Is there a 'girly' animation film I can buy for DD that won't make this feminist mother spew bile?

(93 Posts)
ClairityVerity Wed 02-Oct-13 21:56:28

I have finally conceded that I should let DD indulge in pink/ sparkle/ fairy-type things from time to time, safe in the knowledge that she WILL grow out of it. Now that she has healthily embraced her older brother's love of kung fu/ cars/ dinos, I no longer worry about her being sucked full-bodied into a vortex of fluffy pink inspidness which will eat the feistiness from her soul and turn her into some vile, sappy creature like this <<shudders>>.

So! grin All our DVDs so far have been bought with DS's tastes in mind (though he does love a bit of Ben & Holly - HA! So much for his Mr Tough Guy image...). Can anyone recommend an animation film I can buy for DD alone, that won't have me reaching for the incinerator?

TIA!

DanglingChillis Tue 08-Oct-13 19:44:20

I don't think anyone is saying boys stuff is 'neater' than girls stuff. The OP asked for films that had female lead characters that weren't peddling sexism. Studio Ghibli films or any of the others recommended aren't 'boy's films' they are films where girls get to have adventures that don't end in marriage.

It's interesting how offended some people are by the idea that as parents some of us might want to expose our children to one type of culture in preference to another once gender comes into it. That is our right, in the same way that parents chose to take their children to the certain shows at the theatre, certain museums or art galleries, watch certain TV shows, read certain children's stories etc etc. This is just one aspect of it. We all choose to consume the culture that reflects our own values.

DadWasHere Mon 07-Oct-13 23:26:15

Studio Ghibli, yes, amazing films, our family has seen all of them. If you want to visit Studio Ghibli in Japan you will need to buy tickets over six months in advance. But don’t assume their films = better path to strong womanhood. If that was simply the case then, frankly, women in Japan would have a better go of it than they do. My daughters saw Beauty and the Beast in turn as well. My job as parent was to filter anything I thought was dangerous to them, not to be the gatekeeper that 'boys stuff' is neater than 'girls stuff'. Pink is not the color of Satan or God, its just a color. The fads (of pink or any other colour/toy) passes through are more concerning in terms of risking raising kids with consumerism defining their self worth, which is an issue faced by both genders.

Beauty and the Beast, the message that women held as prisoners can redeem their captors and love them, is ham fisted. You don’t need to cast it THAT far down the line, its more subtle. Plenty of women get hung up on the 'diamond in the rough' they intend to 'change' as a mechanism to validate their self worth and unique personal insight, both to themselves and peers. Add to that mistaking arrogance as confidence, possessiveness as protection/love, aggression as decisiveness- there is a lot that can go wrong in how specific women see and value men.

paperlantern Mon 07-Oct-13 20:17:14

I agree with adalovelace. variety is the way to go.

lilo and stitch is an awesome buddy film. The follow up films and cartoon series are awesome too.

adalovelacelaptop Mon 07-Oct-13 14:20:40

[Name change to something more appropriate]. I know not all girls like prettly things, and good for them. But if a girl does like all this pink stuff I don't see that steering them away from it is particularly helpful. The sub text is that being female in the way they choose is turning them into a second class citizen. maybe it is a symbol of change in society that very young girls use the pink and glittery method of gender identification. Rather than thinking that I get less resources therefore I am a girl.
Any way my experience is that as they grow up girls identify all the pink and Disney crap with young children and naturally want to eschew it as they get older.
Same as some boys are all over stuff aimed at them as toddlers and then reject it as babyish when they get older.
But don't get me started on the sexism that was Mr Benin the 70's.

DanglingChillis Mon 07-Oct-13 00:43:21

Gerhardrichter, here's a shocking idea: Not all girls like pretty things. And frankly, what 3 year old is really interested in the romance in most Disney Princess films? I always think it's slightly daft that we force these adult storylines on young girls. Boys get Pixar buddy movies where male characters do things, girls get (at best) a princess rebelling against getting married. I just want my daughters to watch films with girls in them doing things. I want NO romance in the films I show my daughters because I'm turning into an old prude and don't see why a young child would be interested in that.

paperlantern Mon 07-Oct-13 00:03:01

dd has seen a fair number of the ghibli films. they're ok, but I wonder at them being light entertainment. they are quite challenging to watch

the old Disney stuff is far more amusing as long as you don't take it too serious.

