Tag Archives: movies

“Black-washing”: The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

14 Sep
Halle Bailey as Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid

White-washing. I’m sure everyone has heard this word once or twice. Simply put, it’s a word used to describe when Hollywood casts White people or lighter people to play everyone, especially characters that were originally people of color. It has been seen as another term to describe “Blackface” in the modern era. White-washing has existed since the beginning of cinema, even when Black people were “allowed” to act in Hollywood. In fact, Whitewashing existed frequently up until as recently as 2017. It was around this time, in 2017, when Hollywood started to realize that casting White actors to play various ethnicities doesn’t always pay pockets in a modern society (Ghost in the Shell, 2017), even if the actor is well known and loved. They even recognized that it could be a career-killer for movie studios and actors alike.

After complaints about the Oscars’ selection of nominees appearing as “White” as possible, the Oscars began to set new diversity standards of eligibility for Movie Academy Awards in 2020. The rules were as follows:

  1. At least one actor from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group must be cast in a significant role.
  2. The story must center on women, L.G.T.B.Q. people, a racial or ethnic group or the disabled.
  3. At least 30 percent of the cast must be actors from at least two of those four underrepresented categories.

This caused Hollywood to go through a frenzy of hiring people of color anywhere they could.  One way they have implemented this change is by casting Black people to play characters that were originally White, either by suddenly presenting them as Black…or actually calling them “White” (Hamilton-style) despite their race, with the audience having to suspend a bit of reality. This has been called in recent years “Black-washing”.

Just like with White-washing, Black-washing has also had its share of controversy. Some people find it to be hypocritical that “Black-washing” is allowed culturally when White-washing often gets met with disdain and backlash. Others don’t like “Black-washing” because it makes everything feel less authentic or unrecognizable as the cast doesn’t match the character in the source or most familiar material.

On the other hand, many like this type of casting choice because they feel it finally gives Black people and other people of color more representation. Some have even argued that blackwashing as an ideology doesn’t exist and that casting black people in these types of roles is simply another form of reparations for the mistreatment and erasure of Black people from media during the Golden Age Of Hollywood and during the days of the Hay’s Code (a time when Hollywood restricted what could be seen in cinema).

What I aim to do is give a nuanced perspective about “Black-washing”. Regardless of whether I think the theory holds any merit, as a Black person myself, I want to discuss the good that could come with this idea or concept, the bad that could come with this idea or concept, and the ugly that can often surround this idea or concept. Let’s break it all down.

The Good: More Opportunities For Black People

We are beginning to see a rise in Black characters in every source of media. According to Diversity Inc, roles for black actors in a variety of tv series have increased post pandemic in which 65.8% of TV series featured a Black actor pre-pandemic and 70.5% featured at least one black person post-pandemic. Roles for Black actors in films particularly have increased overall from 56.1% to 58.7%.

What this means is that Black-washing gives Black people an opportunity to be even more represented. That is a major feat, believe it or not. I actually remember a time when I went to Backstage.com to find auditions and many of the auditions would say “White-preferred”. As someone who used to be an aspiring actor, it was discouraging to say the least. This was in the early 2010s, not too long ago.

Make no mistake. Almost every lead character is still white, but at least more of them are starting to be people of color. I no longer feel like I would automatically be rejected from an opportunity just because of the color of my skin. I feel like I can finally be recognized for my talent, the talents I’ve had since high school, if I choose acting as a career choice again.

In a sense, this makes Black-washing different from White-washing. White people have never actually been barred from playing any roles in cinema. They have had plenty of opportunities; doors have been open to them from around the world and the doors still are open. Therefore, the effects of White-washing are actually a lot more harmful to Black people than Black-washing is to White people. Black-washing doesn’t bar White people from getting opportunities. Rather, it “evens” the playing field. Don’t misunderstand, I do see a lot of pitfalls that can come from “Black-washing” (which I will get into later in this article), but some of the arguments that many people make against “Black-washing” are usually based on misconceptions, bias, or racial prejudice.

Here is a common argument for example:

“Black people only make up 19% of the population in America. White people are the majority so why should black people get an increase in roles?”

There are two problems with this statement. One problem is that there is a sense of American-centrism, basically Americans acting as if the entire world demographic begins and ends with America. In the entire world, there are more people of color then White people across continents. To be frank, many actors hired in Hollywood are not exactly from the USA. Many of them are from other countries. So this argument that having more Black people in Hollywood is somehow inaccurate or inauthentic is strange.

Second, these kinds of arguments seem to assume that White people will not relate to characters that are of a different race, so by making more characters of color it will somehow push White people away from watching movies. However, people of color have had to relate to characters of various backgrounds for decades, due to the dominance of White actors in media, and are constantly told that it shouldn’t matter what color they are. So shouldn’t the same apply to White people? Furthermore, why is it that viewers must relate to what they see personally? Isn’t it great to learn about something new and imagine what that would be like? I don’t relate to Harry Potter as a wizard, but I like learning and imagining what it would be like to have wizarding powers. Why doesn’t this logic apply to movies featuring Black culture?

To add, many of the characters that are accused of being “Black-washed” in a movie or a show are often played by mixed or biracial people. This makes the outrage a little more complex. We often have a tendency to see every mixed person that has a drop of black as ONLY black. I don’t think this is fair, especially if the actor in question is mixed with White ancestry and understands White culture. If they can act as Black characters, why shouldn’t someone of mixed ancestry be able to act as a White character? Sure, we can talk about how often times the mixed person doesn’t, in any way, resemble the character they are meant to portray. I think in some ways this is a valid criticism. But are you really mad just because they don’t look as you envisioned the part, or are you mad just because the person cast has a little bit of Black in them?

Here is another common argument against Black-washing:

“It is culturally inauthentic to have Black mermaids, elves, fairies, black aristocracy, etc.  These things are based in White culture.”

To counter this, Folklore and other tales have existed all over the world.  Stories surrounding fantasy-like creatures didn’t start with the European diaspora.  Furthermore, Black people have existed in all classes of European society due to colonialism.  For example, many were upset that a Black man was cast to play Porthos in BBC’s The Musketeers.  But did anyone know that the original writer of The Three Musketeers novel, Alexander Dumas, was of Black heritage himself, as well as a General in Napoleon’s army?  I’m sure he wouldn’t have minded such a casting choice.

Finally, here is another common argument against Black-washing:

“It is unfair because the actor is being given a role just for the sake of diversity or “woke points”, not because they actually can do the job.”

I can understand this frustration.  Even as Black people, we don’t just want to be chosen because we’re Black, becoming the “token” actor.  We want our talents to be respected. However, it is a broad assumption to assume that every Black person that was chosen for these roles were simply chosen because they are Black. 

Furthermore, various people of a variety of racial backgrounds, especially White people, were and still are simply preferred because of their White features, not their talents, compared to talents across other racial backgrounds.  Therefore, this is not exclusively a Black-washing issue.  If anything, White-washing occurred as a result of this “White” preference in Hollywood; Black-washing is simply another way of giving Black people the same treatment Hollywood has been giving White people for many years.

On the other hand, whether Black-washing exists or not, Black-washing as a strategy for diversity does have some major issues that I think needs to be discussed.

The Bad: Race-baiting, Whiteface, and Blackface

Blackface is when a white person puts on dark make-up to mock Black people, particularly for comedic purposes. This form of entertainment has been popular for many years. White-washing was often compared to Blackface because many times Hollywood would cast White or lighter actors to play Black people or other people of color, which to many felt disrespectful and conflicted with the experiences of people of color.

So what about “Black-washing”? We can see it as synonymous with Whiteface. Whiteface is a type of performance in which a person wears theatrical makeup in order to make themselves look like a White person. While it doesn’t have the same racist history as Blackface (nor does it have the same level of power or influence over how White people are seen overall), it is meant to represent a caricature of Whiteness and White people’s way of being. Whenever I watch movies that have a Black-washed cast, I can’t help but feel like the Black actors are playing a caricature of White people. There are certain mannerisms and ways of being that sometimes seem more in line with the way white people navigate society and respond to it. Although skin color doesn’t necessarily come with a set of personality traits, there are certain cultural differences between those across the Afro-diaspora and those within the Euro-diaspora, and that makes “Black-washing” so obvious to those who are viewing it.

Another part of the issue comes with the demand for the Black actors to live up to the expectations of the public’s perception of Whiteness. When a Black person acts as a character that was once white, many people expect the Black actor to capture the White character from head to toe, and so Black actors are often forced to portray themselves EXACTLY as the White character would even without the nuance of the Black experience. They have to speak as a White person would (this is not necessarily about articulation but rather for environmental responses), behave as White people would in certain situations, and often times the nuances of being Black within the story is not mentioned because technically they are playing a White person. It’s as if they live in a post-racist world where they are celebrated. In theory, this is great news and not all stories featuring Black people should be about “the black experience”. Some people may even argue that’s the point of acting; to challenge yourself to behave as someone else.

But it doesn’t come without feeling that this new-found celebration of Blackness in Hollywood is less about colorblindness and more about Black people playing the roles White people are comfortable with. It creates a Hollywood form of cultural assimilation. For example, when we think of a Black princess, what exactly comes to mind? To the eyes of Hollywood, a movie about princesses should include a person acting, dressing, and adorning their hair as a European-inspired princess would because that is what Hollywood’s perception of a princess is: White and/or European.

I wouldn’t see a handful of Black girls in a lead role in cinema until my teens and early 20s. To make a comparison of the two movies I saw as a teen and young adult, one was Akeelah And The Bee (2006); the other was Annie (2014). Akeelah and the Bee was a story about a young girl who discovers she has a knack for spelling.  She beats the odds of her underprivileged background to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.  In Annie, the movie follows the story of its predecessors where an orphan girl gets lucky enough to be chosen to live with the wealthy Daddy Warbucks, winning the hearts of many. Both actresses did a great job as far as acting goes, and both movies were mildly entertaining for me. When I watched Annie I admit I was excited to see a Black girl on screen as the lead (which I hadn’t seen since Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella). However, while watching Annie I couldn’t help but compare it to the original movie adaptation, Annie (1982), and all of the other Annie versions before it. While I understand it was meant to be a modern Annie, the only thing this movie had to offer was a “Black face”.

I already had an Annie movie version that I had grown to love long before this new adaptation and I became more critical of the newer movie as a result.

Whereas with Akeelah And The Bee, there was nothing compared to it. It was a one-of-a kind movie and, more importantly, it was an original Black story. You could feel the authenticity based on how it tied in Black culture in such a nuanced way and, yet, gave Akeelah her own personality and interests as an individual. People could watch it and enjoy it for what it was without making a comparison to anything else. Whereas with Annie (2014), if felt as if the Black actors were telling the story of a White girl who happens to have a Black face.

I also wonder: What more does Black-washing offer to Black audiences outside of the skin color of the actors? What more does it showcase to audiences outside of our community about Black people? In the end, most people are going to end up sticking to the more popular “White” versions while the “Black” version of the movie will be wiped from memory as the “knock-off”. Even as I enjoyed “Black-washed” movies like Roger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997) or The Wiz (1978), let’s be honest here, these movies are mostly remembered by the Black audience that tuned in to watch in their respective time periods during eras where Black people were a lot less visible than today in movies.

To make multibillion dollar industries and bring in the big box office money, which would help continue Black Hollywood, we have to have something to offer others besides a Black face. Contrary to popular belief, we do not have to do it by imitating White people. Most people in the modern world are looking for new and original story-telling; with an interest in diversity, why are we not taking advantage of this to hop on new ideas and introduce our culture to the world in a fresh, new way?

To add, while “Black-washing” makes some of us feel seen in the moment, will it have the same long-lasting cultural impact, especially in regards to how we see ourselves?

Of course, we can forgive Hollywood executives when they cast Black people as fictional characters, right? These type of characters are usually imagined and so changing their skin color is a matter of taking creative liberties to be more inclusive. This motive is not something I would scorn and sometimes the intentions are good.

However, Black-washing gets murkier when we start to see White historical figures being Black-washed as well. I’m going to examine a good example of this sort of Black-washing: the stage production Hamilton (2015). The Hamilton cast is filled with extremely talented black actors that capture the characters in quite an entertaining and charming way. I admit that I enjoyed watching it on stage and the talent was inspirational to say the least. To be honest, I even have forgotten that the characters they were portraying were White historical figures.

And that is sort of the problem. These White people, while they shaped he USA in many ways, were also slave owners and they could care less about Black people in their lifetime. So while the cast does a celebratory job of playing these roles, they still are playing White slave owners and colonists. Putting a Black face on these kinds of figures makes us sympathize with them more, I suppose. Yet, it makes us ignore what the actual person did because we see a Black face. We begin to fictionalize the real person because the stage production presented them as Black (even if what they did to Black people was questionable).  So the question is, who gets to be celebrated in history, and should Black people be celebrated only when they are acting as white people, especially white people that participated in our oppression?

