[It] would’ve been nice if a studio that’s known for creative and original storytelling had decided to do something more interesting with their first female protagonist (in SIXTEEN YEARS) than make her…a princess. Who’s cool because she’s good at “boy” stuff. How fresh and exciting! Ugh. Granted, Tangled was one of my favorite movies from last year, but it was also an adaptation of a classic fairytale. Pixar had the opportunity to do anything with this, and they’re just rehashing the same old, same old.
Sadly, “girl struggles against restrictive society” is still a very relevant theme, but it would be awfully nice to see a story about a regular person who has adventures and, oh yeah, also happens to be female. And who maybe likes to read or do needlepoint instead of or in addition to kicking ass, because there is nothing wrong with those kinds of things. I’ve always found the tomboy ideal so prevalent in fantasy fiction and film particularly irritating, sometimes more so than the passive damsel ideal, because it’s still presenting traditionally masculine pursuits as superior.
I had the same reaction as Couchman. I love most of the Pixar movies (well, all of the Pixar movies that don’t feature anthropomorphic vehicles) and found myself shrugging at this trailer, hoping it doesn’t represent the actual movie. While the Highland setting looks compelling, the heroine’s setup feels disappointingly stock.
Sure, gender roles can be restrictive — but so can these rebellious-princess tropes. “A lady pursues elegant pursuits,” her mother chastens. “Show a little decorum!” her father grouses. We don’t see her getting squeezed into a corset, but we get all of the other requisite beats: bored by ceremony, shooting a bow, escaping on horseback.
Studios grumble that boys won’t go to see movies featuring female protagonists, and I think this is why: the trailer shows a frustrated daughter rather than an adventurer.
Link via Faruk Ateş.