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Monday, November 10, 2014

Movie Review: “Big Hero 6” Racist, Sexist

Movie Review: “Big Hero 6” Racist, Sexist

Disney's newest animated feature appears to be progressively multiracial, but pushes the same old regressive bigotry.

Irma Kant
Daily Bungle

The Walt Disney Company has been the most notorious propagator of racism, sexism, and every other "-ism" within Hollywood, and the fact that it markets its movies to children and "families" (dog whistle for "patriarchal white supremacists") make them all the more problematic.

Ever since it was founded by that raging anti-Semite, Walt Disney, the company has been brainwashing children with toxic ideals such as white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and cis-sexism, with its movies expressing bigotry both explicitly (Song of the South) and inexplicitly (Frozen's white-washed cast—seriously, being set in a predominantly white country and time period is no excuse for not having a single black character!)

However, the company has recently been trying to whitewash its racist legacy by producing more “diverse” and "progressive" movies. Earlier this year, it announced that its newest princess movie, Moana, will star a South Pacific heroine.

But its latest push at multiculturalism is its newest animated feature, and its first animated Marvel collaboration, Big Hero 6.

Many of my fellow social justice-minded movie critics have praised this film for its "diverse" cast with dynamic “multiracial” characters who defy tokenism, especially since this is the first movie to have a young male Asian protagonist who doesn't use martial arts.

Mic’s Gabe Bergado gushes in his review over how “for once, the white guy is the mascot while every other archetype of hero is present rather than simply 'tokenized.' This squad breaks both gender and race stereotypes while figuring out what's going on in their city—this is what the future should look like.”

Such critics have been far too kind.

This move may try to portray itself as "diverse" and "multicultural", but in reality, it's yet another problematic Disney movie that continues to push the same old regressive crap.

Trust me. I actually saw the movie—or at least I managed to stomach ten minutes of it before the sheer oppression triggered me to march out of the theater and promptly hurl on the sidewalk.

Let's ignore the fact that this movie was adapted from a comic book with a predominately Asian cast, which makes Disney's race-bending of the majority of its characters blatantly white-washing—and yes, the fact that one of the characters was turned into an African-American still makes his transformation white-washing.

On the surface, the main characters appear to be every color of the rainbow—black, white, yellow—yet there is one crucial color missing: red.

While the characters are white, black, and Asian, not one of them is Latino—a demographic that is grossly under-represented in media. With such blatant disregard towards Hispanics on display, you'd think that Rush Limbaugh helped produce this movie.

While we’re on the topic of under-representation, isn’t it ironic that this movie pretends to have a racially diverse cast when its characters, as with all previous Disney characters, are homogenously cis-gendered heterosexuals?

Disney, if you’re going to make you cast every color of the rainbow, why not have an actual rainbow character who’s gay or lesbian or bi or queer or trans or pan or asexual? Or are you proud in perpetuating the same toxic heteronormative cis-sexism that forces LGBTQ children to commit suicide?

Speaking of sexism, let’s talk about the female characters—all two of them! (Yes, even with a main cast of six, female characters have to remain in the minority. Heaven forbid Disney make a movie consisting of mostly, if not entirely, women. Thanks, Disney, for keeping the ladies in their place!)

Again, most critics have praised how the female protagonists, Go Go Tomago and Honey Lemon, are strong female characters who defy gender roles and stereotypes, especially with Honey Lemon being a science geek—which is significant considering how women are under-represented in science, even in the 21st century!

And again, these critics are being far too kind.

For as much as these two girls kick ass and take names, none of that matters when their very movie fails the Bechdel test.

Yes, there are two women. Yes, Honey and Go Go talk to each other. But neither of them talk about anything else other than defeating the main villain—who is predictably male. (Again, Disney, a female villain is too much for you to handle?)

So I don’t care how many gender stereotypes these two women tackle. In the end, they’re still talking about a man, so you might as well exchange their superhero outfits for frilly pink dresses and make them the damsels in distress as usual.

In conclusion, don't let the rainbow-colored cast fool you. This is yet another Disney movie that ignores Hispanics and LGBT folk and seriously fails the Bechdel Test. You're better off having your children watch Birth of a Nation.

Seriously, isn't it time to stop pretending that Disney is harmless fun and recognize it as the serious threat to civilized society that it is? When are we going to raise our pitchforks and torches and burn that oppressive company to the ground?

Irma Kant is a proud graduate of Brown University with a degree in Women’s Studies and minor in Social Justice. She is also an unabashedly proud half-black, queer, trans, pansexual, wolfkin, self-diagnosed autistic whose headmate “Angel” is the daughter of Wonder Woman and Loki. Read more of her feminist, social justice musings about pop culture on her Tumblr blog.


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Why do I get the unsettling feeling that I would be able to find this exact same rant verbatim on Tumblr—and the feminist “social justice warrior” would have written it un-ironically in good faith? SJWs have just that ability to pick at straws and find even the most remote trace of non-existent bigotry within a movie, game, or any other medium.