And that is sort of the problem. These White people, while they shaped he USA in many ways, were also slave owners and they could care less about Black people in their lifetime. So while the cast does a celebratory job of playing these roles, they still are playing White slave owners and colonists. Putting a Black face on these kinds of figures makes us sympathize with them more, I suppose. Yet, it makes us ignore what the actual person did because we see a Black face. We begin to fictionalize the real person because the stage production presented them as Black (even if what they did to Black people was questionable).  So the question is, who gets to be celebrated in history, and should Black people be celebrated only when they are acting as white people, especially white people that participated in our oppression?

Understandably, I do believe that there has been a good reason historically for Black-washing. After all, as mentioned before, Black people were excluded from Hollywood after years of racism, and so we would often create movies or spaces that were made to mimic that of White entertainment just to be seen or represented. This was probably the only way Black people could gain visibility back in the past.

However, we are living in the 21st century. I think it is time we progressed past the need for Black-washing. We are one of the most visible minorities on-screen to date. Why do we still hold on to this old idea that the only way to have Black representation is by casting ourselves as White?

In my honest opinion, while I’m always happy to see Black people like myself on screen, I think Black-washing is lazy. It is a lazy way to give people “diversity” without actually giving them a unique story to call their own. There is a perception in Hollywood that black people cannot carry a movie by themselves without the help of White people. There is also the perception that people won’t go see Black-led movies unless the story is already familiar (or in other words Eurocentric). Whiteness is often treated as the “default” and therefore more acceptable and digestible.

In my honest opinion, while I’m always happy to see Black people like myself on screen, I think Black-washing is lazy. It is a lazy way to give people “diversity” without actually giving them a unique story to call their own. There is a perception in Hollywood that black people cannot carry a movie by themselves without the help of White people. There is also the perception that people won’t go see Black-led movies unless the story is already familiar (or in other words Eurocentric). Whiteness is often treated as the “default” and therefore more acceptable and digestible.

Black Panther (2018) was one of the movies to challenge these ideas. Black Panther, while known by most fans of the Marvel comics, was not as well-known among casual movie goers. In this movie, we see an African king of Wakanda and a true Black superhero who protects his own people, without the need of White intervention or European involvement.  In this sense, the movie adaptation introduced an all-new story because it was the first adaptation of its kind. This made a bigger difference in the legacy of Black entertainment when we compare it to the White “knock-offs” that Black-washing had to offer. To add, what we also see from Black Panther is culture. Black culture.

The Ugly: The Absence Of Black Culture

There are different ways to Black-wash. Black-washing can come in the form of a Black reimagination of an established property. What I do like about some movies with this approach is that it gives an opportunity to tell a similar story but with a unique “Black” point-of-view, inculcating the rich culture, music, and fashion that comes from the Black community. Take Disney’s The Princess And The Frog (2009), for example. While it can be seen as a “Black-washed” version of its predecessor (a fairy tale of European origin), it has its own way of telling the story that makes it feel unique from the batch of fairy tale movies. It also caters to the sentiments and experiences of Black people. Just for understanding, this is not to say the movie is perfect (there are various flaws with the movie, starting with the creative decision to showcase the Black princess as a frog for most of the movie). However, you can tell that the creators took an interest in Black culture and wanted to inculcate some of our rich heritage into the movie. Unlike Hamilton, this movie celebrates Blackness rather than Whiteness, even if inspired from a European tale. I feel the same way with The Wiz (1978), the Black adaptation of The Wizard Of Oz, where Oz is designed to resemble that of Black urban neighborhoods, music, and culture. In a sense, we as Black people can both relate to it and see ourselves being represented more authentically.

Unfortunately, many movies today are missing the nuances of our culture in them because they are simply casting Black people to play White people. Movies that Black-wash without the nuances of our culture often feel hollow. They give me nothing to look back and be proud of except the fact that the person playing in the role is Black. Trust me, there will be plenty more feats where the “first Black actor” is playing the “first Black something”. This will get old really soon.

Furthermore, when are we going to start embracing stories from Black communities and culture? I want more movies like The Black Panther (2018). I want to see our culture celebrated, our kings or queens honored, our “fairy-tales” or folk tales visible. When are we going to get an Anansi The Spider movie? What about Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters? There’s so many more Black stories that we need only Google search to find them.

I think about the show Bridgerton (2020-Present). It is a great show with a very diverse cast of characters. However, while the show is progressive in its approach, having as many diverse faces as possible, the styles and attitudes are meant to mimic that of the Regency era in White European society. While this story is based on historical facts (albeit controversially), and it is being produced through a Black-owned entertainment company (even if the writers of the show are mostly white), that doesn’t take away the fact that the inspiration of this show and most shows and movies are always focused on Europe. Why so Eurocentric? Many of these actors will be praised only when they are acting in roles that reflect European culture or aristocracy while movies that reflect other cultures are often criticized as being somehow “stereotypical” or less “universal” to audiences.

Ultimately, it feels as if we are more eager to praise this form of cultural assimilation rather than embrace cultural diversity and liberation. In a story like Bridgerton, we can pretend that people of color were equal to that of White people in those societies. We can ignore the racist history behind people of color at court, how they had to cut off family ties to be seen as more “White” in society, and dismiss their culture to assimilate to a European way of life. We can more easily see Black people in power when the backdrop is European because Whiteness and European values represent power in our minds. We can even ignore the atrocities that occur even within the story of Bridgerton towards people of color, such as when Daphne (a white woman) decides to force Simon, a black man, to have intercourse with her to get what she wants and gets away with it, especially in the book, which the series adaptation is based on.  Amongst the beautiful scenery and European-style costumes, we can pretend that this is what true diversity looks like.

Hollywood champions diversity when it comes to casting, but many of the White producers and directors there don’t actually have enough interest in diversity to delve into a culture that is not their own. No, they should not be able to use the excuse that they don’t know enough about other cultures because the opportunity is there to hire advisors or even have some of the actors give advice. Yet, Black-washing gives them the easiest way out because they believe that black people are desperate and accepting of their scraps. The truth is that many of the major producers in Hollywood are not interested in expanding their interest. Black-washing is simply another way for them to brush the issue under the rug, with very little effort to include diversity, especially when many of them are reluctant to recruit creative thinkers from even a small number of people from underrepresented groups behind the scenes.

Despite a major increase of Black people in media, what has been staggering is the amount of Black showrunners. Black screenwriters and directors are also very few. In 2017 alone, only 5.1% of showrunners were reported to be Black. Many of the Black people that are on-set sometimes don’t even honestly get a say in how the characters are created, not even when it comes to the creation of Black people in fiction.

As Cord Jefferson, writer of The Good Place (2016-2020), put it: “Something that happens a lot when it comes to diversity in Hollywood ― and everywhere else ― is that people will just populate the room with people of color or queer people or women but not really respect those people’s voices or pay attention to what they’re saying. It feels like you’re diversity decoration a little bit, as opposed to a valuable member of the team.”

Executives mistakenly believe that simply having a “racial-neutral” cast or staff is the best way to add more diversity. As we can see, that only addresses the problem of diversity superficially. When I see a movie that Black-washes in this sort of “color-blind” way, I become very skeptical of the intentions. I do recognize that some producers or casting directors simply want to show talent without discrimination, but this method makes it seem as if they do not actually care who they cast in the role. This is why we get diverse-looking characters, but an absence of diverse story-telling.

Abbott Elementary, a TV series that focuses on a predominately Black school and its teachers, manages to highlight Black characters in a way Black people, especially educators, can relate because of its authenticity. To date, Abbott Elementary has the best comedy ratings on ABC since Modern Family, even in a time when streaming services dominate traditional cable TV. What makes the show fantastic is that it is not “color-blind”. It is an original story with the intent of showcasing what it is like to work with Black children in a low-income area. Despite the fact that the show does not focus on White people (even with a handful of White people in the show), it still manages to relate to people of various backgrounds. The show didn’t have to be a Black version of an established “White” series nor did the show have to focus on White culture’s influence on Black people.

Instead, what makes this show appealing is that it is an authentic Black story, and because the cast is predominately Black, we don’t have to rely on “token” Black voices to get a full picture of what being Black is like. Through the characters of this show, we can see a variety of attitudes and feelings that can relate to anyone who is a teacher or has ever taught in a low-income school. The show also doesn’t have to shy away from Black culture in order to avoid stereotyping. Instead, it approaches stereotypes in a nuanced way, allowing for Black audiences to recognize themselves while relating to a variety of characters who approach these topics differently. While the show draws inspiration from the other mocumentary-style comedies before it, viewers can feel the intention was to tell a Black story. The best part is it is written by a Black person (Quinta Brunson).

This is what I’m hoping will happen in the future when companies are dealing with Black movies and shows. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being inspired from European stories nor do I think it is wrong to cast more people of color. However, I think we need to do better when it comes to recognizing Black people outside of the face alone, taking on the opportunity to also show respect for where we come from and exploring that experience to make more authentic Black content.

As far as acting as historical figures, we don’t have to be honored in White history in order to prove that we are a part of history. Believe it or not, Black people have our own history outside of the White European diaspora. We have had kingdoms. We have had Gods. We have had heroes and villains. But how will other generations know or understand this if all they have to see is a White interpretation of Blackness or culturally assimilated Blackness? Black-washing in Hollywood might give us temporary excitement and representation, but will it give us something to look back on that will make us proud to be who we are for a lifetime? I honestly do not think so.

I want to know what you all think. Do you think “Black-washing” is beneficial or is the concept regressive? Do you think it actually exists or is it just all in our heads?


Guest Writer VenusLove


The Truth Behind “Lightyear”‘s Box Office Weekend Flop

20 Jun

Lightyear, a movie made by Walt Disney Studios and Pixar, was supposed to be the highlight of the summer for the distribution studio. By analysts, it was projected to score $70-$85 million at the box office opening weekend, especially with a rating score by critics of 80% (before release). However, the Pixar movie that was supposed to launch the Toy Story franchise (a franchise that already had four other successful movies) into a new direction has only made $51 million so far on box office opening weekend. While this isn’t a bad figure, for a beloved franchise surrounding Toy Story lore, this is pretty low and shocking for many. What went wrong?

If we’re being truthful, Lightyear didn’t exactly land on the right “foot” leading up to its release. To start, many believed the movie was heavily underpromoted, with Disney/Pixar even waiting until only a few days before release to promote the film as canon in the Toy Story franchise.


Even as they began to explain that this movie is somehow a live-action movie that Andy is inspired to get a toy based on, long-time fans know that this was not the first piece of media that was created based on Buzz Lightyear; let’s not forget Buzz Lightyear Of Star Command, the animated series, was every 90’s kid’s first introduction to the universe of Buzz Lightyear. It had many fans, including myself, wondering why the developers did not capitalize on the nostalgia of that cartoon, using it as the base for Lightyear (2022). I’m sure many fans of Toy Story lore, including myself, would have been even more eager to go and see the movie if they had reawakened our childhood memories with more beloved and familiar characters that tied in that universe with this theatrical film. However, based on what the creators have stated as their inspiration, it seems as if they were either unaware or purposefully ignoring the fact that there was a Buzz Lightyear universe before this movie was conceptualized. As a result, there were many missed opportunities.

Another one of the missed opportunities that left many fans miffed was the absence of Tim Allen’s voice playing the Star Commander Buzz Lightyear. Tim Allen has been known to lend his voice to Buzz Lightyear in all of the Toy Story movies so far, and so to many fans of the franchise it felt like a snub to Tim Allen’s legacy.


Even the explanation given by Galyn Susman, the producer of Lightyear, was not enough to convince fans, and it left many wondering for whom this movie was made for. After all, if you’re going to use nostalgia as a vehicle for a movie, you have to give the nostalgic-heads something to look forward to. Tim Allen’s voice saying the catch-phrase “To Infinity and Beyond” is one of the most iconic phrases associated with Buzz. Evidently, they believed that the name alone would be enough to get others interested, but somehow did not anticipate that with that name “Lightyear” comes a huge responsibility (to die-hard Toy Story fans). Fans are usually always skeptical of spin-offs, sequels, and prequels, especially if there is nothing else to tie in the original beloved series other than its name. The best thing to do is give them something to be less critical about.

Evidently, the movie also did not win the hearts of the younger crowd over summer break as anticipated, either. It certainly had lackluster promotion on social media (the main source of information for Gen Z and Gen Alpha) as if the company was relying on “word-of-mouth” to carry this movie forward. To add salt to the wound, while the movie trailer does have the typical promotional material used for most movies directed towards kids (a small dose of slap-stick humor, dramatic fight scenes, etc), the characters themselves are not showcased with much personality, leaving it up to the robotic cat to carry the fun in this movie’s promotion.

