Tuesday 8 March 2016

Woman - Woa Man!

Character design artwork for 'Good Witches Bad Witches'

It's a woman's world today. Did you know it's International Women's Day?

I'll be an optimist and assume that the men who read this blog have not checked out, and I'll continue... Yes - it's International Women's Day apparently (yeah, I'd never heard of it either) and it's the 41st year of this being a thing.

'Zootopia' Image courtesy of Disney
Naturally as the person who created 'Good Witches Bad Witches' - a subculture of female characters of every sort, I care about gender representation in film. Today I want to give a shout out to Disney's new animated feature - 'Zootopia'. Thrilled to see several rounded and relevant female characters in one film. Not only that, but the film's message to the children in the audience is that you can be anything and do anything (a message more often given to little boys alone). It was wonderful to watch female characters who are not portrayed as annoying, weepy, frightened victims, accident-prone idiots, on a quest for a boyfriend, dependent on men, unambitious, attractive rewards for male heros or just plain irrelevant. The last time I felt Disney hit this nail on the head was 'Mulan' and to an extent 'Tangled'.

Rolling Stone praised 'Zootopia' for its "potent feminist streak" The Guardian talks of 'Zootopia's "feminist credentials" and Variety references the gender topic.*

Go and see 'Zootopia'. It's incredibly well-written, visually flawless and hysterical. Have children? - Take 'em. Don't have children? - Have some and show them this film.

If you're a woman in the industry who read to the end of this post I have a final suggestion. Join Women in Animation. Fantastic group.

If you're a man who read to the end of this post - thank you! Gold star.

Finally, the women of Tall Tales Productions have grouped together to say "Happy Women's Day!" and posed for this iPhone shot.

The image at the beginning of this post is some new character artwork I just did for 'Good Witches Bad Witches'. Sketched using ink and white pencil. Don't forget to check in here or at the Facebook page or Instagram or the website to follow the project as it unfolds.... thank you!

* However Variety film critic Peter Debruge doesn't give 'Zootopia' their due credit, with the line "the movie is less about race than gender, dredging up equality issues that might have been fresher in the days of “9 to 5” and “Working Girl”: Hmmm.

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