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Tuesday, September 08, 2020

Disney's Female Characters

A post on reddit that's been removed (naturally):

After seeing Mulan 2020, I'm noticing a pattern regarding Disney's female characters and it isn't good. : movies

"I saw Mulan yesterday and I was very disappointed with the character of Mulan. The movie wasn't all bad but I didn't like what they did to her character. It's the same as they did with Rey in Star Wars and I'm starting to see a pattern.

The problem with Rey in Star Wars is that she is unrelatable. And it's because she never needs any help. If you look at Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movies, he is the hero of the story but he's still human. In the first movie he needs Obi-wan's help in the desert and in the cantina, he needs Han's help during the Trench run. In the second he needs Han's help in the snow. He stops his training to help his friends, gets his ass kicked by Vader and in the end he is the one in need of saving by force calling Leia. Then finally in the third movie he is a fully fledged Jedi and he conquers evil. It feels earned. And that's why he is such a good character. He starts from nothing and is therefore relatable and it makes us root for him.

Contrast that to Rey who is a capable fighter from the start, can fly a 2 man ship solo and can't be beaten by Kylo in the first movie. In the second she doesn't actually need Luke's training and again Kylo can't defeat her. By the third movie she is confirmed to be the best pilot in the resistance, can heal people, bring people back to life etc etc. It just doesn't feel earned. Somewhere along the way they forgot to make her human. And it weakens a potentially great character.

Now we get to Mulan and I see the same thing. The new movie opens with her doing martial arts training and within minutes she does this slow mo supermove like she's in the matrix. She's a badass from the start, joins the army and she even has to hide her badassery. It isn't relatable. In the original Mulan she is just an ordinary girl. It isn't about her being a great fighter or whatever. She becomes a hero through wits and character. She joins the army even though she sucks at fighting. That is character. When she fires that cannon to the snowy top that isn't being an extraordinary fighter, it's using her wits. Then she finds out the huns are still alive and she warns everyone but no one believes her. But she still persists. And in the end when she's fighting the bad guy (forgot his name) on the roof, she's mostly running away. She isn't doing jedi leaps and keanu reeves moves. Any girl could be Mulan from the original. Even aside from all the girl in a men's world stuff she's relatable and that's why it's such a strong character. But the new one not so much. Nobody can be her. Nobody can do what she does.

I don't know what this is. Is it bad writing? Is it a hidden political agenda? Starting weak and then overcoming a powerful obstacle is a very basic thing in writing. It makes us invested in characters. You would assume the writers at Disney get this but they apparently don't. Or maybe they are not allowed to I don't know. But I really hope this doesn't become a trend with Disney movies because it makes their movies and characters weaker instead of stronger."

 

Ditto for Captain Marvel

This matches how masculinity is performative but femininity is innate


Someone: Hero's journey is for male protagonists

Feminist protagonists are already heroines, the problem is the world hasn't recognised them yet

So plots involving feminist protagonists usually revolve around the ignorant unwashed masses slowly coming to be enlightened by one-sided progressive dogma and stop repressing the feminist protagonist so she can achieve her full potential

The problem is innate value stories often aren't compelling because by definition the value is unearned

Especially if they try to shove it into traditionally male stories

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