Why it’s Critically Important to See Brave on Opening Weekend

This blog post is my attempt to awaken you to an issue, and to explain why it is so important that you see Brave on its Opening Weekend.

This is an issue that’s really important to me, and something I wasn’t aware of until I read this post by Shannon Hale.  I highly, highly recommend you read her post.  I kind of wanted to copy and paste the entire thing into my post, but that would be silly… so here’s a few of her main points:

  • Hollywood appeals to a male audience (even in animated films) because they assume guys won’t see films with female main characters whereas girls will watch anything.
  • If you were to look at the cast of characters of animated movies made in the last 10 years and count the number of male characters versus female characters, the ratio (about 1:10) would be completely imbalanced and unrealistically heavy on male characters.
  • The roles female characters do have in the story reinforce negative stereotypes in society for women: girls aren’t leaders, girls aren’t important enough to be main characters, girls don’t matter to the story, girls aren’t interesting, and girls aren’t funny.
So here’s my plea.  Pixar has made 12 feature films.  This is the first movie Pixar has made with a female main character.  Money sends a message to Hollywood, and Hollywood measures success based on a feature film’s opening weekend.
Here’s two scenarios:
  1. Brave has a solid opening weekend (because it’s Pixar and Pixar has a solid reputation), but Brave does not make as much money as other Pixar movies have made in their opening weekends.  This will send a message to Hollywood that having a female main character hurt sales and was a weakness of the film.  Pixar is then hesitant to make more films with female main characters.
  2. Moms and Dads, girls and guys, show up on opening weekend to see Brave.  Sales are high and equal to those of other Pixar films.  Hollywood sees that the gender of the main character is not a weakness/strength, and Pixar is encouraged to make more movies with strong female characters in lead roles.
This is why it is CRITICALLY important for all of us to support Brave in its opening weekend.  Please, send a message to Hollywood that we like to see girls in movies just as much as we like our boys.
And feel free to do your own post or link to my post to spread the word!  Support Brave this weekend!


*Sidenote* Japan doesn’t have the same gender issues as the US in their animated features.  The ratio is far more balanced and frequently have female lead characters.  I showed the movies Ponyo, Kiki’s Delivery, Spirited Away, and The Secret World of Arrietty (which all feature female main characters) to my majority male 11-12 year old students this year, and the kids LOVED them all.  And my heart melted a little when the boys in one class were cheering for Arrietty as she scaled a curtain with hooks and proclaiming how strong and ‘epic’ she was.  Boys WILL WATCH movies with girl characters.
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11 comments on “Why it’s Critically Important to See Brave on Opening Weekend

  1. fakesteph says:

    I LOVE THIS!!! I will make a point to go see this opening weekend.

  2. MegTao says:

    When is opening weekend? Is that this weekend? I thought it came out the 15th for some reason… *wanders off to find out*

  3. I heard about this somewhere else too…the fact that it's Pixar's first film with a female lead. I want it to do well for all the reasons you stated, but to be honest, it doesn't look all that appealing to me personally…I might still try and check it out though if I can, to be supportive, and see if it's better than I think. hahthanks for sharing,Lauren

  4. Aylee says:

    I'm with you and will definitely be going to see it this weekend and taking the bf with me… I heard it's not been getting very good reviews, unfortunately, but I don't care because I'm sure I will love it just because for once it's a female heroine! (and also because she's Scottish, like me)

  5. Aylee says:

    Also, I've never heard of The Secret World of Arriety – I definitely want to see it now. Thanks for the tip!

  6. LHughes says:

    Yay! I hear it's not getting good reviews from critics, but I'm gong to see it anyway 😦

  7. LHughes says:

    Yup! This Friday!

  8. LHughes says:

    I'm not totally sure what the plot will be… something about changing your fate? I generally trust Pixar to do a good job though!

  9. LHughes says:

    Secret World of Arriety is a Miyazaki film that just came out and it's charming and beautiful!!! Definitely see it!

  10. LHughes says:

    I also heard it's not getting good reviews from critics :(I wonder if maybe critics are just tired of always giving Pixar rave reviews and so they are being nitpicky.And yay Scottish folk! I think I'm part Scottish…

  11. Dang, I wish I had been in the country when Brave came out! I DO want to see it, and soon, though! Sorry I'm just now getting caught up with your blog–I've been SO behind. But tonight I'm getting caught up! Yay!

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