doesn’t understand. He says that he’s stationed up in the gamma quadrant of sector four. The other toys embrace being a toy, but not Buzz. The denial allows him to be bigger than them.

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The toys then proceed to fawn over Buzz’s gadgets and Buzz cautions them about the power of his oh, so dangerous laser. When Woody calls him a toy, Buzz responds with the most telling line: “I think the word you’re searching for is space ranger.”

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Buzz’s denial knows no bounds. He’s surrounded by a toy dinosaur, a Mr. Potato Head, and a cowboy doll in a child’s bedroom, but he holds onto his belief of being a great space ranger. Buzz refutes being made of plastic and is insulted at the insinuation he can’t fly, because he’s a toy.

With Buzz’s arrival the dynamic in the room changes. Woody, who was once Andy’s favorite toy, is now second best to Buzz Lightyear, the brave space ranger.

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Buzz spends his free time repairing his ship and exercising, as space rangers have diligent fitness routines. When Woody flips out on Buzz and tells him to stop putting up the space ranger act, Buzz responds with, “Are you saying you want to lodge a complaint with Star Command?” When defense mechanisms are used to the extreme, a person does not even realizing what they’re doing (Carducci, 2009) and Buzz seems to have no clue. The magnitude of his denial is obvious when Woody opens Buzz’s space helmet. Instead of taking a breath, he panics, falls to the floor like he’s suffocating. In actuality, he’s just being overdramatic about the whole thing. He even dry heaves before murmuring, “The air isn’t… toxic?” Then: “How dare you open a space ranger’s helmet on an uncharted planet.” An uncharted planet! The denial is so strong! “My eye balls could have been sucked from their sockets.” Then he closes his helmet. This is in an effort to maintain his denial and emphasize the divide between them; he’s not like them and the helmet helps protect him. The helmet is a physical reminder that they are toys and he is a space ranger.

Interestingly enough, it’s never mentioned how Buzz views Andy playing with him. The only time he acknowledges Andy around the toys is when Andy writes his name on the bottom of Buzz’s space boots. Even then he describes Andy as, “Your chief,” not “Our chief.” Does Andy waving Buzz around the room, imagining games for him where he saves the day, have no affect on him? While his flying demonstration miraculously worked out:

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The amount of times Buzz has attempted to attack someone with his laser only to have nothing happen, doesn’t deter him. It’s almost as if he can’t even see the laser not having its desired affect. “Melt him with your scary laser,” Woody mocks, pushing the button. “Be careful with that! It’s extremely dangerous.” No, it isn’t. But Buzz refuses to see it. Just like he doesn’t appear to even register Andy treating him as a toy.

When Woody and Buzz end up stranded at a gas station, Andy having driven off with his mother, Woody is paranoid about being a lost toy. He needs to find a way to get home, but Buzz has other priorities. In his intense denial, Buzz believes that his arch nemesis Zerg has a weapon posed to destroy the entire universe and blames Woody for “delaying his rendezvous with Star Command,” so he can deliver the information. This being the same Star Command that hasn’t answered him since his crash landing. In his hysteria, Woody launches into a tirade about Buzz being a toy.

Nothing fazes Buzz: “You are a sad, strange little man. And you have my pity.” The denial, the fantasy he’s conjured up protects him from having to accept the truth. And maybe the concept of being a lost toy is too much to handle; Buzz has to believe in Zerg’s plan to destroy the world so he can focus on that instead. This is the first time Buzz has mentioned Zerg and a weapon, so this intense denial must have been brought on by the extremity of their situation.

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(Yes, I’m fully aware this is a different Pixar film.)

He’s no longer in Andy’s bedroom, fretting about getting his space ship repaired. Now he’s in real danger of being lost in a world he’s tried to push aside for so long, so there needs to be a more pressing matter like the universe being destroyed. On their journey to find Andy, he refers to things like the front seat of a car as the cockpit and automatic doors as an air lock, keeping everything in space man terms.

Eventually, Buzz stumbles upon a commercial of the Buzz Lightyear action figure toy that he is. He tries to deny it once more, attempting to fly out of a window, but as he is a toy, he is unsuccessful and loses an arm in the process.

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He can no longer deny the reality that he is a toy. Buzz had derived all his self worth and confidence from being a space ranger and when that fantasy and denial is broken, he needs to adjust to his new understanding of life.

However, that’s easier said than done. Before Buzz can make peace with this, he now denies being Buzz Lightyear fully and is:

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The denial is strong with this one.

With the line, “Years of academy training wasted,” it is clear Buzz still has some ways to go. But, this is the turning point for him and Buzz is finally able to come to terms with who he is, finding peace with being Andy’s toy and Woody’s best buddy to infinity and beyond.

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Bibliography
Carducci, B.J. (2009). The psychology of personality: Viewpoints, research, and applications (2nd ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.
Bonnie, E., Catmull, E., Guggenheim, G., & Jobs, S. (Producers), & Lasseter, J. (Director). (1995). Toy Story [Motion picture]. United States of America: Pixar Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures


Talk to us below! Do you think Buzz is in denial? Who is your favorite Toy Story character?

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Cheers!
-M&M