Of course, we cannot ignore the backlash surrounding Lightyear‘s “inclusion initiative” to feature LGBTQ+ characters openly without editing. When the bill known as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill was in progress to become law in Florida, the location of Disney’s biggest park Disney World, many felt that Disney was too passive or cowardly when it came to speaking out against it. They even accused the company of not caring enough about their employees’ desire for LGBTQ+ characters because Disney would hardly ever allow these characters to feature openly on-screen. As a result of this backlash, it seems Disney has decided for the first time to feature two characters of the same gender as a couple with a kiss to confirm it.

Naturally, this did not go over well with many conservative movie-goers (who make up the majority of the world). In fact, Disney’s Lightyear was the worst-rated film of any Pixar film partially due to “review bombing” (the act of giving a low rating to a movie to purposefully encourage its failure) that ensued long before the movie was even set to be released. Whether or not this happened as a result of early screenings or simply because many were not happy to see an LGBTQ+ couple in a “children’s movie” is debatable. However, the movie has been banned in 14 countries (mostly in the Middle East and in some South Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia). While these issues may not have primarily hurt the movie’s projected financial returns for this weekend, it certainly did not help. It has even caused users on IMDB to give the movie a “severe sex/nudity” warning because of the same-gender kiss.

However, if we are being very honest here, the film has the highest numbers for an opening weekend for an animated film since the Covid-19 Pandemic swept the nation, beating out Encanto‘s record of being the highest box office numbers opening weekend in theaters post-pandemic.


Many factors could have been at play when considering why both movies have not been met with the same returns as movies in the past. To start, during the release of Encanto, there was more skepticism after the Pandemic when thinking of returning to a movie theater to see a movie. With Disney’s new Disney+ streaming service providing their top movies gift-wrapped and automatically accessible for viewers, many have decided to simply wait for the movie to hit the streaming service. This actually made Encanto one of the most viewed movies on the streaming service. I’d wager that this could become the situation for Lightyear in the months to come. It’s possible the streaming service has taken away Disney’s theatrical box office value. We could also keep in mind that with inflation and the rising prices of gas, many are opting out of going to a movie theater just to see a side story of the original.

However, it is still perplexing how movies like Top Gun: Maverick and Jurassic World: Dominion are able to dominate box office sells even with anticipation that they will be accessible through a streaming service eventually. Could it be that the timing of the two movies was better? With Top Gun: Maverick being released right in time for Memorial Day and Jurassic World: Dominion just before Father’s day, this gave many moviegoers more options as to which movies to watch for a Father’s Day weekend; it’s evident that many fathers would prefer those two movies over an animated film about a space ranger.

Lightyear is still a newly released film. It is left to be seen if over the next few weeks it will beat other box office champions like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (grossing $190 million overall) and Sing 2 (grossing $162 million) in the family-friendly category. Hopefully, Lightyear can gain enough “buzz” from satisfied movie-goers to get people interested.

What factors do you think influenced Lightyear‘s Box Office stagger? Leave me a comment below to express your opinion about Lightyear.

Sincerely, guest blogger,


Frozen 2’s Elsa: Gay, Traditional, or Remaining Single?

13 May


Fans of Disney’s Frozen have been petitioning online for Elsa, the deuteragonist of the film, to finally find love in the sequel-only not with a man. Those among the LGBTQ+ community and beyond have been pushing for films to be more “inclusive” and have been pushing for LGBTQ+ romances to be seen as “equal” to heterosexual ones. They especially feel children’s shows should embrace the message. By allowing children’s programs and movies to openly represent LGBTQ+ relationships, the target generation may start to see it as beautiful and pure rather than taboo.

Many have zeroed in on Elsa. Elsa has come to represent alternative lifestyles. She seems to be a role model for those who don’t fit the “norm”. She steps out of society’s rules in several ways. For one, she’s one of the few Disney heroines without a love interest. Elsa also represents ‘freedom and tolerance’. When Elsa “let it go” in the first film, it seemed to send a message that told kids, “It’s okay to be yourself. Don’t conceal what’s inside”. This especially relates to the LGBTQ+ community because most of them often feel they have to “conceal” or hide who they are to feel more “normal”. So for them, if anyone is to represent LGBTQ+, it should be her. There is plenty of art online that expresses this. 

There are many who are for the push and many who are against it. The conservative, religious folk just feel it isn’t right for their kids. There are also those fans that already shipped her with Jack Frost.

Where do I stand?

I’ll be clear. I’m against it.

I’m not against it because I hate homosexuality. I’m Pan-Ace myself.  An LGBTQ+ character in a Disney movie in the near future would be fantastically progressive and is sure to send a statement worldwide.

However, I don’t think Elsa should be that character.

First, I’m sick of Frozen. Disney milks that movie a little too much. It was a “plot-hole” of a story and never really deserved the praise it received. I have more to say on this at the Frozen Review and Frozen-A Feminist movie or a Sexist One? And if I’m sick of the movie, I’m sure others are. It wouldn’t do a LGBTQ+ relationship justice. It would be stuck to a sequel, second base to most heterosexual relationships.

Second, Disney’s sequels aren’t usually too good. Do I have to remind you of Tarzan 2? Have you seen the Little Mermaid 2? Nah, Disney should stick to originals. Why place a LGBTQ+ relationship in a movie that may not even have a well-developed story? It’s cheap to stick it in a sequel. It makes it feel insignificant and takes away the message that LGBTQ+ relationships should be treated equally to heterosexual ones. And if the movie flops, that will kill the cause.

Third, what’s wrong with a character being single? It’s bad enough for women to be damsels in distress, but let’s not forget that women are also often stereotypically clumped with the romance genre. It was refreshing to see a female character that showed no interest in romance and had no struggles with betrothal or anything marriage-related (like Merida). It was just a refreshing story about a woman who wanted to break free and show her strengths. Anna’s relationship was so distracting and pointless, I almost wish SHE had also been single!

I side with those who want Elsa to remain single.

Some excellent arguments were best summed up by commenter Raygirl from the comments section of the article ‘Why it Doesn’t Matter if Elsa or Any Movie Character is Gay’:

Why must Elsa find love? Part of her appeal was being a single independent woman. She had different interests other than romance and proves that love does not always have to be romantic. The first movie proved that. By giving her a romantic love interest it will deviate from that message: that love does not always have to be romantic to save the day. The bond between sisters saved the day. I think they should focus on that.

…Why must we change [her from being single and independent to suddenly being a romantic] to fit an agenda? Why don’t they ask for a brand new character that is gay? Elsa was inspirational because she was single… By saying she should be gay or straight, people are insinuating that a person should never be without a romantic partner and that being single is somehow “sad”. Why is her being alone such a bad thing? Why is being single not good enough for people? It’s like the world suspects if you’re not straight, you’re gay and there is no room to be single or even in-between! I’m tired of people assuming a single woman or a man who refuses to marry or date is classified as “gay”. This just reinforces such stereotypes and doesn’t leave room for the imagination nor does it leave room for people to be okay living a single life regardless of their sexual orientation.
She was a loner and wanted to do her own thing. If this were to change, people like me would no longer relate to what made her character so great in the first place. She wasn’t focused on love, she focused on the powers inside of her.

In response to those who feel Merida, Disney’s and Pixar’s Brave heroine, already represents the single ladies and gents:

Why should I have to choose between Merida and Elsa? I like that both of them are single independent women with different personalities. It gives us single people variety to have two different types of women portrayed as single in Disney movies. We’re not all tomboys like Merida, y’know. Some women like wearing sparkly dresses and love our sisters. Are more feminine women like Elsa destined to just be in a relationship? Or can’t any of these women choose to be single? My question for you is why don’t you and many others ask Disney to make a brand NEW Disney princess who is lesbian? Does it have to be one that was already established as a single independent woman in their original form?

Now that she has come to terms with her powers I don’t feel it is necessary to make her a romantic necessarily. In fact, there is so much we have not learned about her powers! I want to see that part of her evolve rather than some offsetting romance. It was bad enough with Anna’s romance. Anna’s romance, in my opinion, interfered with the developing sister relationship in the first Frozen. I don’t want the same thing to happen to my favorite character Elsa.

…I have never had a romantic relationship. And I’m in my 20s. And I plan to keep it that way. My best friend is Asexual and my other best friend is handicapped. They also have never had relationships. My handicapped friend used to cry because she knew she could never date and get married. When she saw Frozen‘s Elsa she was so happy to see a story like Elsa’s and was relieved that Elsa was single. If Elsa had a romantic partner, this would make people like my friend feel bad. So you see, there are people that relate to Elsa in more ways than you realize, that are hoping romance won’t be shoved in their faces. To me relationships don’t mean “Happily Ever After”. My “Happily Ever After” and many others come from being with my friends and family more than some romantic partner. Friends and family will be in your corner no matter how you look or no matter your “sex appeal”. This is why I have chosen to be single. And many others feel the way I do.

In response to someone who related “sexuality” to skin color and gender:

…In Disney movies, the romances technically do advance or interfere with story plots. In fact, most times in Disney’s case the romance tends to be one of the focuses of the story. In the original Frozen, I would have never thought it was a sister story because they focused more on Kristoff and Anna’s growing love life.

A black person is only black by skin. But being black does not reflect a way of life nor a person’s behavior. A woman is only a woman by identity, but this also does not reflect her behavior or way of life.
When it comes to homosexuality, it is very different. This reflects not only a feeling and a behavior, but it also reflects a way of life. Therefore, it will alter the story in more ways than being a woman or being black. Including a subtle sexual/romantic theme is the same as including a religion. If people asked for more Jews in Disney movies, this would change the behavior and feeling of the character.

Ari Moore from that same website’s comments section made this interesting note as to why she thinks Elsa should be single:

Loving [oneself] is different from loving someone else for me because my love for myself is unconditional. The love for people however is very conditional.

…The princesses don’t find love, they kind of just meet some random person and do a lot to have that man. Recently it has not been that way but it was like that for a time. To be honest, I do not believe in love and I think stories where there is a love interest is silly and [it is] why women are so ridiculous when it comes to love. To be even more honest, women don’t love, they love the idea of love and men just lust. You can really like someone but I do not think it is love. I think stories about love are setting people up for failure in that aspect because no one really knows what love is. Yes, love stories sell but they should not. It is like false advertisement for the real world because the world is much colder than these fairy tales that disney recreates.

I really just had to put some shine on these words. They really put something on my mind and shaped my view of the whole situation.

While many people may argue that romance and romantic relationships are universal and relate easily to others, nothing is more universal than being single. We are ALL born single; we have all been single at one time. Everyone will not experience relationships or romance. We are only in control of ourselves and the love we have for ourselves. It is the most powerful message for both heterosexuals, homosexuals, bi-sexuals, pan-sexuals, and asexuals. Heterosexual people don’t often relate tothe LGBTQ+ community and LGBTQ+ don’t often relate to heterosexual lifestyles. But they BOTH can relate to being single. Single people come from all backgrounds.

I think an even better idea would be to give Elsa another female friend in the film but leave their relationship ambiguous. This will allow viewers to see what they want to see and it will satisfy everybody.

So readers, what do you think? Do you think Elsa should remain single or get a female love interest? Or perhaps you’re more conservative and would like Elsa to suddenly follow a traditional route?

It all depends on how you feel the character should evolve. At the end of the day, Disney is going to go with what sales anyhow.

It’s interesting how a children’s film can spark so much debate… Why not let the kids decide? Throughout all of this, no one asked what the kids wanted. These movies are for children who haven’t yet developed an interest in romance.

If you believe that Elsa should stay single, too, sign this petition: #SingleForElsa

Another great article on this topic: Why I’m All for Disney Keeping Elsa Single in Frozen 2 

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think.

‘The Jungle Book’ Review

30 Apr


Mowgli is every animal’s “man-cub” in this movie.

Disney has managed to bring to life one of its 1960s classics through this live-action adaptation. They literally brought it to life. While this movie is clearly more exciting than the original animated film, it still keeps the charm of the original.

Maybe the credit should be given to Jon Favreau, who honestly should be doing all the adaptations from now on. He knows how to take a classic and turn it into a masterpiece on-screen.

The Indian Express summed this up perfectly:

“Iron Man” fame director Jon Favreau took a basic structure of Rudyard Kipling’s timeless classic and charged it up with the power of the 1967 animation film to bring forth an advanced version of the story backed with technology. – See more at: http://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/hollywood/the-jungle-book-crosses-rs-150-crore-mark-in-india-2774305/#sthash.BwPEiVOZ.dpuf

The story keeps pretty true to the original story and has just a few differences from the Disney animated film. In fact, much of the changes are BETTER executed than its animated predecessor. The biggest difference is the end…which I feel is both bitter and sweet. They kept what made Mowgli special in the story and took out what would destroy Mowgli’s identity…

We’ve all heard a story like this. It’s not the most original story in the world. If you’ve seen Tarzan or other movies like it (Avatar would be a close second), you could kind of guess that a young boy, who is associated with “man”, would be misunderstood among his family of animals. You could also guess that the boy is going to show more ingenuity and innovation than his animal friends, further emphasizing human “superiority”.

