We are smack bang in the middle of school holidays so today we ventured out to the Adelaide Central Markets (always awesome) and then to check out Disney Pixar’s newest offering Inside Out. Now I’d seen trailers for this movie months ago and was pretty excited about seeing it. I expected good things from it and I wasn’t disappointed. It really kicks you in the feels and delves into some pretty deep stuff which is right up my alley. In fact it was all about my last post on happiness (click here if you need to catch up on that one). All that good stuff about the ups and downs, not being happy all the time, emotions and dealing with change. It was all good. I struggled back some tears, stifled a sob during all the touchy feeling memory stuff, fought the need to hug my kids during the film. It was funny, relevant and clever. Bit over the heads of the under 7’s but great for older kids.
However, I started the movie a bit pissed off by Disney Pixar. I’m a big fan generally and with three kids and a mix of gender I’ve seen most of them. I always find them witty, likeable and cleverly suited across ages but today I was annoyed. Warning this does come with a spoiler alert for those that haven’t seen it.
Pre Inside Out we were given a Pixar short film simply called Lava. It starts Pixar enough with beautiful colourful animation and a nice little song about a lonely volcano out in the ocean that is pinning for someone to “Lava”. It’s all very saccharine and cute until they get to the bit where his “Lava” has been at the bottom of the ocean listening to his song. Of course there is rapture … I mean rupture .. and cut to the end where it all comes up Disney and they live happily ever after (or is that Lava). Anyhoo. I was struck but the fact that our lonely lava boy was a crusty dumpy looking crop of rocks and our lava girl was an attractive feminine structure complete with long rocky hair.
WTF Pixar!!! Frankly it made my magma churn that my daughters were being subliminally subject to the idea that the female had to be attractive and yet the male could be pretty darn average. All he had to do was crank out a song and it made her tectonic plates collide. Seriously, we can’t even have two animated volcanoes that are equal. Even female fucking volcanoes have to be gorgeous to make it onto the big screen?
I was beyond disappointed that this was what was presented to my kids, for what it unconsciously teaches my daughters AND my son. I have sat with them tonight and had a very interesting conversation with them based on this short film and it re-enforced what I suspected. My 11 year old said “she wondered why the girl need to be so tall and thin”. My 9 year old son thought they should have just had the girl look like the boy volcano but “maybe with a bit more hair”.
What was a cute little film made me feel angry and disappointed. I can review a film and make sure that it’s appropriate for my kids before they see it but they can chuck in any old trailer or short film beforehand. Not winning on this one Disney Pixar. Not winning at all.
Song writers, singer, animators, brav-fucking-o, lots of talent there, but The Power That Be – stop bringing me this shit. Media – fuck off. I’m trying to raise confident, empathetic, well rounded children that can survive the media shitstorm around them. Don’t be bringing me glamorous fricking volcanoes. My kids can feel a heartfelt tale without having to have it sexed up.
Pixar don’t let me down again. I expect more from you.