Time’s Up for Disney’s Lack of Women in Film

I sit here after watching this year’s Golden Globes telecast. This will go up a week later, but the sentiments shared through the show can still be heard and felt. From Oprah’s stunning 9-minute oratory to Reese & Laura’s beautiful words after winning their respective awards for Big Little Lies, the #MeToo and #TIMESUP movements are here to stay.

We are living in a fabulous time for women. No longer must they feel the need to stay silent about pay disparity, sexual harassment and assault, or any lack of equality in any medium. However, this movement has grown out of Hollywood. The back-to-back Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey draggings have kick-started the process of weeding out the men who do not deserve any accolade of any kind, but are someone still allowed to flourish in the entertainment industry. (See here and here and here)

With this movement to weed out the bad also allows for a push to bring forward the good. Women deserve starring roles in films. Women deserve directing jobs. Women deserve to write screenplays and edit films and sound mix and costume design and score. They deserve every role any male has ever had, period end-of-story.

If we look through a Disney lens, we can see that the movement has started creating small waves. A Wrinkle in Time is being written by Jennifer Lee and directed by Ava DuVernay (the first woman of color to every be given the reigns to direct a film with a budget over $100 million). Mulan is being directed by Niki Caro. Now, there are a few screenplays co-written by women (Wreck-It Ralph 2, Nutcracker and the 4 Realms, Christopher Robin, Aladdin), but the only women directors lined-up are Ava, Niki, and Jennifer Lee (co-directing Frozen 2).

If we bring Marvel and Lucasfilm into the fray, we find that Captain Marvel is the only one with a woman attached and, once again, it’s co-directing with a man.

Disney has found it very easy to pat themselves on the back for hiring women directors, but three out of a double-digit slate is humorous.

Two big budget franchises are being discussed for Disney right now, with Artemis Fowl and Sword in the Stone adaptations on the way. These can end up being multi-film franchises with big bucks and big opportunities paired with them. Yet, Artemis is going to Kenneth Branagh (white man) and the Sword is going to, reportedly, Ridley Scott (white man). Now, there is nothing wrong with these men. They are great directors. However, if we are championing ourselves for allowing women to join the conversation and be a part of these films, going right back to their old white men tricks leaves something big to be desired.

I don’t want to hear any excuses from them, either. It’s not like women directors are hard to find, they just aren’t getting the work because no one will allow them to have it. Queen Sugar and this upcoming season of Jessica Jones have female directors for every single episode. Hire some female directors. It’s not hard, you’re just lazy.

Look, here’s a nifty database that compiles over 1000 female directors that would love to be able to put their spin on a live-action fairytale or an original story! Now there’s even less of an excuse!

Same goes for screenwriters (I’m all for a collaborative effort, but why not MULTIPLE women?!), editors, songwriters, composers, etc. Every role can be a woman and every role should be a woman.

On top of all this, we still have to deal with John Lasseter being the worst. When statements come out against someone saying that they needed chaperones for an adult male to make sure he wasn’t creepy and gross to character performers, he needs to go. No 6-month sabbatical. He needs to go.

Since the onslaught of men being outed as awful people is coming at such a rapid pace, some still want to look to their artistic achievements as  reason enough for them to remain in the public eye, but that can’t happen. It continues to perpetuate the cycle and fineness with harassment and assault occurring. Even if John Lasseter is the person who saved Disney Animation, it doesn’t matter. Nothing is worth keeping around someone who has ruined many women’s lives.

The best thing for Disney to do would be replace him with a woman to show solidarity and to help get more women into roles that are lacking their presence, within animation especially, but within the company as a whole. I hear Jennifer Lee is free…

Time’s Up. Movies aren’t a man’s game any longer.

(To donate to the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, providing subsidized legal support to those affected by workplace sexual harassment and assault, head here)

“Big Hero 6 The Series” Premieres November 20th

After a solid year of previews, clips, and hints at what’s to come. However, we officially have a premiere date! Monday, November 20th at 8pm on Disney Channel and Disney XD will be the premiere of Big Hero 6 The Series: Baymax Returns.

The one-hour premiere will focus on Hiro’s recreation of Baymax using the chip he finds at the end of the film. (Sorry if that spoiled anything, but you’ve had 3 years to watch. I have no sympathy for you.)

Here’s the official description of the premiere from Disney:

“Set in the fictional city of San Fransokyo, “Baymax Returns” explores the moment in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Academy Award-winning feature film after Hiro believes that his compassionate, cutting-edge robot Baymax is lost in the portal forever and discovers the chip his brother Tadashi designed to create Baymax. 14-year-old tech genius Hiro begins school as the new prodigy at San Fransokyo Institute of Technology and sets off to rebuild Baymax, but his overconfidence and penchant for taking shortcuts leads him and the newly minted Big Hero 6 team – Wasabi, Honey Lemon, Go Go and Fred – into trouble.”

