Today, not feeling entirely well, I sat down to Tivo.
Tivo didn't have much on, so I watched Chicken Little.
Now, keep in mind, on Friday I ran through some training on gender roles at work, so I sort of had this on the mind...
As a thinking woman who uses more than shame and fluttering eyelashes to get things done, I will never, ever watch that movie again.
Here's what I remember:
1. Chicken Little is oddly, a boy. I guess girls cannot save the world according to Disney, but in my books as a kid Chicken Little, also known as Henny Penny, is a girl. According to IMDB, originally the lead was supposed to have been a girl.
2. Mom is dead. No reason given, but mom is dead. Disney does that a lot, so I'm not terribly surprised.
3. Dad has no idea how to be a parent until a girl tells him how to; said knowledge being gained from dozens of Cosmo/17 style magazines. He says repeatedly that the dead mother was the one who knew how to do that stuff.
4. Until the last 10 minutes there are no living adult women.
5. The ugly duckling: She's pushy and she knows what's right, and she saves the day at least once. She's with the boys in every scene... until she's told she's pretty and gets a kiss. She then disappears from the plot except for a few shots of her looking moon-eyed and spacey.
6. Foxy Loxy: Foxy Loxy is the town bully. She's a tomboy. She's also the best baseball player the town has seen in decades (until Chicken Little upstages her). She's basically a plot device. In the next to last scene the aliens admit, "her brain waves got scrambled," as she is now covered in makeup, wearing a petticoat dress (instead of her usual overalls), and singing "Lollipop." The aliens indicate they will fix her, until sidekick #2 (a pig, literally) says "No, don't" and kisses her. So the aliens leave her brain scrambled, as a boy told them to and he must know best.... In the next scene we now see that she is the Pig's girlfriend.
7. At the end the aliens are introduced. A female adult and a male adult. They could have come out of an episode of Leave it to Beaver. The female uses no logic or intelligence, claims no responsibility for the havoc she has helped wreck, nothing. Instead she shames the male adult about how he's been overdoing it. She does this in the "ohhh, can mommy kiss your booboo" voice. Then the male takes over and she's pretty much done. (Oh, we know she's female before she speaks only b/c she has humogo eyelashes.)
8. And of course, when the whole thing is made into a movie within a movie, the male heroes are turned into muscular alpha males... and the female hero is turned into a Jessica Rabbit knockoff.
9. This was cut from the cable run, but according to Wikipedia Foxy Loxy's bully pal (a goose) decides she will be Chicken Little's friend after he wins the baseball game.
So the take home lessons are:
- Girls are flaky, moody, and have no loyalty.
- Girls are impressed by great physical deeds, not personal worth.
- Girls are better as ditzy crazy stupid playthings than actual competition
- Girls only legitimate motivations are about reading Cosmo and getting kissed
- Women aren't necessary
- When women do exist, it's only so someone can navigate emotional waters, b/c men surely can't
- Men only say they are sorry when a woman makes them feel guilty
- Women aren't responsible for anything, only men
- Women can't be heroes
- Girls who do better than boys need to be fixed, until they put on makeup and skirts
- Men are better deciders of what's right for women than they themselves are
- and on and on and on and on and on
What kills me is that most of the stuff that I found (and my husband volunteered was not good) horrific was added as humor.
"Hey, we can't tell a joke, or create real emotional growth, let's use some disturbing gender stereotypes as pratfalls!"
They don't have 1962 as an excuse, this was a major release in 2005.