DC Superhero Girls: Capitalizing on Female Empowerment

DC Superhero Girls: Capitalizing on Female Empowerment

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
The conception of female empowerment in modern-day media is beginning to seep into the realm of Western animation. Both Steven Universe (based on popular opinion) and Star vs. the Forces of Evil are presently-broadcasted, highly-rated animated series that portray female characters in a powerful and unproblematic light. In this sense we can argue that the series which are currently of high-status in the world of animation come from feminist perspectives.   But these aren't the series of focus in this article. The series under the critical telescope is DC Superhero Girls, webisodes featuring the prominent females of the DC universe (e.g. Wonderwoman, Harley Quinn, Batgirl, etc.)  interacting in a high school-based setting- one tailored to the superhero lifestyle, of course. The webseries follows a similar format to Monster High and Ever After High, which also consist of short online…
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Where are the Girl-Crazed Boys in Animation?

Where are the Girl-Crazed Boys in Animation?

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
  Western animation does this all the time: It gives female characters a "boy-crazed" trait. And it's not just treated as a minor characteristic. Typically, its a defining element of their personalities. Western animation seems to carry the impression that young females are constantly engaged in high/middle-school crushes—and it can be quite humorous. But more importantly it begs the question of: Where are the girl-crazed boys? Let's start off by looking at Disney Channel's longest-aired television program Phineas and Ferb. This series stars two young boys who decide that they want to create the most spontaneous summer ever by building daily wild contraptions. The series was quite male-led, which was obvious in its premise. And adding to the heteronormative perspective from which its story is told, the two most significant female characters, Candace Flynn-Fletcher and Isabella Garcia-Shapiro, are…
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X-Men Evolution: When “for kids” and Complexity Meet

X-Men Evolution: When “for kids” and Complexity Meet

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Reviews
X Men: Evolution (2000-2003) is the long-forgotten animated series that was known to be either a hit or miss among young viewers and long-time X-Men fans alike. As the successor of the highly-rated 90's X-Men cartoon, many people were upset at how Evolution strayed away from this series and, consequently, the original comics. Targeted towards a much younger audience, the latter show placed more focus on developing the social dynamic of the X-Men as high school youth over their lives as mutant superheroes.   Despite the series' stray from its origin, its premise was refreshing in the world of animation at the time of its broadcast. Characterization is very strong, especially for having such a large ensemble of protagonists- each character managed to get their turn in the spotlight. And because the series…
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Star Vs. the Forces of Evil: Subtle Feminism

Star Vs. the Forces of Evil: Subtle Feminism

Blog, Cartoons, Critical Discussions, Featured Posts
Star vs. the Forces of Evil is a DisneyXD animated series about a young princess named Star Butterfly who inherits a magical wand on her 14th birthday. If this doesn't sound random enough, the story follows her as she moves from the alternate dimension of Mewnie to present-day Earth. Although this cartoon's first impression is that of a casual watch targeted at kids, the perspective the story is told from feels surprisingly unique. The series has a subtle charm that is lacking in a lot of modern animated series. But what makes it really special is it's background progressiveness. Characters and scenarios stray far from common television tropes; characterization, even of background persona, is in-depth, especially throughout the second season; and most significantly, its dialogue incorporates subtle messages in support of feminism (Feminist: "Someone…
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