But what makes this story distinct is that Mowgli is the only developed human character in the story. The story also focused mostly on the jungle and the animals. Considering that the original story was created in the 1800s, we can’t expect the adaptation to be “original” in its story-telling. Too much originality would deviate from the plot, making it choppy. It would take away the story’s charm.

Jon, Brigham Taylor, and Justin Marks did the right thing by keeping the story simple but engaging. It was exciting, it was emotional, it had humor. It was structured in a simple, predictable manner, but with a few surprises here and there. For a child, this movie was probably more advanced than anything directed to kids nowadays.

Disney also did the right thing by choosing an actual Indian American boy, Neel Sethi, to play the lead role. This is something other directors should learn from…Honestly, authenticity is what people are looking for now. Controversy follows movies that aren’t “racially authentic”. Disney is usually so successful because they always have their hands on the pulse of the public. Somehow, they manage to be one step ahead of the trends. That’s partially what lead to this movie’s success. Indian movie-goers devoured this movie

The characters are mostly animals anyway, so that eliminates “racial” drama. The CGI graphics turned cartoonish characters into real-looking ferocious animals. I felt like I was watching a documentary, only there was a fictional story involved. Still, the animals had personality and humor. It had humor without trying too hard and it was serious when it needed to be. This was simple story-telling at its finest.

Possibly the best part of the movie was the CGI graphics. The setting brought viewers into the jungle and made us feel like we were traveling with Mowgli on his journey. The animals had “presence” in the film.

Oh, and did anyone tell you this was a musical? Yea, as random as I added it in this article is as surprised as I was to hear familiar songs from the animated movie. It wasn’t like there was a song in every scene, but there were two popular Jungle Book songs in the film. I didn’t expect to hear “Bear Necessities” and “I Wanna Be Like You” in this film. “Trust in Me” showed up somewhere in the ending credits. Quite frankly, hearing huge, scary animals sing the songs was awkward and creepy (the CGI took away the cartoonish feeling). Yet, I was delighted to actually hear the familiar tunes.

Overall this movie is a really good movie to watch with your family. People who are looking for simple, charming story-telling and just a moment to lose touch with reality will really enjoy the movie as well. There is a hint of imagination and Disney magic in the story.

It’s not the most original story, but it’s still an engaging tale.

I give it a 9/10.

I recommend this movie for families.

If you like this movie, I recommend Disney’s other CGI-animated movie Dinosaur.

SPOILER ALERT: Disney can add this movie’s villain to their famous trope: Disney Villain Demise

Annie Review

20 Dec

*Spoiler Alert* I will try my best to keep spoilers out, but the following article might contain some information you may not want to hear about yet…

Annie 2014

People tend to like classics just because they are classics. People tend to stand by it even if the original is not as good as newer versions. Well, this Annie was not better than the original 1982 Annie, but it was darn near close to it. The original Annie did not have the wonderful acting and singing that we’d like our nostalgia glasses to remember. Still, this movie is doomed to be in the shadow of the original, no matter what I say about it. But at least it will introduce the new generation to the story, and maybe it will capture their interest.

I’ve seen some reviews of 2014’s Annie, and some of them are positive, some of them are not. I believe it’s always best to see a movie for yourself and decide what is good to you personally. Use discretion when reading reviews, and make sure the reviewer gives a clear logical, critical analysis rather than emotional biases…And don’t listen to reviewers who have only seen the trailers…

When people talk about making a modern adaptation to a story that was originally set in the 1930’s, it’s natural to be skeptical. I’m going to tell you right now: Whenever you think of a classic story adapting to fit a modern age, Annie shows us the right way to go about it.

Instead of the freckly, curly-afro, pale-skinned, red-headed Annie, we are given a brown-skinned, bushy haired Annie, which I found to be a good supplement. The book describes Annie as having curly red hair, but never said race. At least she still has the bushy, curly hair, and it has a reddish tint to it. In modern times, we have all kinds of girls in America, and all kinds of girls living together as orphans. Normally, replacing a white girl just to make the story more appealing to African Americans doesn’t always work, but for Annie, it does…Unless, you are one of those “by the book” individuals and you can’t relate to anything other than that…

In fact, most reviewers don’t even have a good reason why they think the old one is a better fit other than that’s the way it’s always been. If you think the original Annie was superior to this one just because she was white, you have a problem. I will definitely take you over to my Civil Equality Tests: The Equality Test. I feel if race is your only reason for hating this movie, that is ultimate bias. Much more should be considered before calling it a bad movie. I still think you should give it a chance. In fact, this movie is anything but bad. Now if you hated the new Annie’s character and acting, that would be a different story…


We all know this is a children’s movie, so the story fills 2 hours out to meet the cliched happy ending people seem to be against nowadays. I think that’s what I liked most about it. It was modern, but it used a classic story-telling scheme that never fails. It’s so much more than I can say about the recent slew of children’s films that lose me with “randomness” as they try to break “stereotypes” and “twist” everything. This movie focused on story-development and had the story I wish the original Annie had. It was not choppy like so many movies have been this year, and it didn’t leave any plot holes, either. Thankfully, it was a smooth story that didn’t leave me asking questions about missing details, i.e. Frozen.

I also like the fact that the music was modernized. Don’t get me wrong, I love the old songs. They are timeless classics. But I think the songs in this movie were charming and fitting for a modern-day age. I like the fact that those in charge did not take the songs that mattered out of the movie. I also like the fact that they added songs that fit better with this new story. And I’m thankful it was a musical.

As awkward as it was for Jamie Foxx to be singing in this kind of musical, I kind of liked the little duet he had with Annie in the helicopter. It was so sweet to hear that kind of music, which is so rare nowadays…

What I appreciated about this movie was how they brought the character Annie into a modern life without taking away the heart of Annie, which is a lot more than I can say about the 1999 version…

Annie, as we know, is a spunky little girl, with a clever mischievous mind. The 1980’s Annie was spunkier, I’ll give her that, but this new Annie was more perceptive and intelligent. Somehow, they managed to use her new personality quirks to charm the audience in a whole new way. The story was Annie, but it felt like it’s own story in a way. There were some slight changes from the original that didn’t take away from the movie, but made it feel like Annie reincarnated herself into an alternate universe, and in another place and time. The new Annie was wiser than the old in a way, but definitely just as strong, positive, and confident as the old Annie.

In comparison to so many children’s movies today, I felt the concept of the characters was pretty interesting. They didn’t rush the introduction of ANY characters and gave us time to grow and learn about each character. Each character had a story, and many stories were a little different from the original to fit with a more modern society. I couldn’t help falling in love with the idea behind the characters. I loved this bunch and they seemed comfortable around each other.


The performance value was low. First off, the acting wasn’t too good, but every actor/actress did the job. Cameron Diaz was no Carol Burnett, but she did the job of showing us a new Miss Hannigan in a modern world. Would she have been my first pick? No. But she sure does know how to give a mean, tired-looking scowl. The shrieking in every sentence made her seem like an over-exaggerated wicked witch, but nonetheless she moves the story along. I mean, she is the only person who manages to show emotion on her face…

I probably would’ve chosen someone else for Will Stacks. Someone I know is a family man, like Eddie Murphy or Cuba Gooding Jr or Will Smith…Jamie Foxx? Not entirely a comfortable fit for the movie, but he and Quvenzhané Wallis had chemistry. I think he really did fall in love with Annie…Even if his acting had a funny way of creating that feeling on-screen. Jamie Foxx is kind of a stiff man in these roles anyway…Though, ironically, he was into comedies before dramas…

The new Grace with the British accent…I guess it gives a nod to how interested Americans have become over the U.K.? Ya know, with all of U.K.’s biggest artists dominating our charts…

Another noticeable down-side to the performance value was the literal performance of the songs. While I’m glad the songs were in there, the immaculate dancing and singing was not matching up to par with the original…And let’s face it, half of us went to see it for the musical numbers that remind us of the good ol’ days. Auto-tune was not a good way to fight bad singing as it just made the songs hard to listen to. I didn’t care that Quvenzhané Wallis was not a singer, neither was the original Annie. But auto-tuning is definitely not the way to combat the vocal stretch.

I said before that I liked that the music was added in there, however, the music also acted against the movie. I believe because we see the world so “realistic”, it’s hard for us to add glamour to the modern movie like those directors in the 1980’s did for a 1930’s version. And glamour was needed to make the music believable. Honestly, because of this, it probably would’ve been better to take the risk and omit the music altogether. At least that would’ve been one less thing to complain about and we truly could’ve just focused on the story…

Overall, though, I was very pleased with Annie. This is not for people who like a whole lot of action, but for people who like touching stories that are appropriate for the whole family. This children’s movie was pretty good without going over-the-top to be the next edgy twist. It stuck to traditional story-telling, which left it solid and without holes. Twists are getting a little overrated now, anyway. I think Annie served it’s purpose. It served to brighten our day and make us smile at the sweet tender moments of childhood. Some people have lost that touch with their inner child.

I give the movie an 8/10.

7 Animated Movies That Almost Seem Like Disney Movies + 7 of Disney’s Sexiest Characters

13 Dec

In the 1990’s, Disney experienced a Renaissance of sorts. Most people know of this. It was Disney’s greatest age. Disney gained popularity once again after a Dark Age during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Who Framed Roger Rabbit and The Little Mermaid brought Disney back on their game.

During Disney’s Renaissance, there were other animation studios that tried to imitate Disney’s musical movies, due to Disney’s success. Some of the studios failed, some studios actually succeeded in making movies as great as Disney.

This article is to share with you 7 movies that were just as good as Disney’s movies, and almost could’ve been Disney movies, but weren’t.

1) Cats Don’t Dance

With stronger animation than most movies of its day, it could remind someone of movies like The Goofy Movie or Oliver and Company. The movie’s focus is on an animal and how he paves his way to stardom. Randy Newman contributed to some of the film’s music. Name sound familiar? He was in charge of the music in The Princess and the Frog. This style of music really makes the movie feel like a Disney film. Of course, it’s missing the strong story elements that Disney had, but the music and characters were just as lovable as any Disney movie.

2) Thumbelina

This sweet story about a female heroine the size of a thumb always brings us back to Disney, who is often known for their heroines. The story was written by Hans Christian Andersen. Sound familiar? He was the same writer that wrote The Little Mermaid and The Snow Queen. Most people know The Snow Queen‘s loose adaptation, Frozen. Hans’s name was even used for one of Frozen‘s characters! It’s no surprise that this movie reminds people of a Disney movie. With all the interesting characters and Thumbelina’s long voyage from home, we begin to wonder if Disney had some hand in the story. Well, technically they did. Don Bluth, the director of the movie, once worked for Disney. He left Disney during Disney’s “Dark Age”, and started his own rival company. He had quite a few successes, many of which will end up on this list.

3) The Iron Giant

This story takes place in 1957 during the Cold War. I think the story carries a deep past and an interesting message. The critics have looked favorably on the film. But it isn’t Disney. This is a movie you would not want to miss. Unlike some of the other movies on this list, it had no Disney animators, directors, or song-writers influencing its direction. It reminds me of Disney without even trying to be like Disney. I still think this is one of the greatest animated movies of the 1990’s.

4) Balto

Balto is actually based off of a true story and actually holds a deep past. The story creates Balto into the animated hero he deserves to be. In 1925 Alaska, a diphtheria outbreak threatened the children in the area of Nome. This brave dog is expected to carry antitoxins from one part of Alaska to another, meeting dangerous weather and circumstances along the way. I learned about the intensity of this outbreak through this movie. Man, was I shocked to find this wasn’t a Disney movie. It should’ve been. Well, Steven Spielberg was in charge of the movie, and he was known for his great story-telling. This movie was underrated, but very well-developed and touching.

5) An American Tail

Steven Spielberg and Don Bluth both had a hand in this film, so it was inevitable that it would be confused for a Disney film. This movie taught me the hardships that people endured trying to come into the United States, all through the eyes of Anthropomorphic mice and cats. This movie was definitely an engaging story. This was a movie I always watched over and over. But it didn’t have to be a Disney movie in order to be good.

6) The Prince of Egypt

Based off of the Biblical story about Moses, the animation and musical scores in this movie made it powerful enough to compete with Disney’s movies. It always reminded me of The Huntchback of Notre Dame because of the religious elements involved. The story was very powerful and I seriously thought I had Disney pegged on this one. Nope. I was wrong.

