As mentioned before Hunchback versions seldom ever passes The Bechdel Test, including the Disney version read here. But it made me think about the other Disney movies. I was going to go through and look at each movie but I don’t have to because this site did all the work for me, http://disney-blog.com/2011/05/the-bechdel-test-and-disney-films/. But I’m going to offer some analysis.
As a refresher, to pass the test a work needs to meet 3 criteria; 1) It has to have at least two named female characters, 2) That talk to each other 3) About something other than a male. Most movies fail the Bechdel test. Also passing or failing does not indicate the quality of a movie. Terrible movie pass and great movies fail.
So what does this mean for Disney? Well the purpose of the test is show the female presence in a given movie. Interestingly enough the older movies, Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty all pass. Which is valid as at least with Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty there is a decent amount of named female characters. Though movies that don’t have lots of female characters still pass, like 101 Dalmatians, Peter Pan, Hercules, and even The Emperor’s New Groove, which is a male buddy comedy.
Movies like Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty are often criticized for passive lead female characters but the most of the characters in the movies are females. So having one strong likable female character doesn’t help the over-all female presence. Like Aladdin fails, hard.
I would disagree with The Little Mermaid failing as the site says because Ariel and Ursula had a fairly long conversation about a few topics, I would give it a pass. The Lion King could have passed if Nala and Sarabi had spoken more. I’m a little unsure if Snow White should have gotten the pass, as the Queen has a name but after the fact. Her name isn’t said in the movie. Though to be fair, I haven’t seen Snow White in a very long time.
I do find it interesting that with modern day Disney movies that are Princess that try to aim with boys in mind they do keep a strong female presence. Tiana with her mother, Rapunzel with her “mother” and the sisters of Frozen.
I would thought more Disney movies would have failed but it pretty mixed. It’s just really interesting that the older princess movies have a stronger female presence than the Disney movies that have a single “strong” and “Independent” female character.Follow thehunchblog