The importance is to offer perspectives on everything you watch.

point out the good bits and the bad (sleeping beauty takes a real hammering here) that way your not teaching censorship but the ability to think critically.

let her watch the "traditional" princesses. add in
beauty and the beast (beautiful film),
lilo and stitch (esp. blended families),
mulan
brave
alice in wonderland (the brilliant one noone remembers,
labyrinth (not animated awesome female lead)

personally none to keen on tiana in princess and the frog. your dreams mean nothing without love.shock

we have most of the Disney stuff (im a big fan! ) but most of the real princessey princesses doesn't get a look in anymore. dd choice

gerhardrichter Sun 06-Oct-13 23:50:58

I just don't think that denying the fact that girls like pretty things is a particularly helpful ten#et for bringing girls up. much better to go with ok you want a lovely outfil and jewelry and a family then you'd better put yourself in a position where you can afford to buy it/support it yourself.

gerhardrichter Sun 06-Oct-13 23:46:29

lego is for children.
I don't understand this comment 'Because we all paddle in patriarchy's stormy seas'
When my children were little they played with the toys they wanted to. Full range in the house from lego, toy trains to Barbie and Cinderella outfits. No comments ever made about whether the girl was hindering her development wearing a princess outfit. Or should have been more suitably engaged by playing with the building blocks.
When she got A* for A level Chemistry I bought her nail varnish because that is what she likes.
She's started Medical school this year and has always known that she should be reliant on herself and not wait for someone to support her.

exexpat Sun 06-Oct-13 23:42:14

I can't speak for anyone else, but I don't think it is quite as simple as saying 'girly toys bad, boyish toys good'. I have an older boy and younger girl, but bought things like a toy kitchen, doll's house, pushchair etc for DS to play with when he was a toddler - all things that are traditionally 'girly', but I see as good playthings for both genders, as they allow a lot of scope for imaginative role-play. DD had full access to those, as well as DS's more traditionally boyish toys (Brio train sets, cars etc), plus things that I would say are gender-neutral, like lego, toy animals etc.

What I don't much like - didn't ban, but didn't encourage - was the newest kind of hyper-girly, 100% pink and sparkly, all-about-appearances kind of toy which wasn't around when I was little but the shops are full of now. I also don't much like, and did not encourage, the hyper-masculine battle-super-hero-with-guns kind of toy, which I think has also become much more common in the past couple of decades. Yes, there were Barbies and Action Men around in the 1970s, but if you compare the toys from then to the ones now, they have become much, much more extreme and gender-differentiated, as have children's TV programmes. And even things that always used to be gender-neutral, like building blocks and balls, now tend to come in boy and girl versions (pink v blue, or Hello Kitty v Thomas the Tank Engine etc). Not what I would call progress, but it is all part of a drive to sell more of everything.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 06-Oct-13 23:35:01

Would you say Lego is traditionally girly, traditionally masculine, or traditionally for children?

Would you have answered the question the same way 30 years ago?

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Sun 06-Oct-13 23:33:44

Because we all paddle in patriarchy's stormy seas, gerhard.

gerhardrichter Sun 06-Oct-13 23:13:31

I wonder why there seems to me to be a unspoken consensus that it is ok for girls to veer towards the more masculine end of the scale of boys entertainment and toys, but not ok for them to embrace the princess type stuff. I get that you want girls to enter the world on an equal footing with men. but don't you think that by belittling 'traditionaly girly' toys you are belittling girls. and adding a subtext that boys stuff equals good, girls stuff equals bad.

ILovePonyo Sat 05-Oct-13 21:33:42

Ahem, I agree with Ponyo grin

Also agree with Wreck it Ralph, we recently got it for dd and she loves it. Would you believe we've watched it at least once a day for the past week and I still enjoy it shock and dd loves it.

My dd loves anything 'princessey' and recently told me she still liked something blue (pajamas) "even though they're for boys" which surprised me. I'm trying to balance out the princess stuff with things like Ponyo/totoro etc because I think if I banned princess stuff she'd want it even more.

ClairityVerity Sat 05-Oct-13 21:27:54

Lurcio and Dangling - great posts.

It irritates me that there are so few films with good female leads - usually the female character is second to the male. IMO this does not count as a film targeted at girls.

I'm surprised by the Tinkerbell statement - an engineer, huh? Interesting. But she's still got that coy, eyelash-batting, over-feminised, princessy look about her, which makes me want to pull my teeth out. And stick them in Barbie's over-preened scalp.

I don't think by any means that I can avoid DS and DD seeing those kinds of image, of course not. But I know that I have to do my homework to make sure they see a broader range of female characters than those, which is why I started this thread.

It's worked well already in that I did that for DS by seeking out non-aggressive programmes for his age group and interests. Now it's DD's turn.

ClairityVerity Sat 05-Oct-13 21:21:04

Wow, can't believe this conversation is still going on!