7) Anastasia

Though I’ve always known this was a Fox movie, because the beginning didn’t have Tinkerbell or Mickey Mouse like so many Disney movies had in the 90’s, I know many people who confuse her for a Disney Princess. She’s a spunky lost princess. She sings epic musical Broadway-style numbers. She wears pretty ball gowns and her love interest is an orphan. The main villain has supernatural abilities, a musical score all his own, and is deadly. What isn’t Disney about this movie? The fact that it doesn’t carry a Disney logo. This is one of the greatest animated films in the history of animated films. It is loosely based off of the real Duchess Anastasia. I can honestly watch this movie until times get better.

So, you people should check these movies out. No, they are not Disney movies. But if you love animated films, get the nostalgia jones, or just want to try something new, give them all a watch one day.

6 of Disney’s Sexiest Characters

Well, talking about animated films has brought me back to Disney films. I recently started watching some old Disney movies. Now that I’m older, I can catch some of the “suggestive” jokes I couldn’t really grasp as a child. But I’m also starting to realize how hot certain characters are. Some characters were even deliberately made to be sexy by Disney! I’m not sure you’ve noticed, but I’ve acquired a list anyway.

1) Prince Naveen 

He speaks French, he’s a prince, and he’s romantic. What isn’t sexy about that? Only a man this charming and handsome could woo the focused Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. What makes it better is that he speaks French, duh! Didn’t I say that? 😛 French is a romantic language, and thus, a sexy language. His accent also adds charm to him, as well as his ability to let go and just have fun. And hey, he’s pretty handsome…When he’s not a frog…

2) Megara

Megara, Nut Meg, was the “femme fatale” character from Hercules who worked with the Lord of the Underworld, Hades. She is an anti-hero of sorts, so her moral and ethics are not the strongest, but she turns into a good girl eventually. Of course, as a servant of Hades, she’s expected to coerce and seduce Hercules into giving away his secrets, particularly his weaknesses, for Hades’ evil plans. And she does it so well, she oozes hotness. Just the way she says, “Bye, Bye Wonderboy” can send shivers down the spine. “Femme Fatale” says hot to me.

3) Flynn Rider

He was never meant to be sexy, but he just is. He oozes bad-boy charm and is the handsomest “prince” to date. He is probably one of the few well-developed male characters in a princess movie created by Disney. Though he’s a bad boy, he is also sweet and cute. Every girl’s dream.

4) Princess Jasmine

Princess Jasmine, from the movie Aladdin, is the only Disney Princess with an hour-glass curvy body and a skimpy wardrobe. And man can she work her bod! The best part is that Jasmine is strong, beautiful, and smart! She’s very sharp. That makes her even sexier. But Jasmine knew how to turn on her seductive powers whenever it was convenient, which shows she was very aware of how attractive she was.

5) Esmeralda

Esmeralda is a gypsy street-performer who does what she can to survive in the Hunchback of Notre Dame. She is quite the under-dog, the outcast, and has a deep spiritual side to her. But when she gets in front of an eager crowd, she knows how to draw a man’s eyes to her. In fact, she made the Archdeacon, Frollo, so mad with lust, he burned down all of Paris just to find her! If anyone has a strong sexy power, it’s her. And all she had to do was pole dance. Well, she kind of flirted with the crowd, too. But just about every man in the story was in love with her and super jealous of Phoebus, who was the only man that actually won her heart. She has an “exotic beauty” aura about her. And boy, does she look good in red. This movie is a little too deep for kids, now that I think about it…

6) Jack Sparrow

Pirates of the Caribbean is Disney’s most successful live-action film, and it is geared towards a 13+ crowd. Jack Sparrow (played by Johnny Depp) is a charismatic pirate who creates most of the comedy and seduction the movie provides. He is edgy, but definitely full of charisma. He persuades and seduces everyone throughout the whole movie, man or woman! He convinced Will Turner to join his crew. He happened to wheedle himself out of danger just with his charm. And he’s slick as ice. Does it help that he is also handsome? It was made clear that he has had many women in his lifetime, and he can’t always remember each of their names! Even Elizabeth Swann had a taste of his smexy lips in one of the sequels…Before she turned on him…What woman, of any generation, would think he is anything but sexy? He’s probably not the best for a long-term mate, but he’s certainly a gem for those who want to have a good time.

7) Jessica Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit introduced us to Disney’s (and animation’s) most racy character, Jessica Rabbit. Jessica Rabbit is now considered a “sex icon”, producing erotic responses from many males the world over. There are so many perverted sketches of her online, it’s pretty evident she is an ideal. Her infamous line “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way” reveals it all. This “femme fatale” character is hot and a bit naughty, and we, the audience, like it. Just like Esmeralda, she sings and dances for the feasting eyes of men. But let’s just say she’s a little more interactive…And there’s just something about her that just feels a little more deliberate.

This “bad” girl has a body that is so bodacious. Her breasts are so large, she keeps everything she needs in them! Is she really a Disney character? XD

This “fiery red” chick spells hot all over.

Leave me a comment and share some of your favorite animated stories!

Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games) or Tris Prior (Divergent)?

30 Nov



I just got back from seeing The Mockingjay Part 1, and that movie hit a nerve. With all of the protests and riots going on now, the movie was a reminder of all that was going on in the real world. It felt more like propaganda than a nice, easy escape from the harsh realities of the world. It’s not the movie’s fault that it’s right on time.

This movie gave me the same impact that the first movie did, even more-so than the second movie. This movie brought a real-life touch to a fiction story.

I also saw the Insurgent trailer, the sequel to the Divergent movie. I saw a BA character, with a short boy-cut, leaping fearlessly over buildings. It reminded me why I loved Tris Prior so much.

Seeing the two leading lady heroines pack a punch on the same screen I was watching, I was inspired to create this article, just out of curiosity. There are probably other articles out there like this, and they’re probably irritating. I mean, it is irritating when two books with similar genres are compared. It can create all kinds of fan wars. Still, it doesn’t end my curiosity on the subject matter.

I honestly want to know what the people think. Who is your favorite female heroine?

Hunger Games was the movie that started it all. Hunger Games was a movie that made us pay attention to harsh realities such as poverty and hunger. We paid attention to a government system that cared nothing about it’s citizens. We saw the inhumanity as children slaughtered one another in an arena that served as entertainment for the elite. It was not a pretty sight, and I guarantee you, I came out of the theater stunned out of my mind. I didn’t expect the movie to be that…good. I mean, it was directed to teens with a young female heroine. At the time, that was considered the set up for a horrible movie. But it exceeded all expectations. It made me think, it gave me something I didn’t expect, and it portrayed females as powerful creatures, people that even men can respect. This movie started a trend of “female-empowerment”. Without this movie, I doubt there would’ve been Divergent.

We see this reflected in the movie’s main character, Katniss Everdeen. Katniss is just…normal. She’s dry, drab in appearance, she’s a normal girl, and she has weaknesses. She becomes a symbol for freedom by chance. She never wanted to be a rebel or a hero. In the first place, she just wanted to protect her sister and save her own skin. She never had any special combat training beyond learning how to wield a bow and arrow. But this normal girl becomes a rebel. She becomes a heroine for a marginalized group of people. She becomes a symbol of hope and freedom for those who have felt powerless. Using her brains and courage, she found loop-holes in the “system” and captured the hearts of her viewers simply for her own survival. We respected Katniss for being clever and strong during trials.

Again, she isn’t perfect. She never was really that brave, and the most irritating quality is her indecision when it comes to love interests…But we can set that aside, because Katniss makes us feel and understand her. Her life has been traumatizing and we see her react in a strangely human way. She makes the fiction story believable. She isn’t invincible. She’s human, but that’s why people relate to her.

Divergent, on the other hand, starts off with Tris Prior glamorizing the violent, but freedom-loving group, the Dauntless, and thus forming our opinion of Tris early on: She is tough and is ready to fight. Unlike Katniss, she dreams of being free, of armoring up, and trying daring things. She’s not fond of Abnegation, a selfless, compassionate organization. I’ll bet my scarf and mittens Katniss Everdeen would’ve chosen Abnegation if she could magically appear in the story of Divergent. She’s righteous like that. I didn’t feel that same sense with Tris. Tris was irritated with having nothing and being “forced” to care about others…

Divergent brought in a revolution from the beginning, and so we have a movie that moves fast. Tris has a tougher, more combatant personality. She doesn’t flinch when she is shot at. Unlike Katniss, she’s a little more decisive when it comes to love, and hardly shows fear or weakness. She seems like a hero, but she is missing the human feelings that make Katniss feel more realistic. Tris is a little more invincible. She carried herself like a powerful heroine from the beginning. We expected her to be a rebel. She also has more sexual fantasies than Katniss…or rather, fears of being raped…Which ultimately breaks her away from her male audience. Katniss’s movie stays away from the deeper sides of love-making, and Katniss can barely decipher what her feelings even mean.

Katniss’s movie allows men to relate to her. Even in the movie, we see men and boys looking up to the “Mockingjay” as a symbol of hope, not just little girls and women, which would be the usual. In fact, when we see Katniss, we don’t even care she’s a female. She’s just doing what she has to do. Divergent is still early on, but we don’t really feel that those around her will look up to her. If anything, she’s a secret identity, a lone wolf. She may make an impression on her male audience because she wields a gun, but she seems to be a stronger feminist presence that could intimidate males rather than relate to them. The pace of the movie also doesn’t help us strongly connect with Tris…But the books may shed more light on her.

Despite how dystopic Hunger Games is in it’s own world of fiction, clear blurred lines between gender and race make this movie fit into what humans would feel is ideal. Divergent, while having a diverse cast, fails to deliver the same importance to all of it’s characters, even it’s minor characters, enough to make everyone feel quite as included. The nature of the Divergent story focuses on a select few, whereas Hunger Games focuses on mass waves of people in many districts. With Hunger Games, the possibilities are endless, the character count continues to expand, and the chance for many different ethnic groups and genders to shine is open. The main protagonist then becomes a symbol for all of humanity-a universal character.

Still, Tris is the goonest of the two. Tris is less likely to hesitate in a shoot-out.

The whole Divergent movie manages to bring in realistic elements while still holding on to elements that make it feel like fiction. Tris has that feeling. They are trying to convince us that she’s normal, but something about her feels superhuman. She feels like a girl that can do whatever she wants, despite how “normal” she appears. She’s almost like Neo from The Matrix. She has that feeling. Divergent individuals in the movie have that feeling. This is all tripped out, and would be scary if it were real, but when we leave Divergent, we can safely brush it off as fiction.

Hunger Games lost all of it’s fiction feelings with Mockingjay, almost mirroring the real world with the rioting, protests, and execution by a firing squad. Even fire bomb scenes nearly mirrored the Holocaust. Katniss doesn’t seem like a “god-like” character that can save the world. She and her people are as defenseless as Colonists were during the American Revolution against the British military, the strongest military in the world at the time. Throughout her movie, we are just as afraid that she’s going to die as we are afraid for other characters. We are not afraid for Tris because they executed her and her movie in a way that convinces us she’s going to be victorious.

The girls’ strengths make up for the others’ weaknesses. This is why it’s so interesting to get everyone’s take on the two female heroines.

Is it Katniss Everdeen that inspires you?


Is it Tris Prior that inspires you?

Don’t be shy. Please, share your opinions. And I won’t get butt-burned just because you don’t like my favorite female heroine. Express your fullest opinions on why, even if you don’t have a good reason. I’m just curious. 🙂

The Civil Equality Tests

29 Nov


Previously, I created a Bly Test and Socrates Test to improve gender relations, and create a more “equal” experience in media. These tests were based off of the Bechdel Test, a test known to create a more equal and fair female movie experience, but is very vague in it’s standards. You can click the links on “Bly Test” or “Socrates Test” to learn more about them…

But lately, the topic seems to be about race and ethnicity. Ever since the Michael Brown case, racial issues have resurfaced into a second “black-power” movement of sorts. Many of the issues center around racism. Though I believe the Michael Brown case had little to do with race, more on that here —>Michael Brown case issue<—, the topic of race was bound to show up sometime in this century. It has been boiling up for years.

Because it has shown up, I realized how tense relations between the many ethnic groups are. The issue is that neither side understands the other, and neither side wants to. The protests show that many ethnic groups, particularly the Caucasian and African American groups, do not trust each other. And yes, I say each other. Neither sides want to be caught up in a race issue, and yet both sides can’t seem to rise above the issue.

Racism still exists, true enough. There are white people out here who hate black people just because they are dark-skinned. There are white people who are closed-minded and think they are better than other ethnic groups. There are white people who believe the European way of doing things is, was, and always will be the superior way of living.

On the other hand, there are some black people who have a difficult “character” to deal with. Many prefer to solve their problems with aggression and violence. And many black people don’t trust any white people and so will find racism in every little thing. That could be challenging for a white person who really isn’t racist. Some black people don’t want to like white people, and want to live their life in hatred. Some have developed racist attitudes themselves (yes, it’s possible for a black person to be racist).

