Friday, 9 December 2011

The Social Messages of "Tangled"

Pixar has historically been slightly tone-deaf on gender issues. This jaw-dropping quote, allegedly from a Pixar executive, embodies the problem:
"We're very aware of it and we're trying to change. But sometimes it's just so hard to find a way to justify adding a female character to the story. We want to be fair, but every character has to have a reason to be there."
(If you can read that without thinking that something is obviously, glaringly wrong in the imagination of the speaker, you might want to skip this post - it relies on premises I'm not going to go into right now.)

But come back, Disney animation, all is forgiven. Tangled has genuinely strong female characterisation, a frank description of emotional abuse, and is quietly packed with positive messages.