Disney recently produced its first full length cartoon starring a Black character, The Princess and the Frog.
Strangely, this movie failed to find a wide audience and floundered at the box office. Today, Disney releases another Pixar created film - Toy Story 3. Pixar Studios saved Disney in the 1990s from a string of failed box office disappointments and rejuvenated interest in cartoons, though in a completely different direction:
Pixar Animation Studios is an American CGI animation production company based in Emeryville, California, United States. To date, the studio has earned twenty-four Academy Awards, six Golden Globes, and three Grammys, among many other awards, acknowledgments and achievements and has made $5.5 billion worldwide. It is one of the most critically acclaimed film studios of all time, and, according to Rotten Tomatoes, perhaps the most critically acclaimed film studio of all time. It is currently the only film studio to have produced a film franchise of which all its films have received a 100% "Certified Fresh" rating on the site (Toy Story). It is best known for its CGI-animated feature films which are created with PhotoRealistic RenderMan, its own implementation of the industry-standard Renderman image-rendering API used to generate high-quality images.Odd, Pixar films have utilized primarily white voices in the films they produce and overwhelming white characters. In fact, Samuel L. Jackson is the most high-profiled Black supplier of a voice to a Pixar film and yet, he is merely a secondary character in the 2004 film The Incredibles.
Woody, Buzz Lightyear, The Parr family in The Incredibles and virtually every person (in many Pixar films, the main characters are fish, monsters, cars, bugs or rats virtually all voiced by white people) in Pixar films is white.
Diversity must have been left on the cutting room floor of Pixar as this noble idea is left out of every Pixar film. It seems story-telling, narrative and ingenuity are in demand at this company.
Odd though, this lack of diversity in the actual people that populate the world of Pixar films has lead to only massive box office returns.
One website discussed the lack of diversity in Pixar films, but failed to address the real problem inherent in the discussion: Pixar's usage of white people in their films and voices provided primarily by white actors correlates to massive box office returns.
Some have even dared to label Pixar... conservative!
In fact, Pixar's films have had the incredible ability to upset special interest groups, such as a group of obese people who found the film WALL-E intolerant to their collectively turgid ways:
WALL-E has garnered rave reviews for its satire on consumer culture, in which future humans are depicted as a group of obese gluttons who never leave their padded floating arm chairs.
But one group is not amused - the swelling ranks of fat pride groups, who believe the film propagates anti-obesity hysteria comparable with the quest for the perfect body by the eugenics movement in Nazi Germany.
The backlash has become a cause celebre for a growth industry in the United States, where pro-flab "fat-tivists" are campaigning for human rights for the full of figure.
As the WALL-E controversy hit the headlines, the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance (Naafa) was last week holding its annual convention in Los Angeles, a celebration of so-called "flabulous figures", seminars on fat discrimination, a fat fashion show, podgy pool parties and entertainment from weighty singing group The Fatimas.
Maybe Pixar films can be blamed for the high obesity rates among Black women.
Pixar films are stunningly white, and this translates into massive box office returns and critical acclaim from reviewers and film-goers alike.
WALL-E, The Incredibles and the Toy Story trilogy are movies that target white people. Save for Samuel L. Jackson's character, the world of Pixar is a world where Black people scarcely exist.
Stuff Black People Don't Like includes Pixar films, for a Black character outside of the redoubtable Samuel L. Jackson are few and far between in the Pixar Universe. To infinity and beyond?
In the Pixar world, this correlates to Black people being left out.