Yet, black issues, even without racism, are ignored. What is resurfacing is something that hasn’t been truly weeded out at the origin. Race issues have only been touched on the surface, but the deeper psychological scars haven’t been healed. Grandmothers are still alive to tell their stories. It still affects the children of today, if even in small ways. Yes, the slaves have been free for hundreds of years. Yes, the civil rights era was over 50 years ago. But were the issues truly resolved at the core? At the deep psychological core?

Because this issue still persists, and because the races still have tension, neither side will cross that dividing line of trust. The real issue lies within. How do we view each other? This issue is even more intense than the division between men and women.

In order to root out racism, one must have insight. Hatred is an internal thing that may not be visible. A superiority complex is something that is bred deep within. The true meaning of racism is to think one race is superior to another. This can be done from all sides. Sometimes, the affect is so deeply-rooted, we may not even realize it is there until we are tested.

This test is to check to see if all of us, we as people, have any hidden inner racist ideas, and to help us become more open-minded to other races. This may not be the overall answer, but it could be the start of healing racial tension.

I’m calling this test the “Civil Equality” Test. This test will push a more equal mind-set in people in a civil way by allowing people to reflect and think about other nationalities outside of their own. This will also rule out any self-hatred. For once, imagine being a different ethnicity for a day. How would you think? How would you feel? What would you do in your daily life? These are simple questions that a person with true understanding of another could answer.

This test may be controversial in nature, and I hate to step myself into racial issues. I like all people. I’m African American, and I’m obsessed with Asian culture. But as such, it’s even more important that I step into this issue.

One may argue that one race could never understand another race. But if we have that attitude, how can we ever resolve racial issues? How can we ever find peace among each other? We all live on this Earth, we can’t escape each other. Understanding is the key to ending war among people…Unless of course you enjoy and thrive on war…Then, you may have some other mental issues you have to work through…


This test works differently from the Bechdel Test, the Bly Test, and the Socrates Test. This test will pose a series of questions for each person to reflect on and answer. If you can answer ALL of these questions, then your mind is open to learning about other nationalities. This means you are NOT racist, because you don’t think your own ethnicity so superior that you are not willing to try to understand other ethnicity groups. If you can only answer half of these questions, you may be interested in other ethnic groups, but you only care about your own people and are only interested mostly in things that reflect you personally. You may have hidden prejudices or may ignore races you don’t feel fit in your world. If you can’t answer ANY of the questions, you have a hidden superiority complex and are a hidden RACIST. You might want to make friends or associate with different kinds of people so you can understand people outside of your small range of understanding…

So, here come the questions…Not that this should be the ONLY thing that decides whether a person is open to understanding others, but I think this test will be pretty basic. If you can pass this test, you have a start. Even a child could pass this test. So are you ready? Here goes.

1) What is Your Favorite Movie Where one African/Black descendant Male AND one Female Stars as a Main Character

Then name a music artist

Cartoons are included, by the way.

I will begin with this for starters, since this is my own ethnicity, and I will give an example, just to show you how this works. As an African American, I have plenty of knowledge on African American media, so obviously this would be the first to answer. It’s best to start with your own nationality to rule out self-hatred.

I know one African American woman who hates all black media. She never has a good reason why…I sense some self-hatred.

My favorite movie where black males starred are Friday, The Brothers, Bad Boys, Good Burger, and White Chicks. I enjoy all of the Madea movies. My favorite movie where a black female stars is The Princess and the Frog. I also enjoyed CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story and Akeelah and the Bee. I also love 2 Can Play that Game. I also loved Why do Fools Fall in Love and The Color Purple. I loved Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, starring Brandy. I also liked College Road Trip.

Favorite male music artists are Omarion, Usher, Ne-yo, Dru Hill, Chris Brown, Tony! Toni! Tone!, The Jacksons, Prince, Stevie Wonder, The Gap Band, and New Edition. Favorite female music artists are Rihanna, Tamia, Janet Jackson, Monica, Brandy, Alicia Keys, Jennifer Hudson, En Vogue, Toni Braxton, and TLC.

See how easy that was? You don’t have to name two, but if you can name more than one, you are really interested in thinking outside of your own realm. If you can name more than one in your own ethnicity, you do not suffer from self-hatred in any way, as you can relate to your own ethnic experience and are not ashamed to watch entertainment geared towards your own target audience.

2) What is Your Favorite Movie Where one Caucasian Male AND one Female Stars as a Main Character (name at least one that is Jewish, too)

Then name a music artist

I know there are plenty to choose from, but it’s still something to consider.

My favorite movie where a Caucasian male stars is Pirates of the Caribbean and all of the Harry Potter series. I also love Stepbrothers and Bedtime Stories. My favorite movie where a Caucasian female stars is A Series of Unfortunate Events. I also enjoyed Hunger Games and Tomb Raider. I also loved The Golden Compass. I absolutely love Annie, Psycho, and all of the American Girl movies.

My favorite male Caucasian artists are Panic!At the Disco, Fall Out Boy, A7X, Justin Timberlake, Adam Lambert, Backstreet Boys, Jesse McCartney, ColdPlay, Robin Thicke, Eminem. My favorite female Caucasian artists are Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Lillix, Gwen Stefani, Avril Lavigne, Lady Gaga, Pink, Adele, Demi Lovato, Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Amy Lee, Hayley Williams, and Miley Cyrus.

3) What is Your Favorite Movie Where one Hispanic/Latino Male AND one Female Stars as a Main Character

Then name a music artist.

My favorite movie where a Hispanic/Latino male stars is The Legend of Zorro. But I’m afraid I don’t watch enough of Spanish media. 😦 I need to open my mind more…

My favorite movie where a Hispanic/Latino female stars is Gotta Kick It Up and the Cheetah Girls series. I also loved The Princess Protection Program.

I ought to be ashamed of myself. I should have more knowledge of Spanish media. 😦 You see how honest you have to be with yourself? It takes a lot of courage to have insight.

Perhaps others can recommend some movies where Spanish-speaking individuals star, and excuse my ignorance.

My favorite male Hispanic/Latino music artists are Daddy Yankee, Fat Joe, Miguel, Enrique Iglesias, and Mario Vazquez. My favorite female music artists are J.Lo, Prima J., Selena, Paula DeAnda, Nina Sky, and Adrienne Bailon.

4) What is Your Favorite Movie Where one Asian Male AND one Female Stars as a Main Character

Then name a music artist.

My favorite movies where Asian males starred are Prince of Tennis Chinese live action, Detective Conan live action, Mushishi live action, Fashion King, and Rush Hour. My favorite movies where Asian females starred are When Love Walked In, Mulan, and To The Beautiful You.

My favorite male music artists are Gackt, Shinee, Suju-Henry, Got7, Se7en, Show Luo, Bi-Rain, Jo Kwon, George Nozuka, and Mike Shinoda. My favorite female music artists are BoA, Utada Hikaru, f(x), Keiko Lee, Namie Amuro, Ayumi Hamasaki, Jade Valerie, Kristine Sa, and Jolin Tsai.

5) What is Your Favorite Movie Where one Middle Eastern/Indian/Islamic/ Israeli Male AND one Female stars as a Main character

Then name a music artist.

My favorite movie where a Middle Eastern stars is Million Dollar Arm. Unfortunately, I don’t know too many movies with women starring as leads. 😦 I need to open my mind here.

My favorite male artist is Tarkan. My favorite female artists are Tina Sugandh, Natacha Atlas, Nawal Al Zoghbi, M.I.A, Super Woman and Humble the Poet, and Samira Said.

6) What is Your Favorite Movie where one Indigenous/Native Male AND one FEMALE stars as a Main Character 

Then name a music artist

My favorite movie where a female stars is Pocahontas. Unfortunately, there aren’t very many that I know here, either. I really need to learn more about other cultures.

My favorite female music artist is Lucy Idlout. I don’t know any Native/Indigenous male artists, unfortunately. 😦

So, you see? This one simple examination can reveal how open-minded a person really is. It can also reveal how open-minded media is in representing all kinds of people. Hopefully this sort of test opens people’s minds. Just doing it myself made me realize where I was lacking.

You can bring these questions to other categories, such as literature and television shows. Then you may really be able to open your minds. It’s also healthy to know about at least one historical figure that’s of a different nationality other than your birth nationality. When we can open our minds, and learn about others, we become less racist in our own minds. After all, racism begins as a mentality.


Leave me a comment and let me know what you think of the test. If you’re not too shy, perhaps you can share with me some of your favorite movies with different ethnic groups.


The Trailer for the Live Adaptation of Cinderella + GN’s Top 15 Favorite Disney Movies of All Time

27 Nov

I’ve recently seen the new trailer of Disney’s latest live adaptation, Cinderella. It brought me back to my childhood for a moment. So nostalgic. ❤ If you haven’t seen it yet, I will share it with you here. The movie is due to be out March 2015, so we have a while before it’s released.

My opinions on the trailer? I LOVE it! For once, it appears to be EXACTLY like Disney’s animated movie. Hopefully, it isn’t deceitful like the Maleficent movie was. That movie was such a let down. If you want to know my reasons why, I have the review right here —>Maleficent Review .

A lot of people wish that it had some twist to it, but I think the “twists” are what’s ruining lovable characters. Many of the twists seem forced in already-told stories. I think that if you want a story to be more modern, what happened to people using their imagination and making original stories with modern themes, rather than butchering another story? What’s worse is when these movies, like Maleficent, are titled in a way that implies they are the lovable characters we know, when they turn out to be the exact opposite. At least if you’re going to butcher a story, give it a new title, like Disney happened to do with Frozen

Anyway, I was a little skeptical about seeing any live adaptations from Disney after my disappointment with Maleficent, the weakest mistress of all evil I’d ever seen. But after seeing this trailer, perhaps I’ll give Disney a second chance. Okay, Disney. You sucked me in again this time, but you better not let me down again…

There are many complaints about this movie. Aside from the fact that the story has been told in this way so many times, people have a feeling the movie won’t be interesting. Many people also don’t like the fact that there are very few people of color cast into the movie. As a person of color myself, I feel this is a ridiculous thing to demand from a movie that is based on a European folk-tale. I would rather have an authentic movie than one that is made to fit with every social agenda being pushed nowadays. Other ethnic groups would not appreciate it if an African folk-tale had a Caucasian character as one of the leads, or if an Asian folk-tale had a Hispanic character. This was the very problem with Dragon Ball Evolution and Avatar: The Last Airbender. So, everyone needs to chill on that demand and just enjoy a European movie, for once. This is probably actually the first authentic live adaptation of Cinderella that has ever been released.

Well, moving along…

Since we are on the topic of Disney, I’ve recently been watching some clips of my favorite Disney movies, and renewing my childhood all over again. It gave me inspiration. I would like to share with my readers my Top 15 Favorite Disney movies of all time. Why 15? Because I literally have 15 favorite movies.

Disney has that certain “affect” on people. The movies are timeless and entertaining for the whole family. Many of the stories are very deep and interesting for children’s movies, and others are just amazing adventures that can help one escape the mind. Some are just funny. In any case, I’ve gathered all of my favorites together on one list and have narrowed that list to 15 (as difficult as that had been). When I think of good Disney movies, my standards fit my list. After looking at my list, hopefully you get an idea of what I think makes a good Disney movie. You are welcome to share with my your lists. You can tell a lot about a person by the kind of lists they share…

I’ve always been a major fan of Disney, ever since I was a child. I’m even a fan of Kingdom Hearts because of the Disney elements.

So, here I go. Many of you have probably heard of these movies, and others may not have heard of them. Hopefully, if you haven’t, you will check them out next time. I will be starting with #15:

15) Brother Bear

Ah, finally a brother story that doesn’t involve a woman. You know how rare that is to find with males as lead characters? This story is truly a story about brothers. Sometimes, brothers may not be blood-related. You can find a special bond in all of the oddest places. I feel this story was told in a very unique way. It helps to have Phil Collins bring the epic song “Take a Look Through My Eyes” into the picture.

14) Meet the Robinsons

A sweet family movie that encourages kids to “Keep Moving Forward” and is a play on a quote from Walt Disney himself. Louis, the main character, is easy to fall in love with. His quirky intelligence makes him a character that you can only root for. I definitely didn’t expect the Robinsons to be who they were, but it provided an interesting twist on the story. There were still so many mysteries left unanswered, but for some reason, that’s why I loved the movie so much. I hope one day, we learn more about Louis’s past.

13) Wreck It Ralph

I love video games, so when Disney (and Pixar) decided they would make a movie based off of video games, I was all for it. It was a plus that it was a good movie. The story was entertaining the whole way through. The movie threw in familiar characters from popular game titles (such as Street Fighter), and yes, they sold me something I loved. The story was charming, and had a cute little twist that made the movie entertaining. I always thought it would be cool to see all of my favorite video game characters blend in one…Disney made that possible for me with this title.

