Friday, August 26, 2016

Ever After High: Lesbian Princess

For those who have yet to watch Dragon Games, this happened:

In case some of you readers are not up on your product-based animation series, Ever After High is both a fashion doll line and a web/Netflix series produced by Mattel. It is about the children of fairy tale heroes and villains attending a boarding school together. It is also a huge part of the reason Disney switched their Princess line to Hasbro. 
three dolls from the ever after high line in dragon rider outfits
Ever After High dolls
Descendants dolls similar design to Ever After High, but with more Disney style faces
Descendants dolls
According to this Bloomberg article,  at the same time Mattel was working on this princess spin-off of their Monster High doll line, Disney was developing Descendants (a Disney version of the children of fairy tale heroes and villains going to boarding school together) to be produced by Hasbro. Because of the competition with Ever After High, Disney moved all their princess dolls to Hasbro also. As Clair Suddath writes:

"Several former Mattel employees point to the 2013 release of Ever After High as the last straw for Disney. Chris Sinclair, a Mattel board member who took over as CEO in January, agrees."

Guru Studio, a leading Canadian animation studio, produced all of the Ever After High cartoons in house. It is a stylized 2D ToonBoom animation, while there might be some complaints in similarity in character's body types (since all of the character's are going to be sold as dolls), outside of this it's animation is surprisingly fun.

The primary focus of the stories are that Raven (daughter of the Evil Queen) wants to escape her destiny and thinks others shouldn't feel trapped by their destiny either. The problem with this is that heroes (like Apple White) need their villains to be evil, otherwise the heroes will never receive the just rewards their own fairy tales promise. This sets up a surprisingly fun look at villains that want to be good, and heroes who need them to be evil (with some not so fun advertisements for tie-in products smooshed into the stories).

Which brings us back to the are-they or aren't-they kiss of Dragon Games.

Apple White's curse was meant to be broken by true love's kiss. But, Daring Charming (her fated prince) was unable to wake her when he tried. It was his sister, white knight Darling Charming, who succeeded. Of course, this was not through a kiss, exactly, but CPR. Which, like most double coding, can easily be ignored by anyone who might be offended.

While, a lot has changed since I first started this blog, it seems unlikely that Mattel would make one of the main characters of this series gay, but they are letting everyone sit with the ambiguity.

In their most resent season Epic Winter, it seems that Daring Charming's failed kiss has caused a rift between him and Apple White. It has yet to be established whether or not Apple knows who it was that actually woke her, but Daring get's a new love interest. Perhaps this was simple a smart marketing decision to sell a new doll duo.

Still, I'm curious to see if Mattel simply writes this all off as "friendship is a form of true love" and never mention it again, or if they will continue to hint at a second reading of Apple and Darling's relationship.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Disney Needs More Straight Reblog

This video looks at some of the ways in which Disney has been subverting their own princess tropes.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Zootopia's Judy Hopps Reblog

An article I've been working on just went up today over at the Animation World Network. It was so wonderful working with Dan Sarto again. He really helped narrow my idea, and I'm so pleased with how it turned out. Check it out HERE. The article is about gender in animation, and looking at what makes the primary protagonist in Zootopia so unique.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Dragon's Lair Indiegogo

If you want to donate towards an animated pitch to hopefully get funding for a Dragon's Lair film, check out this Indiegogo campaign : )

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Disney Gender All Theatrical Animation

      All American animated theatrically released Disney films (released under Pixar Animation Studios, DisneyToon Studios, ImageMovers Digital, Skellington Productions, Walt Disney Animation, Walt Disney Television Animation), excluding films that included live action, straight to video films that had a single theater or international premier only, shorts, Disney package films, and films not produced by Disney but distributed under the Disney label. 

All Gender 1993-2012

This study looks at the gender break down of primary protagonists in family-targeting American animated films from 1993-2012. Including all G or PG-rated American (or American co-produced) animated theatrical releases that were released to at least 500 theaters and were primarily animated (there could be live action scenes, but focus was on animated characters in an animated world). Excluding package films.

151 films (percents rounded)

4 male and female co-protagonists (3%)
23 female primary protagonists (15%)
124 male primary protagonists (82%)