I reserve judgement on Batfleck.
So, how about that new X-Men movie? Pretty cool huh? And doesn’t Guardians of the Galaxy look fun? And don’t get me started on how awesome Winter Soldier was. And yes, I even liked The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (feel free to judge me). Yep, whether in movies produced by Marvel or other production companies like 20th Century Fox and Sony, Marvel characters are everywhere these days.
The same cannot be said for the characters of DC Comics. While it’s true that DC is amping up for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and the following Justice League movie, DC has otherwise remained largely out of theaters (at least, compared to Marvel). So, what’s the issue?
Personally, I think part of the problem, among others, is that DC has a prevalent great weakness, which is also one of its greatest strengths: Batman.
As I mentioned in my last post, two companies flourished during Disney’s struggles post Disney Renaissance. One was Pixar, who couldn’t completely celebrate the fall of Disney as they were tied to Disney for distribution. The other was DreamWorks Animation SKG.
For some history on the rivalry between Disney and DreamWorks, check out the Nostalgia Chick’s two-part video on the subject.
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYKVjG4C.x?p=1 width=”720″ height=”433″]
[blip.tv http://blip.tv/play/AYKXm0MC.x?p=1 width=”720″ height=”433″]
One aspect of this rivalry not really covered in these videos is that DreamWorks’s goal to be the anti-Disney seems to have extended to their depictions of female characters. As far as I can tell, there’s no established cutesy name for DreamWorks’s female characters, so I’m going to call them SKG’s (the DreamWorks abbreviation that stands for founders Spielberg, Katzenberg, and Geffen) SFCs (Strong Female Characters). Continue reading
Justice League: Unlimited
[Spoilers for Man of Steel, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Lion King, Arrow, Justice League: Unlimited, Batman: The Animated Series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, and Young Justice]
I’m sure you can all guess my answer based on frequent references to Avatar: The Last Airbender, Disney, and the DC Animated Universe. But then, perhaps I’m just immature, a wo-man child who can’t move past her adolescence and become an adult. After all, many adults of my age and older automatically dismiss anything animated as something for children that they’ve outgrown. Well, I should qualify that. They dismiss non-adult humor based animation. Characters snarking and making off color jokes is much more mature, you see.
Of course, I think this opinion is absurd, and there are several reasons why I think those who dismiss entertainment that’s both animated and not explicitly for adults are missing out on some of the best TV shows and movies out there.
So, I’m currently a little stalled on my next blog post, “Are Cartoons Just For Kids?” (I’m sure you know what my answer is). Therefore, I thought I’d introduce some updates.
First, I mentioned in my “Struggles With Representation Part 1: Race” that many fans of established characters often have issues accepting a white character being made a minority. For some people this is still true, as tumblr. (I know, they’re probably all 10-year-olds who lied about their age) got into a little tizzy recently about some very popular fancasting for Wonder Woman:
The pre-Merida lineup of “Disney Princesses”
Let me begin this post with a note. I know representation is tricky. For a really good perspective on the challenges of choosing to represent non-white/straight/male characters, check out this blog post by Lindsay Ellis AKA Nostalgia Chick.
That being said, I hate that Disney made Mulan a “Disney Princess,” and not just because the character is in no way a princess. You see, Mulan holds a very special place in my heart, and Disney decided to rip that special place out of my chest, examine it, and then shred it to pieces because it didn’t fit their marketing strategy.
Edit: For the sake of this post, I’m only discussing Mulan and company as female characters. Disney’s issues with race and non-American cultures is another issue. Continue reading
Depp as “Tonto” in The Lone Ranger
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about representations of race in media. This is partly because I personally cringe every time I see a commercial for The Lone Ranger with Johnny Depp as Tonto, but I know there aren’t wide-spread protests about it, and many Native Americans seem fine with his representation (though others do find it offensive). So, I find myself asking, “Is it okay for me to be offended as a non-member of the minority being represented? Am I just showing my liberal white guilt when my first reaction to Johnny Depp Johnny-Depping it up as Tonto is to smack my forehead and ask how anyone thought this was a good idea?” I’m not sure I have the answer, hence why I ask the question.
Another reason racial representation has been on my mind lately, especially as it pertains to fandom, is due to representations, and the reactions to those representations, of my favorite character from one of my favorite shows, Young Justice (RIP). This character, Artemis Crock, was half-Vietnamese with naturally blonde hair. Largely due to this unusual genetic combination, representations of this character, both in the companion comic and fan art are constantly being criticized as “whitewashing” the character, even if the artist makes a clear attempt to show Vietnamese facial features. Seriously, it seems there are some users on tumblr whose only occupations are seeking out representations of this character and arguing whether or not they’re offensive.
Now, changing representations of established characters is something I covered in my last post about “adaption rage.” But, I’ll be expanding on it here. Continue reading