12) Toy Story

A story about toys that come to life. Nothing was more frightening for me as a child, and yet, I thought it was also cool. I remember when the movie was first released. After watching it, I would stay up all night waiting for my toys to come to life when I wasn’t looking. Apart of me was scared, apart of me was curious. This movie is one of my favorites. I love toys even to this day. And I always enjoy this charming tale about toys that come and go in popularity.

11) Lilo and Stitch

Stitch high-jacked several popular Disney movies in his promotional trailers. There was no way I wasn’t going to see this movie after watching those trailers. When I saw it, I realized there was more to the movie than slap-stick comedy. It was a touching family film with a unique focus: A little girl as the main character and her older sister, who was her guardian. The setting was in Hawaii. Disney hardly has children as their lead characters, but the oddball Lilo added to this movie’s unique appeal. And who doesn’t love the adorable Stitch? I can watch this movie again and again, and I always end up falling in love with the characters all over again.

10) Dumbo

This classic tale was way ahead of time. Isn’t the sad-victim thing popular right now? The poor outcast Dumbo was judged because of his huge ears. Dumbo never spoke throughout the whole movie, and pantomimed his way through life. But that is what made his character so cute, lovable, and unique. This story had very strong emotional moments. Dumbo was treated in a way that would make any heart break. Plus, there were elements in this movie (such as Dumbo getting drunk) that wouldn’t dare be in kids’ movies today. It has just that touch of edge to make this story likable. And I love the musical numbers in this movie, too.

9) Emperor’s New Groove

David Spade provided the voice for one of Disney’s most comical characters, Emperor Cuzco. Cuzco is not like other Disney lead characters. He’s not so righteous, nice, kind, or considerate. He is the most powerful man in his kingdom, is spoiled, and gets whatever he asks for. I love how this story turns this arrogant King into a positive royal figure. It didn’t even need to focus on romance to make this movie a success. I couldn’t help letting out a chuckle with this movie. It’s still a movie that I love to watch during a sad, rainy day. It always perks my spirits up.

8) Finding Nemo

A small clown fish travels billions of miles across the ocean to find his son. As unbelievable as this may seem, Disney executed this movie in a way that made it believable. This is still my favorite 21st Century movie to ever come out from Disney and Pixar. I love how detailed the movie was in highlighting the way many of the fish lived, and yet they still managed to give them human emotions and personalities. The animation made everything amazing to see. The characters were anything but typical, and the movie was thrilling and engaging the whole ride through, as well as comical and entertaining. This was probably Disney’s most well-packaged movie. They haven’t had a movie this engaging since.

7) Beauty and the Beast

A dark tale about a curse that was cast on an arrogant prince. From the beginning of the movie, there was an enchanted feeling to it. Every moment could be felt. The dark forest, the spooky castle, and the ferocious beast. When I first watched the movie, I could not imagine Belle falling in love with him. But of course, the story unfolds into a moral lesson about not judging a book by it’s cover. The dark animation and hidden themes make this a favorite of mine.

6) The Lion King

Who doesn’t love the Lion King? Set in the heart of Africa, it is one of the few stories that give the continent justice. The strong musical scores, coupled with powerful vocals, make this movie powerful from the very beginning. What adds to it’s majestic presence is the story, based off of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. This was the first Disney movie where one of the protagonists died and wasn’t revived. That harsh “reality” in itself was enough to draw interest, as it was a heavy moment in the story, and hard to deal with throughout. Because of the gravity of the situation, we could easily relate to Simba, the main character and lead protagonist. His rash actions affected everyone in his kingdom, his naivety made him a puppet in a cruel system, and his fear of facing his past made him sort of an anti-hero. He made serious mistakes, but it only made him a stronger king. Many animal experts say that nomadic male lions are the best male lions because they are not so reliant on a pride for survival. Many nomadic lions travel alone and have to fend for themselves. When they do get a pride, they strongly appreciate their female lions, who now provide the support they once didn’t have. This story brought out some interesting points about Africa, lions, and Hamlet. This was Disney’s first deep story.

5) Tarzan

This movie is one of Disney’s deepest and most touching movies of all time. From the raging storm that isolates Tarzan and his family, to the horrifying encounter with Sabor, a saber-tooth tiger, the movie begins on an emotional note. It’s hard to not want to follow this film all the way through. Throughout the film, Tarzan, a young boy was stranded on a stretch of land off of an African coast, and is raised by gorillas, who become his new family. Of course, fitting in is the hardest for this boy. He just can’t seem to find where he belongs. Eventually, he meets “people”, who look just like him, and especially meets a “female” from his species, which really makes him question where he belongs. This story is mesmerizing. Once you watch, you just can’t stop until the very end, and then you may want to watch all over again. This movie doesn’t truly give a happy-ever-after ending. It’s a bit…bitter-sweet. It never glosses over the harshness of living in the jungles of Africa, and I appreciate it’s honest approach and it’s daring story-telling approach. Word of advice, bring tissues when you watch this movie. If you thought one of the protagonists dying in the Lion King was bad, try watching this movie.

4) Mulan

Mulan is possibly the only female character I respect on every level. As a lead character, she was not in a romantic movie. Her story did not surround love in any way. Her story was about trying to find where she truly belonged. Mulan is the bravest female character Disney ever came up with. She stole her father’s armor, impersonated a soldier, went through harsh military training, fought in a battle with China’s most fearsome villains, and saved her country using her quick wit. She never focused on her appearance, neither did pretty gowns define who she was as a person. Her side-kicks were also amazing additions to the story. This epic, action-oriented tale is rare to find among female leads. Usually, females lead in genres like drama or romance (yawn). Though she had a romantic interest, it was secondary to the story, unlike the other movies made with older female heroines. Mulan is the epitome of a feminist movie. Boys and girls both can enjoy this adventurous tale. What makes it even better is that it takes place in China, and you know I have a serious fascination with Asia. Sure, it’s pretty stereotypical. But I think it was executed in a way that made it a charming movie for the whole family.

3) Atlantis the Lost Empire

Surprisingly, this was one of Disney’s least popular movies. I can’t understand why, for the life of me. Perhaps most people just don’t understand this movie. Perhaps it was lacking in the “magical”, heart-wrenching elements usually present in Disney movies. I’m not sure, but this movie is at the top of my list. From the movie trailer, with the haunting Atlantian words spoken by Princess Kida, I knew this movie was going to be deep. This movie is intelligent. It focuses on a young archaeologist, named Milo, and his fascination with the lost city of Atlantis. There was not one moment, I mean ONE moment, where this movie dragged. It was exciting all the way through. The movie gave me thrills and chills as they traveled through the depths of the Atlantic Ocean just to find this city, and the best part was the adventure was not over even after they’d all reached the city. The crew that traveled with Milo provided comic relief, but also proved to have useful skills that drove this story along. The villain was what you would typically think a villain would be…but maybe not at the time it came out. Still, the movie was not boring, and was in fact, engaging. I found the movie to carry a hint of mystery and, being the history buff that I am, I found it to also have a strong sense of discovery. Even the first DVD it came on was interesting. I loved going bts to learn more about the language and discoveries. This movie might have been overwhelmingly intelligent for most children, but I wanted to see this movie at age 11, so maybe there were other kids who were interested, too. Perhaps this movie would scare younger kids.

2) Pirates of the Caribbean

This is Disney’s first successful PG-13 movie. And it is definitely one of my favorite movies. The unusually charismatic Jack Sparrow is really the star of the show. However, it’s the dashing Will Turner that gives this movie a heart. His tale of being rescued by sailors and Elizabeth Swann’s company makes the story a nice twisted pretzel. This brought pirate tales back into popularity. I love history, so I appreciate a movie that highlights a pirate’s point-of-view, even if it was glamorized for the sake of the movie. What makes this movie better is that it was an original story inspired from Disney’s attraction at Disney World. They brought all the right actors and actresses in this film, and wrote all the right words in the script. It spread the seed into two other movies. And again, Johnny Depp brought humor to Jack Sparrow, stepping out of his comfort zone for a more comical character. A girl like me can’t resist a movie with two hotties (Orlando Bloom and Johnny Depp). ❤

1) The Huntchback of Notre Dame

This is my ultimate favorite movie of all time. It is a story that brings up the controversial issue of Church vs State. Using religions to execute capital punishment on innocent people? Very controversial. The theme and message of the movie makes this Disney’s most powerful movie. The musical numbers are superb, ultimate perfection. The emotions are felt through every song. Some of my favorites being “Out There”, “Hell Fire”, “God Help the Outcasts”, and “The Bells of Notre Dame”. I never get tired of this movie. Sometimes, it takes more than one watch to truly and deeply appreciate this movie. What makes this movie the best is the fact that it doesn’t have the perfect fairy-tale ending. It ends on a bitter-sweet note. Nothing turns out the way someone expects. Though we are taught not to “judge a book by its cover” in this movie, poor Quasimodo was still out-shined by the handsome Phoebus. So, yea…Still my favorite movie from Disney, though. The story of Quasimodo really makes people think, and I think this is the movie Disney created without rose-colored glasses. I always like the controversial stuff…

So leave me a comment and let me know what you think about the new Cinderella live adaptation and share with me your list of Disney favorites!

The Bechdel Test Amendment: The Bly Test and The Socratic Test

24 Oct


I recently just heard about the Bechdel test. As someone who is all about equality, I am surprised I’m the last to know about this examination. I heard about this test when I was in a debate about whether Frozen was a feminist movie or not. I was told, “At least the movie passed the Bechdel test”.

The Bechdel Test was a short, three-step test designed in the 1980’s by cartoonist and feminist Alison Bechdel. She had a character in her comic strip, Dykes to Watch Out For, that presented the idea. The character said she would not go to the movies if the movies were missing certain standards. These were the following requirements:

1) It has to have at least two women in it who…

2) Talk to Each Other About…

3) Something Besides a Man

Later someone added a fourth requirement:

4) The women must be named characters

I know, the requirements are amusing, but very well-thought out. It’s a good start, considering the ideas were formed over 20 years ago. This three-step standard seems to have become the deciding factor over whether a work of fiction is female-suitable, and thus whether the fiction makes it “feminist”-friendly.

Again, while I think the standard is a good start, I think the test is too simple and is flawed. Critics have pointed out the flaws. While I think it was an amusing strip, and good for a short read, I don’t think it’s thorough enough for people to go off of full-throttle. Here are a list of flaws:

1) While it mentions that a movie should have at least two main characters, it doesn’t specify whether those two females should be important to the story or influential (which the Mako Mori test covers, more on this later).

2) It doesn’t cover content. While there may be females in a movie, the content could be very sexist or very stereotypical in nature.

3) The idea of whether a man is included in a story conflicts with true feminism. Feminism is the idea that the genders are equal. The exclusion of male roles would not be fair or equal. It would also not make a woman’s movie equal that of a man’s because every “male-oriented” movie includes a woman in it. The extent to how much a man should be mentioned isn’t specified. Does this mean that a woman can’t even mention one man at all with another female? Does this mean that she can talk about a man, but not exclusively? Does this mean the content should exclude a relationship between a man and woman? Could a woman have a romantic interest that’s male, but still not talk to another woman about that love interest? There are too many blurred lines here…

So, if we only let the Bechdel test alone decide feminist content, we would be glossing over greater fictional issues.

mako mori

The second test that comes after the Bechdel Test is the Mako Mori Test. The standards for this test is as follows:

1) At least one female character…

2) Who gets her own narrative arc…

3) That is not about supporting a man’s story

I think Law and Order: SVU passes both tests…

This broadens the requirements a bit more, but still fails to cover content or gender equality. We are in the depths of the 21st Century. It’s time to bump up the requirements.

It seems extra strenuous to tack on more requirements. Even meeting these requirements is challenging. One of the reasons it’s so challenging is because there are not enough women influencing entertainment beyond being an entertainer. Though women have influenced literature, there are hardly any women producing music, music videos, or movies. One in six directors, writers, and producers are actually women. I’ll bet the greatest number of females are singing, dancing, or modeling…Being an image for the camera rather than behind it…

Another reason this is all so challenging is because it’s easier for male-oriented movies to appeal to both genders, but it’s harder for female-oriented movies to do so. Many times, female-oriented movies have to cave some of these requirements in order to get box office hits. Let’s face it: Men will not support a woman if she’s not attractive. Men make up viewer numbers, and if they don’t watch it, it will have a harder time being bigger than a male-oriented movie that gets viewership from both males and females.

The third issue is whether the standards match reality. The reality is that some women themselves are only interested in movies that deal with men and/or traditional feminine interests. Look at the success of the Twilight series. Look who wrote the series: A woman. In order to meet these standards, there needs to be a complete re-working in the mentality of the next generation.

