Can you believe it was already almost two weeks ago when a bunch of white men were brought together to discuss diversity, gender, and ethnic stereotypes in animation? While the spectacle was certainly a reminder of how neither women (nor people of color) working in animation are getting the recognition and the opportunities they deserve, it turns out that when it comes to the animated films themselves, there’s a similar gender inequality.
On Wednesday, Shannon Hale, a bestselling author of children’s books and young adult novels, took to Twitter to give us an (apparently annual!) rundown of the state of women characters in animated movies in 2016, and despite high-profile movies with strong female protagonists like Moana, Zootopia, and Finding Dory, when it comes to the total amount of characters with speaking lines, women once again are left out.
Hale went on to break down the number of characters of each gender in every animated film from 2016, and it’s kind of staggering to see the discrepancy laid out like that (We’ve reached out to Hale and will update with her response). Of course, the imbalance might be even more sizable if we took the number of lines and screen time into account. I didn’t exactly have high hopes for Angry Birds, but two female roles compared to 12 Angry Man-Birds? Animation is supposed to give us a break from reality and transport us to fantastical places with larger-than-life stories. Instead, the year's animated movies just reflected the industry's own sexism.