The Incredibles feminist review overall rating: 2.5 stars (see bottom for detail on rating)
I don’t know what it is with Disney having really blatantly off-putting statements in their beginnings and endings these days (oh Tangled proposal…
all i want to add to this is that 1, i agree with the second commentary, NOT the first, and 2, Helen/Elastigirl had a best friend, from whom she borrowed the jet. he was ultimately cut from the film because his story line added too much to the overall running time. and no, her friend wasn’t a female, but not all women have female best friends. you can just hop off of Pixar’s nuts and enjoy a movie everyone in the family can watch and appreciate, and when you write and produce a feature length film that doesn’t offend anyone, please give me a call.
I might eventually get around the responding to the earlier criticism this reblogged, although it was long and badly formatted so I’ll probably put it off for a while. But in response to this one:
your logic here for why I shouldn’t be writing about this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. If she had a friend, but he was cut from the film, then that isn’t a part of the film I would critique, because it’s not a part of the filmand we end up with the same end result: her friendships/outside relationships are not seen as “as important” to include (which is not singular to this movie, but an overall trope found with mother characters in film). Otherwise, this would be like me saying “Inception had a good ending, I like that it was ambiguous!” And then you reblogging that saying, “NO ACTUALLY, they originally made the ending clearly a dream but decided that didn’t work with the pacing of the film/distracted from the overall plot.” Again: it’s not a part of the movie, not a part of what audiences are seeing, it’s something that was intentionally removed from the movie, so it’s not really relevant.
Again in comparison to Inception and why the second point doesn’t work out so well: if I said to you, “Leonardo DiCaprio did an okay acting job for x, y, z reasons, but I think he did better in _____ film,” would you say to me, “LISTEN, you are not allowed to critique his acting abilities until you have becoming an actor and have acted better than he has in a major motion picture. Until then, shush up and ‘hop off his nuts’.” Of course you wouldn’t say that- because I am a blogger, not an actor- and not a film producer who has millions of dollars at hand to produce a better, less offensive movie.
Whenever people start to get huffy feeling over film criticism, I would just caution them to remember: The character of Ariel in The Little Mermaid was crafted directly in response to feminism and general criticism of the passivity/underdevelopment of their earlier female lead characters. Think about what life would be like, without the song Under The Sea. Criticism isn’t bad in its many forms- in fact it can often, collectively, help companies/individuals/whatever improve what they are doing. Noting the reasons something is potentially offensive or problematic isn’t condemning the Pixar studio to die- it’s challenging them to do better.
[TW: I am out of my depth on some of this more subtle trans* and gender stuff, but don’t mean to offend. This post is me sorting through my thoughts. You have been warned]
I continue to be intrigued by Masasumi Honda (from Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere), but as I have NO real grounding in trans issues to speak of, I have been keeping my mouth shut. But I still want to talk about zie.
So, the quick run-down of the character goes as follows: Masasumi was slated to take over zir father’s position as head a the Masasumi family, a powerful clan of retainers to the feudal lord of Musashi. In preparation for this, Honda started sexual reassignment surgery before the lord—in a move that no one understood, dismissed all his vassals. Honda was stuck, mentally prepared to change genders for the good of zir family and halfway through the physical transition.
For most of the series, Honda appears a sprung trap—so far as the audience is concerned. We know she’s a girl, biologically, but she wears a make school uniform and makes little or no issue of zir gender. This fascinates me, as most of the cast acts on Honda assuming that zie is a guy, and zie does nothing to dissuade them. In many ways it seems like zie has assumed the role that was denied: male scion of his family.
Of course, at the end of the show, zir’s assigned sex is revealed and zie acts in a feminine way: blushing, screaming, acting embarrassed, and is encouraged to adopt a female identity. I am a little confused by this whole line of events. It’s unclear (nor made issue of) how Honda identifies. The cast seems accepting, as they don’t spurn or admonish zie, but it seems they’re more interested in zie choosing her assigned sexuality?
Truth is, I have no idea what I watched. Honda’s gender was made a note of and brought up again at the end. I wanted to write something about it, but have no coherent thoughts because I just don’t understand all the sides of this issue. Such a fascinating (if brutal) idea for a character. I am going to assume it was handled poorly because the rest of the show is so over-the-top, but why make Honda a main character? Why add this wrinkle?