A while back I read a post about how the majority of movies pushes women to the background, if they are there at all! In order to give our girls a positive image of women, I assembled a list of movies that pass the Bechdel test (they must have at least two female characters of which the name is known to the audience, they must talk to one another and these conversations must be about something other then men. ) and have inspiring female characters in them.
- Nanny McPhee. A bit of a modern Mary Poppins. There are is a sequel to the first movie.
- The Sound of Music. This old Julie Andrews movie has a multitude of attractions. First of all, the main character Maria struggles with her destiny and chooses a different path. It is also about raising kids in a loving manner instead of a strict hierarchical home, and all this against a beautiful backdrop of Austria and the tension of an upcoming war. And of course there's numerous contagious songs.
- Mary Poppins. Like the sound of music, this movie is about overcoming family trouble trough love and play, rather than through authority. It is such a well-known movie that I hardly need to explain further.
- The Incredibles. Both my daughter and I really like this movie. I do because there are about as many male as female characters and the women are just as powerful as the men. When the superheroes fall into oblivion, Helen does fall into the SAHM role while her husband goes out to work, but I think it's also a good thing that this is not stigmatized.
- Alice in Wonderland. Maybe the only Disney movie that isn't about finding love for the female heroin and where she gets to do lots of problem solving.
- The Parent Trap. Two twins who have been separated accidentally meet up and scheme to get their parents back together
- Chicken Run. When a bunch of female characters scheme to overthrow their oppressor and become free. The male savior turns out a fraud and they have to result to their own devices to succeed.
- Lilo and Stitch. Lovely animation about a girl struggling to keep her sister out of the hands of social services. A very strange space creature/pet causes a lot of mayhem.
- Herbie Fully Loaded. A movie about girl and a car, pretty much enough out of the typical gender pattern to be worth a watch
- Corpse Bride. Even though this movie does turn around love and victimization of women, it is gorgeous and the women are not without voice
- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Both Narnia movies picture several strong female characters and beautiful fairy tale sceneries
- The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
- The Princess and the Frog
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix
- Harry Potter and the Halfblood Prince
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I doubted about including the Harry Potter movies in this list, they do not all pass the Bechdel test, but there are some very strong female characters throughout the series, and romance is but a very small part of the storyline. Harry Potter does touch some very important topics, so I did include them, and I think all of them are great to watch (not with small kids)
- How to Train Your Dragon. Find the feminist review of the movie here
- Alice in Wonderland (Tim Burton - 2010). A couple of very strong female roles in this one. Very Burton-esque movie that tells what happens after the well known story, when Alice returns to Wonderland. Maybe not adapted to very small viewers.
What do you think? Any children's movies you would like to add? Jot them down in the comments below