to want animated films with strong female characters for DD to watch?

(103 Posts)

DD is 3.4 and we sometimes sit down and watch films together. She's at the age where she's starting to notice differences between people and characters and isn't very impressed with the 'girls waiting to be rescued' kind of plot that seems to be common. I mentioned this to a friend the other day and she thought I was being daft, that films have nothing to do with how a child views the world as they're "just entertainment". She seemed very amused that I want to find some films with strong female characters. hmm

I'm not BU about this am I? DD adores the Octonauts (and pretends to be Tweak or Kwazii most days), likes Lilo and Stitch, Mulan and Beauty and the Beast (mostly for the teapot I think!). But most other children's films seem to feature girls who need to be rescued (I'm thinking Aladdin, Robin Hood, the traditional fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty and Snow White etc). Am I overthinking this?

lancaster Wed 14-Nov-12 17:44:34

I would second the barbie films. Barbie always "plays" a strong female character. The new movie princess and the popstar is really good ( my 3 and 5 year olds agree).

Colyngbourne Wed 14-Nov-12 20:19:32

Like many here, I can only recommend Studio Ghibli films. My kids have grown up watching them all, and whilst at the age of your daughter, I would recommend only My Neighbour Totoro, Ponyo, Arrietty and Kiki's Delivery Service, I would also encourage watching the others as they get older. My teens have gained a lot from strong female role models in Ghibli films for older teens - Whisper of the Heart, Only Yesterday and Ocean Waves, let alone Spirited Away, Mononoke, Howl etc.

The best Disney females are those in the last 20 years - Belle, Mulan, Pocahontas in particular. Anastasia is also very good - and assertive in her own right) - this was one of the old Don Bluth animations - but perhaps for someone older than 3-4 yrs.

gorionine Wed 14-Nov-12 20:33:08

Jane and the dragon www.janeandthedragon.com episodes are an absolute favourite at ours, boys and girls aged 6 to 44!

gorionine Wed 14-Nov-12 20:35:11

Sorry, forgot to say that you can find box sets of the cartoon on Amazon.

MoelFammau Wed 14-Nov-12 20:39:51

I work in the animation industry and yes you're absolutely right. The whole thing is as depressing as hell.

The only thing WORSE than the 'rescue me' princess type is the smart, sensible one who sorts out the daft boy. Think the female lead in 'Ratatouie', or 'Cars' or pretty much any Pixar film. Who wants to be the boring sensible one? Why not the funny one?

If it helps, we're doing our best to push forward a girls series for funky girls!

lljkk Wed 14-Nov-12 20:46:15

It's a pretty old-fashioned film if it only features girls who need to be rescued. Modern animated films aren't like that at all, I find. LIke someone else said, the modern Daphne in Scooby Doo kicks butt and is very observant & resourceful.

Has anyone seen the Scooby Doos where Daphne is the hair-raising race-car driver & Fred can't do anything but bite his nails at the prospect?

Quest for Camelot (=The Magic Sword?) was one of my first choices, too.

Whocansay Wed 14-Nov-12 20:47:05

Not animated, but I'm going to suggest Mary Poppins. I always loved it and my DSs of 2 & 4 love it too. We sit and watch it in installments and have a bit of a boogie to the songs. Very strong female lead and best use of a TERRIBLE accent ever!

(I was about 16 before I realised that actually Londoners do not speak like Dick Van Dyke blush)

Pilgit Wed 14-Nov-12 20:58:47

YANBU! They pick up the gender stereotyping stuff really easily. we were watching mirror mirror last weekend (not a great film but strong female lead - well she learns to be and kicks arse) and somewhere near the beginning snow white is in trouble and our 3.5 DD says 'oh, she needs a knight to come rescue her.' My jaw hit the floor -where has she got this from? Both me and DH retorted, as one, 'why can't she save herself?' We try all the time to teach her to be her own hero. But this sort of comment has made me realise how much normal TV and films have an effect.

I will also be taking the above suggestions!

I loved Ever After:A Cinderella Story, it's not animated but there's a great female protagonist who rescues herself and the prince, possibly a bit old for 3 but a good antidote to helpless princesses for when she's older.

YANBU!

As soon as I saw the title I thought about Studio Ghibli. They're usually very good wrt both sexes needing rescuing, both sexes being heroes, etc. Spirited Away is one of my favourite films, maybe a bit old for your daughter though.
Howl's Moving Castle is fantastic too. I'm not sure how either of the films translate though as I watch them in Japanese with subtitles blush So the English voice over may be different, I know it commonly is with anime!

