Food for Thought: Fantastic Female Characters and Where to Find Them

Hello guys! Sorry for the uh, dead silence coming my way, I’ve faced hoards of angry (And ravenous) relatives, children, friends (Who have successfully cleared out my fridge, thank you silverwolf and your tiny hedgehog sidekick), and I’ve successfully completed a very woobly friendmance with Anders. In short, my vacation has been a little busy. (Uh derp)

And because of last week’s run-in with a few friends and family, my kitchen has been cleared out. (NOES) So with an empty fridge and an empty heart, we’re going to have to prepare for something big and awesome and fantabulous for next week but in the mean-time I’d like to share some food for thought.

After all, it’s a new year with new opportunities, especially for (wait-for-it) strong female characters!

Sexism is over >BU

Ahahah, no. Not those kind of strong female characters… 

So what are we looking forward to in 2012? Very good things to come, such as: The Legend of Korra

I guess we'll just need to wait 100 years for the next Avatar, guys (Oh snap bad pun)

My good friend starshine5050 once wrote an article about the infamous Korra leak  and why it was definitely a big deal for Avatar fans. Since that fateful day it remains as the only preview of Korra beyond the official trailer (For those who were brave enough to watch the leaks); from early December ’till now there is a distinct absence of any information on this series. Maybe it’s a case of Nickelodeon twiddling their thumbs, completely ignorant of the ravenous fanbase Avatar has, or maybe they just have no idea how to market this new series. Which is a very funny move, considering the fact that the fandom is foaming at the mouth ala the Foamy Mouth Guy for any scrap of information. I’m sure if the execs at Nick even released a thirty second commercial with new footage there’d be an Avatar fandom explosion (All over my poor dashboard).

Now wouldn’t that be good for ratings if a few thousand or so frothing fans tuned in at the same time just to see one little commercial?

Yeah, this is what following a few tumblr blogs dedicated to Avatar is like as-of-right-now. And there is still no info.

Anyway I digress. A few memes have sprung up, joking that events like “America will be debt-free before Korra comes out” (Oh zing) and fans have even harassed Nickelodeon staff about a definitive release date.

They really take it in stride, hapless Nick-Twitter-rep. They really take it in stride.

So what is there to really say on the Korra news front? Well. Uh. Nothing but fan speculation, really. We understand that Korra is a very different creature from Avatar’s first protagonist, the delightfully cheerful Aang who’s quite firm on his airy, no-violence-unless-necessary approach.  Korra on the other-hand is a powerhouse; fans speculate she’s quicker to resort to force and is shown using fire bending, with its symbolic emphasis on offensiveness and anger, moreso than water bending, with its emphasis on redirection and fluidity.

Also unlike Aang, she’s not thrust into a world-wide war and we can only assume that she has been watched and cared for all her life; without the tragic loss of life of her people and a war-torn world to deal with, events seem to be localized to one bubbling point.  The only immediate conflict (That we know about) is the bender-versus-non-bender strife that is the basis for Korra. :U Which uh, doesn’t really explain much, therefore leaves a lot of plot possibilities open, that thusly explains why every other day my tumblr dash is flooded with Avatar picture-sets, quotes, gifs, and of course the new litany for 2012: something big will happen before Korra comes out.

On the plus side, at least there is ONE definitive release date for a very promising animated feature set for June 22, 2012: Pixar’s Brave

Historically accurate? Maybe not. But exciting and vibrant and look-at-that-frizzy-hair-that-must-be-painful-to-animate? Yes.

In the tradition of Hayao Miyazaki (Who by the by is one of Pixar’s greatest sources of inspiration), the animators at Pixar have focussed their first ever “fairy tale” movie around a central heroine, the Princess Merida, a skilled archer who wants to carve her own path in life. Inadvertently her desire to defy the status quo sets a curse upon the land which Merida will (No doubt) undo in some spectacular feat of bravery brought to life through the beauty that is Pixar animation. :U Sounds pretty cut and dry, no?

To date Merida is set to be Pixar’s “first heroine”, but that’s not to say that the animation company has skimped out on memorable female characters, who have left their mark on viewers. There’s Dory, who everyone quoted at some point during seventh grade, Colette the chef making her way in a career that is considered a man’s world (Women chefs have it hard in professional kitchens; don’t get me started), and more recently, Ellie, who taught the audience that life is an adventure and to happily pursue it. (Along with that iconic montage which I am linking up to right now because we all need a moment to cry QAQ)

So, do I have high hopes and incredibly high expectations for Brave? Yes, I do; okay so Pixar has disappointed a few times before (LOLCARSDESU), but, if there is one thing that I know they’ll get right, it’s in creating a memorable character and bringing her to life in a world of color and style. I mean, just take a look at the trailer:

Annnd now we’re going to take a step back from all this CG glory to talk about something new and exciting up and coming from Disney animation studios:  The Snow Queen/”Frozen” set to release sometime in 2013 (If the world doesn’t end then)!