To add, there are women who audition for stereotypical roles in movies, write about stereotypical lifestyles, and present stereotypical images in music videos all the time. If they support it, the issue will persist. As long as up-coming actresses settle for any female role, even if that role is stereotypical in nature, directors will continue to represent women the way they want to. The real question is: How does the modern female see herself, and will these views conflict with another female’s idea of “equal”?

Read my article: Feminism Today: Is it Real or Overrated?

The fourth issue is the true goal of all women. Is the Bechdel Test designed to promote a feminist agenda or some other form of female empowerment? We have to remember that female chauvinism and misandry still exist…Do women really want a movie that is equal to a man’s? Or do they want a movie that exclusively represents women and her glory? Women are not all united in what they want, so pleasing women on a universal level is difficult.

What is the difference between feminism, chauvinism, and misandry? Click me and Find out

The Bechdel Test hasn’t done enough to put men and women on the same level. This depends on if this is really what women want…

The Bly Test

Because of the above issues, there needs to be stronger, firmer lines and boundaries. I decided to write an amendment to the Bechdel Test. I decided to create my own modern, 21st Century test called the “Bly Test”. These requirements are for the ULTIMATE feminist movie. If you readers agree with my test, then you can set it as your standard. If you don’t, feel free to comment on my draft. I will always consider possible flaws in this draft, but I at least want to begin somewhere new.

Why the name “Bly”? I am inspired from Nellie Bly, a daring female reporter who invented Investigative Reporting. She went undercover as a mentally insane person and wrote about her experiences in an asylum. She also traveled around the world in 72 days! That female dared to do what no female before or after her would do and she broke ground in the reporting industry. This new test I’m thinking of is made to break new ground in fiction. If Nellie Bly can dare to be a different sort of writer, why can’t women dare to be something different in writing? Nellie Bly wrote about exciting stories with herself as the main character! And her stories would probably pass both the Bechdel Test AND the Mako Mori Test, if ever someone gets around to writing her story or creating her live-action movie. I’m really surprised there are no movies on this woman…


That aside, I have my own standards. So, here I go.

1) The fiction has to have a female lead character…

2) With her own Story Arc…

3) That should not be supporting a Man…

Very similar to the Mako Mori Test. Sure, there are plenty of female lead characters in movies today. So, keep it rolling. We need more women playing the lead and not the lead love interest…I will keep it moving…

4) There should at least be one or more female supporting characters…

Yes, this bothers me. There are a lot of lead female characters, but I notice that all the other supporting characters tend to be male, especially in animated movies. For instance, in Mulan, Mulan was a strong female heroine, but she was the only one. All of the other supporting characters were male. Princess and the Frog had one female supporting character that provided comic relief, but the rest were male (Yes, I’m including the alligator and firefly). In male movies, most of their supporting characters are male, with one female love interest. Sadly, women only choose males for most of their support, too. It’s okay to have a love interest, but one work of fiction should still include more female characters as support. Even Hunger Games had more male supporting roles than female. Divergent took a risk and ended up having more female supporting characters, but the lead support was a male love interest…Not that this makes the movie different from a male-directed movie.

5) If it has elements of comedy, Main Female Character and/or Female Supporting Characters Must Provide Comic Relief and Personality…

Many females do not get respect for being funny. More male comedians get respect than females. I was very pleased when Terk from Tarzan and Dory from Finding Nemo provided comedy. Both female supporting characters did not turn out to be love interests. I was very grateful. Even Thor had one female comic character. I wish that more movies made women entertaining, and not dry and serious all the time.

And main female characters are usually even more boring, moral, and serious. Women seem irritated and defensive about everything. I don’t think that’s how they should be represented. Even Katniss Everdeen, Tris, and Hermoine seemed overtly serious and focused.

I find because women lack “personality”, they lack entertainment value. They are so serious, so focused, determined, defensive, and ambitious, they are too serious. We need some recklessness, some drama to the character, some humor from her.

6) All Female characters Must Be Named.

As was added to the Bechdel Test, it will also be added to the Bly Test.

7) The Female Must Have a Goal, Dreams, or Aspirations…

I shouldn’t even have to mention this, but I will. Just in case.

8) And the Female’s MAIN GOALS In life Must Not Lean Toward Fashion, Romance, Social Status, Singing, or Dancing.

We are missing a strong group of females in the sci-fi or technology genre. Most lead females, especially in fiction geared to children, focus on fashion, social status (like Material Girls or Mean Girls), romance, and music, like dancing and/or singing. The problem are these goals focus a heavy lot on appearances and the body. We need more characters that aspire to be rulers, adventurers, or even women who discover something or invent something. I would love a female to lead a story like Atlantis the Lost Empire. I’m not saying there should be no fashion, social status, singing, romance, or dancing AT ALL. BUT I feel women need to move away from these hobbies and goals just a tad bit more. It would do some good to have variety. Women should show the world that they have various interests and that they are capable of intelligence.

9) Female Lead Must Not Focus on Her Looks, Not even to Impress Love Interest, to Satisfy Herself, or to Impress Viewers/Readers.

Women in fiction focus entirely too much on fashion and pretty looks. Even Frozen‘s Elsa decided to dazzle the crowd with a glittery dress when she could’ve expressed her freedom with the clothes she had on. I have more to say on this on another article. A female must use her actions to impress the audience/reader, as well as any love interests or admirers. Is this so hard to ask? If women themselves focus so much on their own looks, how can anyone ever think women are anything more than pretty faces?

Surprisingly, Alice in Wonderland accomplishes this.

10) The Female Must Save the Day Without the Assistance of a Male.

The female must take down the final villain all on her own, with no assistance from a male. Mulan accomplished this.

11) If there is a female villain, She Must Be A Strong Female Villain and/or Rival, who isn’t evil because of her appearance or a broken heart. If he is male, he must still be a strong opponent, even if the hero is a female…

12) And they should have Female Minions

I’m so tired of these weak female villains who turn out to be victims. We need some seriously ferocious female villains. That’s what I appreciated about Divergent. Why must a woman only be evil or have ambition when a man is her motivation for wanting revenge or anything else in life? And I know a villain isn’t flattering, but sometimes a movie is as good as it’s villain. Look at the Joker from The Dark Knight? Even a good female anti-hero would suffice, one like Jack Sparrow. Women are too, well, stuck-in-the-mud with righteous views. Why can’t women be good super villains or confusing ani-heroines? Why should female heroes only have villains that are easy to take down? That was what was disappointing about Frozen. Aren’t women strong enough to be challenged in a a great way? Villains test the strength of main characters. Without a good antagonist, how can we admire the hero? And what better way to challenge a female heroine than with another strong female antagonist?

13) All female animal characters should not be defined with a bow or with the color pink.

As if all girls like pink. I hated pink as a child, and I still do. It’s my least favorite color. I’m the least attracted to characters in pink, which is why the Pink Ranger in Power Rangers was my least favorite Ranger…The bow thing just adds to much girlishness. This wouldn’t happen if #4 was exercised. Once you use the bow on one character, what will you use on the second female? Oh, maybe something pink. How frustrating. Again, this is why I liked Terk and Dory.

There is also a sad lack of female minions. The male minions even take center-stage over female minions.

Basically, if a movie meets these requirements, some of our feminist problems will be solved. There would leave no room for women to complain. We covered adventure and action because without fashion, performing arts, and romance, what is there left in genres? Sci-fi, action, adventure, or family drama is left! We covered women being a main character for once. We covered women having a shot at supporting other females, and we even covered villain equality. We covered content and goals. Everything else should be up to the creativity of the writer. If we put too many rules on this, it would actually be limiting.

The Socratic Test

While putting standards on a movie that is geared towards women with female leads is challenging enough, it’s really not enough to equalize the genders. There are still challenges. Really, to achieve a completely feminist movie experience, we have to alter our views of men in movies as well. Really, the reason many women are portrayed so stereotypical is because men are also portrayed as one-dimensional. The roles that our men play influences the  roles that will be pinned on women and vice versa. If women have stereotypical views of men, how can they expect men to open their minds on women? If men have very rigid views of themselves, they will be rigid in the way they view women. For instance, if a woman expects a man to be the bread-winner in the household instead of stay-at-home dad, to be the brave one, and to suck up all of his emotions instead of crying, then who does she think should play those roles? It will fall back on her. It will have a reverse effect.

I remember reading the comments’ section on Youtube about the recent “Brony” movement. You know what was sad? There were women who said they wouldn’t date a man who liked ponies. Many of the girls had the nerve to say, “They want a manly man”. What, by chance ladies, is a manly man? If you think that a man should be a certain way, if you are that way, do you believe that is “acting like a man”?

Read article on Bronies: Brony Movement

Read up on the Feminist Frequency, as she talks about tropes dealing with men and women: A Real Feminist

Therefore, the next challenge rises.

The Socratic Test is named after the Greek philosopher who was the principal founder of many of the modern philosophies many westerners go by today. He believed that people should be concerned about the welfare of their family’s “souls”. He believed virtue could be taught, and that successful fathers did not necessarily make successful sons. He believed that each person had their own virtues separate from their upbringing, and he encouraged men to develop friendship and love among themselves. He believed that good virtues were more valuable than possessions. I believe he had the best idea on life for men.

Socrates, AC Grayling

The biggest problem is again, deciphering what is real and what is ideal. So, if any of you disagree with these standards, feel free to comment and explain why you do.

The problem with this test is that some men are very traditional and very rigid. In fact, men tend to be more closed-minded in this regard than women. Thus, men still admire the tropes that have actually been to the detriment and decline of men. It leaves men trapped in stereotypes and limits the options men have.

So, here are my standards for male and female-oriented movies:

1) The male protagonist must not have the main objective of winning a female love interest, she must not be the reason for his goals, neither must the Villain use her as leverage. 

I can’t tell you how many male movies are like this. In fact, what male movie does not have a woman as his main objective? Most males seem to do everything to impress a woman. And worse, the villain always uses her to get under the main protagonist’s skin.

This goes for female-directed movies, too. Most of the men in these movies serve no other purpose than to be the love interest. Their goals in most media is geared towards women. Even in a music video, the men are portrayed as showing interest in the woman while she just shyly rejects him. His goal throughout the video is usually to obtain a WOMAN. This shows people that men live their lives through women, and without women, they don’t have a life.

In fact, if we omit the women out of every male-oriented movie, for many, there would be no story.

I’m not saying there should be NO women or no female love interests. But she should not be the main goal or a reason the villain finds the hero weak. If this stereotype is omitted, that would be the end of damsels-in-distress, therefore, fitting a feminist agenda as well as showing more sides to men.

Superman fails this so strongly. Pretty much, every super hero movie existing today does.

2) The Story must not be focused on Sports if the male is the main character.

I’m not saying that the male lead can’t have an interest in sports, however, I don’t think the movie should be sports-focused. There is a heavy load of men missing in other professions on the big screen. This is especially evident in the black community. Black men are only portrayed as successful when they are athletes. This limits their options. Even movies about famous historical figures center around African American athletes. What about Black inventors? Artists? Dancers? There are other famous historical black figures that are male.

Again, I’m not saying a male can’t be interested in sports. That’s unrealistic. But the main goal of the story should not be driven by a sport.

3) The lead male must be a good character with a clean background.

I’m tired of the bad-boys-gone-good tropes, especially in female-directed movies like Endless Love, Twilight, Divergent, and many others. Why can’t men, especially love interests, be portrayed as good guys? It’s no wonder boys have such pressure to act bad! The highest number of crimes in the world are committed by men. And it’s all attractive until someone gets hurt. We can do better than that.

Men are always associated with chaos. For once, I challenge a producer, director, and screen-writer to create a character who doesn’t commit a crime or doesn’t intentionally harm someone. I dare them to create a character without a “bad past”. These portrayals aren’t always realistic anyway (Twilight). They glamorize a life that is not real. I had one girl tell me she hopes to find a man like Edward from Twilight…A vampire, she said. Face palm time.

I’m including “playboys” and “pimps” in this category. I’m not including men from the slums or “the streets” if they did nothing wrong on those “streets”. This especially applies to black men. This is why people don’t respect black men. They are portrayed as thugs and men who don’t have any stability or money unless they are committing a crime or pimping off some women. I’m tired of these tropes.

I’m not including one minor mistake the main character makes. That’s passable.

4) Violence should not be encouraged as the only way the main male protagonist solves his problems.

In almost every single movie surrounding men, violence is usually the main theme. It’s as if men do not have more intelligent ways of solving their problems unless someone is dead. Perhaps they could use their brains? Perhaps he could use other tactics, just like in Atlantis the Lost Empire.

In fact, Atlantis the Lost Empire passes the Socratic Test. Drumline also passes the test.

So let me know what you think about my amendment! You think it would work? What other additions do you think I should add to the Bly Test and Socratic Test? Leave a comment and let me know.

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