To answer a couple of questions from igloo, wolowitz and noble:

- DS doesn't have films that I consider 'girly' because he's not been interested. No point in pushing him where he doesn't want to go. And as I believe I said earlier, he loved Mulan.
- The whole point about me looking for more 'girly' films for DD is that she does want to watch them. And as I said in a previous post, I'd now probably watch the ones with wet, sappy female characters with DD, and then discuss what we thought of the characters.
- I disagree that children are not influenced by TV characters - TOTALLY disagree. My kids are CONSTANTLY role-playing directly from what they watch, often immediately after the programme has finished. I'm certain they are not the only kids in the world who do that!

For me the point of looking for a film that's mainly for DD is that so far I've always chosen films based on what I thought DS would enjoy, and now I want to choose a few with DD in mind, and I'm conscious of how heavily she will be influenced by them.

As someone above said, we also avoid programmes with OTT 'masculine' characters, aggression and violence - otherwise both DS and DD will be influenced into thinking that this behaviour is okay

DanglingChillis Sat 05-Oct-13 15:25:06

The little girl in Wreck it Ralph is brilliant!!

Yes, DH and I thought it was great, although he did spoil it somewhat by deciding to explain all the computing science jokes in real time (he works in IT, I'm not a computing numskull).

KoalaFace Sat 05-Oct-13 14:41:29

The little girl in Wreck it Ralph is brilliant!!

My DS is 3 and he loves the Tinkerbell movie! I had to give my Dad a telling off for being all "that's a girls movie!"

DS also loves Brave, Tangled, Fern Gully, Toy Story, Shrek and the Chipmunk movies.

Lio Sat 05-Oct-13 14:27:51

In the Princess and the Frog the heroine's best friend wants to marry a prince, but the heroine is concentrating on working hard and saving so that she can set up her own restaurant. The prince is feckless. i.e. they both have lessons to learn from each other. Mama Oti (sp?) is a great character. Good mother-daughter relationship (also father but he dies early on). And in the end the heroine and prince decide that they don't mind about staying frogs, because it's more important to have luuuurve than be a prince and princess, although (spoiler!) that is what happens anyway. I'm sure there are reasons not to love it, but I can't think of them. Randy Newman's songs are great and the animation is beautiful.

SummerHoliDidi Fri 04-Oct-13 22:01:36

Oh, yes to Panda go Panda. We got that out of the library and in one week dd2 watched it 12 times shock. She was ill that week and couldn't do very much but still 12 times of the same film and I was pig sick of it.

SummerHoliDidi Fri 04-Oct-13 21:56:21

Dd2 is 3 and her current favourites are Matilda and Harriet the spy. She also likes Annie.

We loved Ponyo so much when we got it out of the library that dd1 made a ponyo doll for dd2 and it's now her favourite toy, she sings the annoying ponyo song every time she plays with it. She's getting another couple of Ghibli films for Christmas.

We've enjoyed Brave (although dd2 cried when the bear turned back into the queen hmm - she preferred the bear) and shrek, but dd2 has so far turned her nose up at anything too girly.

ModeratelyObvious Fri 04-Oct-13 21:43:22

Another great article, linked from the one above.

link

exexpat Fri 04-Oct-13 21:42:42

I agree with lots of people about Totoro, Ponyo, Lilo & Stitch, Brave. Maybe Hoodwinked? Also the Incredibles and Monsters Inc. DD loved all of those, as did DS (well, Ponyo & Brave weren't out when he was little).

FWIW, DD did also go through a sparkly-pink-fairy-princess-Barbie stage when she was roughly 3-5, so we do have some Barbie films and princessy Disney ones, but she snapped out of it at around 5, and it doesn't seem to have had a lasting impact on her - she certainly isn't one to simper around waiting for a prince to rescue her. At 10 she wears what she likes, which is very rarely pink and mostly trousers, and when all the boys on an activity course she did were saying things like 'girls are hopeless at shooting/archery/climbing/fencing/kayaking', she very happily told them they were talking rubbish, and proved them wrong.

madeupstuff Fri 04-Oct-13 21:40:54

Panda go Panda (English version of course) predates Ghibli by a few years.

bsc Fri 04-Oct-13 21:34:34

Kiki is rather fabulous isn't it? The pg baker, the artist, the old lady, Kiki's mother- great female characters that aren;t in the least bit insipid.

I couldn't choose a favourite from Totoro, Kiki, and Ponyo- love them all.

I like the Cat Returns too, though it's a little beyond a 3yo... very odd story!

ByTheSea Fri 04-Oct-13 21:27:39

DD1 loved Spirited Away.

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