Wall-E: The Gender-fication of Robots

Movies featuring anthropomorphic non-human characters are nearly always rich with questions about “gender” roles, since the assignment of gender onto such characters – especially inanimate ones – is entirely based on the writers’ imaginations, and the features selected to gender something “male” or “female” often reflect assumptions, stereotypes, and conventional gender roles. Pixar’s latest, Wall-E, […]

Nim’s (almost awesome) Island

I just saw Nim’s Island tonight (I seem to be on a movies-aimed-at-children kick), and oh man, it was so close to truly awesome. The lead character, Nim, is fantastic. She’s daring and creative and very capable, but also very much a kid. When her father goes missing during a bad storm, she handily repairs […]

A Brief Review of The Spiderwick Chronicles

I saw The Spiderwick Chronicles this week, and I was really impressed. I haven’t read the source material and can’t say how the film stacks up against the books, but on its own  Spiderwick Chronicles has a great deal of awesome. First of all, it’s a fun fantasy story with coherent internal logic, sympathetic characters […]

The Golden Compass

You’re no doubt aware that there’s a new kids’ action/adventure film coming out called The Golden Compass. This film is already generating controversy because the author is an atheist, and Christian groups are already organizing to boycott this film because of its supposed atheist content. I’ve already reviewed the book, specifically discussing its atheist content: […]

Karaba the Witch

Hold onto your hats, folks — I found a children’s animated adventure that has nearly as many female main characters as male ones! Possibly more, depending on where you draw the line on which characters are main characters.This film is Kirikou and the Sorceress. The hero of this fairy tale is Kirikou, a tiny baby […]

The Secret Garden

The 1993 version of The Secret Garden introduced Mary Lennox, a spoilt brat who’s been given everything she thought to ask for – except her parent’s love and attention. This luxurious lifestyle is brought to a screeching halt when they die, and she’s sent to live with her uncle (the husband of her late mother’s […]