Well, that sounds like a fun start! After the one hour premiere, we’ll have to wait a few months before actual episodes start premiering. Early 2018 will see weekly episodes released on Disney XD, but the Disney Now app will have two episodes premiere immediately following the one-hour episode.

All I know is that I’m excited. The clips we’ve seen are great and the intro song has been stuck in my head for months. Be sure to check out the premiere on November 20th!

Ariel: Underrated Feminist?

Ariel is our favorite red-headed mermaid, and yet she never gets the credit she deserves. She kickstarted the resurgence of Disney Princesses in animated films, but she is pushed to the side for not being as progressive as the other women around her. Belle is a book lover and a caring soul. Jasmine is tired of the patriarchy, with Merida agreeing wholeheartedly. Pocahontas is an eco-warrior and Mulan is a legit warrior. We consistently hear “Not your average Disney Princess” as a descriptor for new films, and yet, the average Disney Princess now is strong, independent, and a proud feminist.

Yet, Ariel always get shoved into the grouping with Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora (Sorry, ladies). I firmly believe our favorite friend under the sea doesn’t deserve the shade being thrown her way. Ariel is just as feminist as the others and that should be celebrated.

People associate Ariel with “But Daddy, I LOVE HIM!” and “I’m 16, I’m not a child,” which is relatively damming evidence for adhering to gender roles, but we forget how independent she is from the get-go. She is very interested in humans from the start, but the force of her father won’t allow her to educate herself. She is placed in a box, that being a singer with her family band (very “Partridge Family”). Her father wants her to just sing, and in the words of Belle, can anyone be happy if they aren’t free? She doesn’t enjoy singing, she enjoys learning. Ariel is risking her life to acquire more human artifacts just to comprehend the world above her. She just wants to learn. Honestly, it’s a very Fahrenheit 451 situation, especially after her father destroys her grotto. Even with “Part of Your World” being her I-want-song, it is just a list of things she wants to learn about the human world. Ariel needs information, gosh darn it!

When Eric is introduced, it isn’t a strictly love situation. “But she says she does, like, blatantly!” Yes, I realize annoyed reader. However, the love is also towards the idea of humans. She wants to know what’s above her and that just happens to include Eric. Then she saves his life, y’all. Did Cinderella save anyone’s life? Um, no. Getting close to Eric during the rescue on the beach piques her interest even more as she’s never been that close to a completely new species before, especially one she’s been enamored with since birth. It was, in her mind, as if all these years spent interested and compiling information and looking on from a far were finally rewarded. I liken it to you finally meeting your favorite celebrity. You’ve followed their social media, you’ve watched their films/listened to their music/watched their every move, and now you are seeing them in person. You’d have some pretty strong feelings in that moment, too, and for Ariel, they occurred in her mind as love.

Ursula’s contract states that to become a human for good, she must receive Eric’s true love’s kiss. Now, the love is nice incentive and there is clearly a reason for its existence, but she wants to kiss him more to remain a human and not strictly for the relationship. Really, Eric is the one who is more in it for love. He is in search of the girl who saved him in the hopes to fall in love with her, strictly based on her voice. Eric is solely on this hunt for a wife with no concept of the repercussions or weirdness of the whole thing, easily making him the worst character in the film, even if his ship captaining does kill Ursula in the finale. As the film draws to a close, Ariel gets to remain human for the rest of her days as her father (FINALLY) sees what she’s been fight for her whole life. She was a human born in a mermaid’s body and she can finally live her truth. She can finally be where the people are!

Ariel is a feminist. She revolts against the patriarchy and gender roles her stern father has assigned to her and eventually gains freedom and the chance to be her true self. I love Ariel and will never be ashamed to say that.

“DuckTales” Quack Take: “Woo-oo!”

This past Saturday, August 12th, the return of DuckTales took over Disney XD for 24 hours. Every hour, on the hour, the premiere episode of DuckTales entitled “Woo-oo!” (’cause duh) aired to the delight of everyone.

We’re hoping to bring you a lot of Disney Channel and Disney XD content here on disneyBOP, so we’d like to premiere our series of Quack Takes. For every episode of DuckTales, we’ll bring you just some things we took away from the episode, what we loved, what we hated, what had us laughing, etc.

Without further ado, our Quack Takes on “Woo-oo!”


  • I’m really loving that Donald is a part of this in an expanded role. I found the “origin story” of his sailor outfit rather hilarious, as well.
  • I ended up watching the very last showing of the premiere, so this may have to deal with my lack of sleep, but Beck Bennett as Launchpad McQuack is not only perfect casting, but his stupid-beautiful-idiot take on the character had me laughing uncontrollably a few times. “I’m a pilot!”
  • Webby is a fun addition and a great vocal performance by Kate Micucci, but like, how did she not know that was a garage? Also, who holds ancient artifacts and possibly deadly ghosts/dragons/headless horsemen in a garage? At least put them in the attic.
  • Huey, Dewey, and Louie all have great personalities with shining moments throughout the episode, but Huey holding up a t-shirt for Dewey to wear, where Dewey just responds “I will cram it down your throat.” had my dying. DYING. This show is seriously funny.
  • 1st half was better than the 2nd half, so I hope we see a lot more of the core characters dealing with each other before we get a ton of new characters introduced.
  • That being said, the whole episode I was all “Ready for Darkwing Duck anytime.”
  • Wasn’t that Roxanne from A Goofy Movie sitting next to Donald in the waiting room? Is there a Disney Afternoon Animated Universe that will start with this, but eventually lead to reboots of all those shows? I’m here for it, honestly.
  • Mrs. Beakley is voiced by Toks Olagundoye, who starred on the underrated ABC show The Neighbors. That reference allows me to post this beautiful thing without feeling bad.