Concept art for "Frozen"/"The Snow Queen"

For those of you who don’t keep up with Disney and the comings and goings of their studio, their version of Han Christien Andersen’s fairy-tale, The Snow Queen, has been in the works since uh… 2009-ish (Or maybe even earlier!). Just recently, by our friends at rottentomatoes, more definitive information was released which I will summarize quickly here:

  • It is scheduled to be Disney’s next traditionally animated feature (YAAAAAY!)
  • Just like the traditional fairy-tale, the female protagonist sets out to rescue her lover from the evil clutches of the Snow Queen. (HUH, sounds like a recent Adventure Time episode…)
  • And just like “Tangled”, the change from “The Snow Queen” to “Frozen” is either a ploy to attract a bigger target audience with a gender-neutral name, or to avoid some confusion with the famous Russian animated version.

Either way, it’s something to look out for, especially because of the promise of traditional animation. Disney’s last traditional film, The Princess and the Frog, was a throw-back to the old musical-style; it was good but perhaps “Frozen” will take a step back from any musical-mishaps and pioneer something new? Or will Disney sucker us in, yet again? (Probably.)

And – as an aside because Disney just loves to tease and get us into the theaters – with the rerelease of Beauty and the Beast 3-D comes the release of an animated short: Tangled Ever After.

Well, at least it's not a direct-to-DVD-sequel

Rapunzel, our (new) favorite cast-iron-skillet wielding heroine, is back in a fairy-tale wedding to her beloved Flynn Rider Eugene. As observed by one friend, this almost seems like “a fanfiction glorified” into a four-minute or so short before a rehash (With *Cue Inverseman’s voice* 3-D) of a Disney classic. A cop out on the Disney animation studio’s part?

Oh definitely.

But, and I am going to admit it (As will starshine if you prod her enough), we can’t help but want to be suckered into it. It already satisfies a few dreams of Tangled fans, although judging by the synopsis there will be more Maximus-and-Pascal-side-character-shenanigans than actual “substance”…

BUT, you gotta admit, they have polished up their CG; it looks quite fabulous, and arguably, on-par with Pixar in its smoothness and expression:

And, last but not least, with the start of the new winter television line-up, there is ALSO a new season of ABC’s Once Upon a Time.

Things are not what they seem here in Stonybrook -- I mean "Storybrook".

Okay, okay, so it looks a little cheesy. I’ll admit there are some scenes, some lines, some CG dragons, and wolves with red-eyes that are laughable. But, this series is arguably a power-house, taking classic fairy-tales, throwing them upside down and inside out, with the writers from LOST who just love to torment and tease the viewer. It’s good stuff, something that makes Sunday nights all the more exciting. Really. :U

Reviews are admittedly not my kind of thing, so I am going to leave an in-depth analysis of Once Upon a Time to my dear starshine (O u O Please write review? *Nudgenudge*), but I do implore you all to give it a shot. :U There’s femme fatales, beautiful blonde women (In red leather jackets) saving the day, kicking down doors, and going toe-to-toe with evil queens/witches, the cryptic child that knows everything trope, and Ginnifer Goodwin just being freaking adorable in every scene…

For the fairy-tale fan it’s so worth it.

Once Upon a Time Summer Trailer

Okay, so to summarize this monster post: There are good things to come for strong female characters in 2012. I’ll be on the look-out for Korra news, Brave news, and uh, well, just anything that strikes my fancy that comes with the idea of a female lead… Because well, it just had to be said.  It’s all food for thought, yanno. Get the gears going during winter break, when you can really sit down and examine what the industry is throwing at us.

After all, we’ve got a ways to go until strangely curved female poses are recognized as highly improbable and just plain funny to look at, but, for now, it looks like we’ve got a lot to look forward to in the new year!

Um. If you say so, ladies.

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Fenrir

A would-be anthropologist, writer, food historian, and professional glutton hoping to combine fandom with her love of food. Ever wondered what a nug tasted like? Is butterbeer alcoholic? If you've asked such questions and are already drooling at the thought of a big old plate of lembas bread, then you're in the right place

Latest posts by Fenrir (see all)

Fenrir

A would-be anthropologist, writer, food historian, and professional glutton hoping to combine fandom with her love of food. Ever wondered what a nug tasted like? Is butterbeer alcoholic? If you've asked such questions and are already drooling at the thought of a big old plate of lembas bread, then you're in the right place

7 Comments:

  1. One Upon A Time WILL BE REVIEWED! Also, we're going to have to find a way to watch Tangled Ever After without having to go see Beauty and the Beast.

  2. I didn't eat THAT much of your food…did I?

    • You single handedly ate an entire box of Pillsbury reindeer cookies and biscuits

      I'm actually impressed.

      But the true evil was the hedgehog who claimed, each night, that she was "full" then proceeded to ask for "moar food, please"

  3. Pingback: The Good, the Bad, and The Legend of Korra | Moar Powah!

  4. Pingback: Disney's Frozen Roasted by Fans | Moar Powah!

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