I am torn about the new adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. One of the beauties of that book is it has very few words, leaving much open to the imagination of the reader. Having it rendered in film will, I fear, spoil the imaginings of generations of future readers who will see the story as the film interprets it.
I have yet to see the movie, but the preview alerted me that one of the wild things has a female voice. This prompted me to ask — what if Max had been re-imagined as Maxine? Such a shift would have altered the imaginings of many readers, encouraging them to see females as viable wild leads. While some will certainly scoff at this suggestion, I would ask them:
Why are the majority of books and films still populated with male protagonists?
What messages do you think this might send to young readers/viewers?
When over half the world’s population is female, while are only 1/10 to 1/5 of characters female?
When females are in lead roles in children’s texts, how often are they framed in terms of the princess/romance narrative?
Quick, here is a fun feminist Friday brain excercise for you, name, as quickly as you can, ten children’s films with a female lead who is not a princess…