Anime in general is good for strong female characters, if you can get over the tiny skirts every girl wears! Sailor Moon is another good one for older kids from what I remember, it would require a child to want to follow a series though as it goes from ditzy young superhero who is saved by masked man regularily to young woman who saves the masked man as she grows older through the first two series. The later series didn't get translated though iirc, which is a shame as they are the better ones for the strong female leads thing.

t0lk13n Wed 14-Nov-12 22:56:10

Mulan

Kethryveris Wed 14-Nov-12 22:57:14

how to train your dragon.. the girl in that kicks some ass.

JackThePumpkinKing Wed 14-Nov-12 23:20:17

Disagree about HTTYD - she's good, but not that good.

CaliforniaLeaving Wed 14-Nov-12 23:51:31

My 7 year old still loves watching Jane and the Dragon. (me too) At 3 we watched Monster inc and all the toy story movies, Mulan, and Little Mermaid. Still haven't seen Brave, it's on our list and she did love watching Princess and the Frog with her Grandma.
Beverly hills chihuahua was a hit the dog is a girl and has a girl voice but isn't animated.
Not sure if you can get some of the others Dd watches, Pearlie. she's a park fairy who has to stop the bad fairy each episode. Willa's wildlife about a girl who keeps wild animals in her backyard.

Laputa/Castle in the Sky is my favourite movie ever (although I hate the new voice dubbing). The Pirate leader is a brilliant female character. Sheeta is a bit goodie goodie and does get rescued a fair bit, but she grows a pair by the end.

Labyrinth, The Princess and the Frog, Anne of Green Gables...

nooka Thu 15-Nov-12 05:55:25

Another vote for Studio Ghibli films. My dd still loves to watch them all on a regular basis, and usually it ends up with all of us on the sofa with her. My Neighbour Totoro is probably our all time favourite (it's wonderfully rewatchable) and great for a littlie (the younger sister is every bit as feisty as her big sister).

We were also surprised that the earlier Barbie movies were actually pretty good, mostly because the music is so lovely, but the Barbie characters are surprisingly resourceful and dynamic. I'd go for Nutcracker, Rapunzel or Swan Lake and see if they are your sort of cup of tea.

The first two Shreks are good, but the third and fourth ones are rubbish, partly because Fiona pretty much disappears.

Another vote for Totoro, Ponyo. & Brave (bit scary though), but I was really annoyed by the ending of Mulan - in order to marry her prince, she first had to give up her power/strength, revert properly to her traditional feminine mode and then wait for him to come. Rather undermined all the fabulousness of the rest of the movie for me.

Spy kids when she's older.

GingerPCatt Thu 15-Nov-12 07:07:30

Not ponyo for a good female character. She is the epitome of damsel in distress! The boy decides her fate. Sorry if that's a spoiler. I hated that movie.

I'm just marking my place as I do believe my amazon account will be taking a battering this afternoon.

Thank you for all these ideas.
Mine love Anastasia & Ponyo so get more like these will be fab x

Mrsjay Thu 15-Nov-12 09:38:06

pochahontas is pretty strong as is jasmine mulan there is lots of female characters in films yes they may fall in love but they still rock nothing wrong in falling in love but they do seem to go on adventures, My teens watched disney films and tbh they never simpered after their prince to come they are pretty strong young women

JackThePumpkinKing Thu 15-Nov-12 09:44:33

Ginger - no she's not! She breaks away from all her siblings and goes out on her own. Her mother is also a very strong character.

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 15-Nov-12 09:45:27

Monsters vs Aliens is genuinely one of my favourite films and a feminist masterpiece. It's so funny and really, REALLY doesn't go near the traditional trope of get married and live happily ever after. Even feisty heroines usually end up walking down the aisle but Susan in M vs A turns into a monster and in the end opts to stay that way rather than have her jerk of an ex back. It's brilliant.

SparkyTGD Thu 15-Nov-12 09:57:05

Bolt, Bolt is the lead but the cat, Mittens, is very cool (& female) and Penny, the girl, is pretty tough.

Yes to older Scooby Doo, the new ones are all about the male characters being interested in the females & vice-versa.

Charlotte's Web, charlotte the spider herself & the girl who wants to keep the pig.

mamamibbo Thu 15-Nov-12 10:32:20

yanbu i feel the same way

dd1 is 3.5 and she likes brave,princess and the frog, tangled,toy story 2+3 (with jessein) pocahantas aswell

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