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The Gender Politics of WALL-E

23 Feb

Yes indeed, my son and I whooped with joy and relief last night when WALL-E was awarded the Academy Award for Best Animated Film (beating the Annie winner, Kung Fu Panda), and sighed a bit when it didn’t take home any others. I do believe the merits of this film will hold up over time, and are of interest not only to students of animation, but also to those who study sexual orientation and gender. The Oh! Industry blog has a great queer studies analysis I’ve linked to before, and now I’ve added my own two cents in last week’s Jentasmic! column at Studios Central. Here’s just one of the many reasons why this old crusty feminist loves WALL-E:

Shared parenting supports women’s full participation in society, and WALL-E is a great dad. Think back to the moment that EVE takes the plant into her body, and then shuts herself off from the world, focusing only on protection of the life within her. Sound familiar to any of you who’ve been pregnant, or whose partners have been? While WALL-E is heartbroken by her withdrawal, he protects her carefully, lovingly, with great dedication. Lightning strikes his umbrella? No problem, he’s got another. (And yes, it’s also borderline creepy when he takes her for the romantic canoe ride…but comedy returns when he tries to hold her hand watching the sunset.)

The current episode of the Those Darn Cats Podcast also has some discussion of WALL-E, and the Oscars in general….including some super-fun red-carpet commentary from Lisa. And for those of you who aren’t already subscribed to the podcast, we’ve got a handy-dandy past shows archive page, from which you can download shows on topics ranging from remembering Eartha Kitt (podcast), to feminist analysis of Minnie’s Country Home (podcast), to Disney Cruise Line (podcasts part one and two). You can also check us out on iTunes.

Travel Channel Shows for Disney Junkies

6 Apr

The Disney Traveler blog reminds us this week of the upcoming new Samantha Brown Disney specials on Travel Channel, as well as showtimes for a bunch of re-runs I imagine we’ve all watched, and re-watched, and re-watched.

I know I’ve got my DVR set to record the first new one, on April 11!

The Disney Cruise Line show always makes me want to book a cruise, which is funny because not only have I never been interested in cruises, I have an outrageously strong tendency towards motion sickness (an unfortunate thing for a frequent business traveler, n’est-ce pas?). And the Undiscovered Disney World show makes me laugh, because most of the stuff they cover is not particularly hidden, though they do talk about a number of things I’ve never done (the Chef’s Table at Victoria and Albert’s, for example, since I am a budget traveler). And, of course, if you watch enough of these shows, frequently enough, you’ll start to notice the re-purposed footage (“hey, isn’t that the same woman we always see on Mission Space?”).

So, I’m looking forward to a new batch for sure! I have no doubt I’ll watch and re-watch them as obsessively as the last batch.

Don’t Tell Broke Hoedown Jr! Toy Story Musical to Debut on Disney Cruise Line

8 Jan

Broke Hoedown Jr is a huge, huge fan of Toy Story, and I’m not sure how he’d feel about Toy Story musical described in the Orlando Sentinel today (hat tip: The Disney Blog). Would he be disquieted by the Buzz and Woody face characters, or clamoring to climb aboard the show’s debut voyage?

Either way, I gotta keep this quiet for now. It was not a pretty scene when he first learned that Star Wars Weekends existed, and that he’d never had the chance to go. I may well have to remedy that in 2008, pending other possible Disney trips (there is in fact a limit to my budget, and my frequent flier miles balance).

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