If you haven’t watched yet, be sure to catch-up on WatchDisneyChannel.com or On Demand and we’ll be back with more Quack Takes once new episodes premiere Saturday, September 23rd.

UPDATE: Disney XD has posted the full-length mega-sized premiere episode on their YouTube channel to watch for free. Check it out!


Great YouTube Series You’re Not Watching: Down to Disness

If you are a Disney fan who dabbles on the YouTubes, you may be familiar with Sarah Snitch/Sarah Sterling. I’ve been subscribed to her channel for the past 6 years. I’ve been with her through college, her Disney College Program, and her current Thingamavlogs period (her Disney collab channel that puts out some great content).

Sarah has always been a Disney YouTuber, but two years ago, Sarah began a new series called “Down to Disness.” She is going through the Walt Disney Animation Studios cannon and diving deep into the history and legacy of every Disney animated film. Also, viewers get to vote on what they want to see as the monthly entry.

She discusses the making of, the initial reaction from audiences, and what the film has become as time has passed. It’s really interesting, easily digestible, and injected with some inside-Disney humor that is always appreciated.

Be sure to subscribe to Sarah for more Down to Disness, along with other great Disney content.

ANT-MAN Shorts Stun (& Shrink)

I am a self-proclaimed superhero hater. I don’t like Marvel movies. (I watched both Guardians. I still don’t understand the obsession, sans the inclusion of “The Chain” by Fleetwood Mac. That ish was the only fun part for me.) I don’t enjoy the over-the-top noticeable three act structure. I’m tired of various white men fighting others and being stressed about their lives. It’s bo-ring. When Disney bought Marvel back in 2009, I tried really hard to get into the MCU, but quickly fell off. Captain America: The First Avenger is one I still love, but that’s mostly due to the period setting.

With this in mind, I’ve skipped out on a lot of Marvel material. The only Marvel thing in recent memory that has me truly excited is Black Panther ’cause Lupita Nyong’o and Michael B. Jordan (also, that trailer tho). I actually avoid Marvel news because I, unfortunately, don’t care all that much.

However, recently I came across these new ANT-MAN shorts on Disney XD and oh my god, they are incredible. French filmmakers Ugo Bienvenu and Kevin Manach lead the production of these six minute-long shorts, and they are breathtaking. The writing and plot lines are sharp (i.e. Ant-Man having to deal with Yellow Jacket, while simultaneously trying to save his daughter’s science fair project.) and the pacing is exceptional. However, the biggest win is the animation style.

This 1970s-80s, pop art, technicolor wonderland is my new everything. Everything pops and has a sense of wonder that we don’t see a lot in current Disney Television Animation, especially the 2-D stuff. I hope some of my favorite Disney Instagramers, like the queen @leslieakay takes some inspiration from these shorts for some new outfits and pics.

The more the Marvel universe becomes more experimental and fun like these shorts, the more onboard I will be. Here’s to ANT-MAN!

Be sure to check out these shorts on DisneyXD’s official YouTube channel.


“Star Wars: Forces of Destiny” Debuts Galactic Feminism

The first in a series of Star Wars shorts was just released and it is two minutes and forty-eight seconds of pure joy. The new Star Wars: Forces of Destiny shorts will follow the various kick butt women of the Star Wars universe in small stories that take place within their respective timelines.

“Sands of Jakku” was just released on Disney’s YouTube channel and it follows Rey soon after meeting BB-8. The story is simple, but shows the true character of Rey. She is swift, smart, and solicitous. Take a look below at the first short.

Daisy Ridley reprised her role for the short, which was great. The animation style is rather simple, but I adored how you could see everything in her eyes. She cares about everyone, from droids to monsters. How can you not love Rey?!

The series will follow other powerful Star Wars females, like Jyn Erso (from Rogue One), Ahsoka Tano (from The Clone Wars and, more importantly, voiced by Muffy from That’s So Raven), and Padme Amidala (from the prequels).

I am openly not a huge Star Wars fan. I really enjoyed The Force Awakens, but everything else I’ve seen just isn’t my cup of tea. However, give me some small doses of animation, sprinkle in a gorgeous title card (narrated by my queen, Lupita Nyong’o, no less), and some female empowerment and I am all in.

These will be slowly released online and will be also airing on Disney Channel. I’m excited for more and looking forward to more girls seeing heroes that look like them. May the Force Be With You.