Disney Movies Get the Bechdel Test

Watching the interaction of the female elephants in Dumbo yesterday (review coming soon) had me thinking that as part of the “feminist lens” with which I view these movies, I should really start submitting them to the Bechdel Test. For a movie to pass the Bechdel Test, it must:

  1. Have at least two female characters, and
  2. Have those characters talk to each other at some point
  3. About something other than a man

I’ll add retroactive Bechdel Test scores to the movies I’ve already reviewed, as follows.

Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs – Fail. There are two female characters. They talk to one another (in the old crone/poison apple scene). Their conversation, while mostly the Queen’s manipulation to get Snow to eat the apple, still incorporates as its main persuasive effort a man: “It’s apple pies that makes the men folks’ mouths water!”

Pinocchio – Fail. There is only one female character (the Blue Fairy), unless you count the fish, Cleo. They do not talk to each other.

Fantasia – Exempt. I’m going to abstain from rating this one as there is no dialog by which to judge the third prong of the Bechdel test.

With Dumbo and going forward, I will incorporate Bechdel Test ratings directly into the review.


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