Animation Research

5 generic figures - which are female?So - helping to interview prospective students for the 'comics' degree at Teesside, being surprised by the popularity of one single style of cartoon and the stereotypes of how women and men are represented in them...This has made me decide to do some proper research into gender representation in animation.
The much quoted statement from head of animation for Disney's Frozen - "Historically speaking, animating female characters are really, really difficult, because they have to go through these range of emotions, but you have to keep them pretty" should be obviously irrelevant to most animators outside the BigBoxOffice - because in animation, as in life, women (or girls) are not necessarily pretty...and especially not when they are being crazed, furious, or triangular.
crossing sign - green man...or green womanPlease, if you are a student, or even if you are not...DO NOT suppose that to make your generic character female you should put a bow in its hair or enlarge its eyelashes. Especially if it is a robot. Instead, observe what signifies actual masculinity and maybe think about making your generic character male by e.g. giving him a moustache.
You will have to work harder to observe whether women and men actually have different facial characteristics and what they are... and to what extent they can be represented in a minimalistic cartoon. To notice whether men and women stand, move, gesture in different ways. And also to consider whether it really matters if people can instantly identify that robot as female or male anyway.

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