Sinister Stepmothers and Ex-Wives – Why can’t Disney give them surrogate mothers a break?

Had enough of princesses? Us too. Thing is, for just shy of a century Western animation has been littered with naïve views on female protagonists, in no small part down to the Walt Disney Company. While their heroines are far from the two-dimensional stereotypes many preach, there is one collective which dive deeper into culture, our psyche, and on occasion, history. These are of course the Disney villains.

A dynamic which stretches across the fifty-eight animated library more often than other narratives is of the wicked stepmothers or different forms of antagonistic surrogate parent. These are the films where the protagonist’s primary caregiver or secondary characters are also villains. Whether the archetypical Lady Tremaine from ’Cinderella’ (1950) or the ex-wife Ursula from ‘The Little Mermaid’ (1989) or redemptive Dr Robert Callaghan ‘Big Hero 6’ (2014). Continue reading Sinister Stepmothers and Ex-Wives – Why can’t Disney give them surrogate mothers a break?

Animated April: Mary Blair- Colours and Emotions

Walt Disney Animation Studios has dominated the animation industry and set standards, expectations, and provided joy for audiences for almost a century. An industry mostly controlled by men was shook up by an extremely influential woman, who would eventually become a legend in the animation world. Her name was Mary Blair. Mary Blair started as a watercolour artist before she became one of the most influential colourists and stylists of all time. Continue reading Animated April: Mary Blair- Colours and Emotions

Sundance Exclusive Review: Wendy

“Wendy” takes us back to Neverland with the new version of Peter Pan. It begins with a series of scenes full of sweetness and cuteness that will most likely hook (no pun intended) you into this film. Wendy (Devin France) is now facing the reality of survival by having to protect her brothers with possibly never returning home. Continue reading Sundance Exclusive Review: Wendy