Tag Archives: Aladdin

Disney and the Bechdel Test

Photo on 9-8-14 at 11.56 AM

upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/b/bf/Dykes_to_Watch_Out_For_%28Bechdel_test_origin%29.jpg

The Bechdel test was originally coined in the comic strip Dykes to Look Out For in 1985. The test can be for any media.

The test states:

1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it.

2. Who talk to each other.

3. About something besides a man.

The majority of films released in Hollywood fail the test. In fact, here is a video I made showing only a few of the many films fail the test.

It must be stressed that the test does not say whether the media is actually feminist. If in a film, two named females were to talk about dresses and make up, the film would technically pass the test. However that doesn’t mean that the film is actually feminist.

I decided to take several different disney films and see whether they passed or failed the test.

Snow_White_1937_poster
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/4/49/Snow_White_1937_poster.png

 Snow White and the Seven Dwarves:

The first full length animated film released in America.

In this film there are two named females. These are Snow White and The Evil Queen. They have only one conversation, which is at the end of the film. There is some debate about the conversation, as the ‘little men’ (the dwarves), are mentioned in passing, but the conversation is more about the poisoned apple.

This film passes the test (though it’s dubious).

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Lady-and-tramp-1955-poster
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Lady and the Tramp:

There are multiple named females, such as Lady, Peg, Darling, and the Siamese cats who are assumed to be female based on their voice actor.

In one scene which takes place in a pound, two named females, Peg and Lady, talk to each other about Lady’s license, and how it’s Lady’s key to getting out of there.

This film passes the test.

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Sleeping_beauty_disney
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Sleeping Beauty:

The majority of the film’s cast are female.

The good fairies talk about about things other than men most of the time, like hiding Princess Aurora from the female villain Maleficent.

In fact, this film fails a reverse Bechdel test. the males always are talking about the females.

This film passes the test.

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Mousedetectposter
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/a4/Mousedetectposter.jpg

The Great Mouse Detective:

There are four named females, two of whom (Olivia Flaversham and Queen Mousetoria) are important to the story. However, none of them ever have a real, back and forth conversation with each other.

This fim fails the test.

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Aladdinposter
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/Aladdinposter.jpg

Aladdin:

There is only one named female character, Princess Jasmine, in the entire film.

This film utterly fails the test.

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The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster
upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9a/The_nightmare_before_christmas_poster.jpg

The Nightmare Before Christmas:

Yes, this is technically Disney.

There are two named females, Sally and Shock. However, they never speak to one another.

This film fails the test.

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frozen_french_poster_2847
static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/frozen_french_poster_2847.jpg

Frozen:

This film sure is popular lately.

There are two named females, Anna and Elsa. They have multiple conversations about things other than men.

For example, the first conversation in the movie is about them making a snowmen. That doesn’t count as actual men.

This film passes the test.

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As must be stressed, the Bechdel test is not meant to indicate whether a film is feminist or not. It’s just the lowest bar possible for women representation. As you can see, Disney is pretty hit or miss with passing in test

Again, the majority of films from Hollywood fail the test. This could be pretty damming of how far we still ned to go for better gender representation.