Film This Chick Stuff! Part One: A Call for Aid

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT
 

Film This Chick Stuff! Part One: A Call for Aid

Help MovieBob, Ladies of The Escapist. You're his only hope.

Read Full Article

What the hell people! Comment! I don't have an educated opinion on any subject on this article. I can honestly say that I never played with any action figures/dolls and never really watched any cartoons outside of Nickelodian. I was into K'nex and Legos and Nintendo...that's pretty much my childhood right there.....and baseball in the backyard with neighbors.
Is it insecurity that's keeping everyone away?

I don't think I can really make a contribution to this. I grew up with Digimon, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles. I was way more into the boy stuff. I hated barbies and dolls and anything remotely girly...

I was a strange little girl.

I'll be looking forward to reading next weeks Intermission, even if that cursed Y chromosome prevents me from being able to contribute in any meaningful way. It should make for an interesting read.

I think the reason chick stuff did not age so well was due in largest part to the sacrifice of the whole thing by the feminist movement. They claimed the whole thing was girly, because it reinforced gender stereotypes. The Game Overthinker (/wink) has already spoken well on the logical problem of feminists against girls who merely like girly things.

This brings us to our current situation. As a guy, I can say proudly the the Ghostbusters and TMNTs were staples of my childhood fiction diet. I know of no adult girl who will so proudly laud Gem. My wife (an exception for never apologizing for the gender of her tastes) would joyfully see a Rainbow Bright remake, but she appears to stand alone at the grave of Miss Bright.

In short, chicks (on the mass) either don't want the pink aisle revisited or are utterly apathetic towards it. This can be attributed to chicks now hating chick things, chicks being more able to let go of the fancies of their youth, chicks being quicker to mature, or a hundred different reasons. The fact, however, remains: The Pink Aisle hasn't walked the red carpet, because precious few would care to see the event.

Actually I liked Strawberry Shortcake. But I think that had more to do with the fact that The Purple Pieman was pimp. He had this pretty awesome dance too. I mean could you make cookies out of bubble gum and axel grease?

But honestly, judicious use of toys was fun for me. He-Man and Cobra Commander fighting Rainbow Brite and Strawberry Shortcake in Castle Greyskull, throwing foot soldiers. I can't be the only person who thought outside the toy aisle.

Girls toys were universally shitty. There's no getting around it. I played with barbies when I was really little, but when I did that I was imitating relationships. Girl stuff tended to be shit because no one knew how to write for girls. Chick flicks are about emotional roller coasters, or they try to be, but girl's programming was about nonsensical fluff. Boys programming got stuff done. People apparently didn't think girls could handle serious issues, when apparently they lap that shit up when it comes out for us. I hate to say it because I will never touch that damn franchise myself, but Twilight may have been so popular because girls are pretty much STARVED for youth-focused media that tugs on your heart strings, however ham-fistedly they may be doing it.

NO, SOME DAMN PONY CONTRACTING THE ICKIES FROM AN EVIL WIZARD DOES NOT COUNT AS EMOTIONALLY COMPELLING.

Honestly, I can't believe that no one has ever done a big budget Powerpuff Girls movie. I honestly don't know if that counts as a "girl show" but as a boy, I loved it, and always wanted a good movie. Of course Hollywood would probably turn it into a teen romance story, but still, it feels like an untapped well.

Wakefield:
I don't think I can really make a contribution to this. I grew up with Digimon, Power Rangers, Ninja Turtles. I was way more into the boy stuff. I hated barbies and dolls and anything remotely girly...

I was a strange little girl.

Likewise. I was that one girl who always went to the little ditch the guys dug and played Beyblades with them. :/

The problem with female toys, though, is that they're often filled with so much fluff that it's extremely difficult to get a conflict out of it to make a compelling movie.

Working in a book/toy store, I can tell you that young boys are by far the worst off.

Until the age of 10/12, you have sweet jack all that's not Postman Pat or Bob the Builder. Maybe Dinosaurs.
At 10/12, you get access to Pirates/Football, and then you get into the whole Horror/Science area.

Girls though? Girls have chewed up everything boys had - half of them spray it pink and half kept it as it was. Venus, the fifth Ninja Turtle, was hated with a passion. And there's never a time where an age where a Tiara doesn't sell.

While I'll make sure you have a list of stuff to use Bob, I wonder if you've ever seen the sheer level of hatred thrown at the child who chooses the "WRONG" toy?

Honestly, picking up a pink notebook or a doll can be met with horrified looks from some boys parents, and a girl's Meccano set? Well, it's going to have the be painted pink (No, I'm not joking, there's pink Meccano for girls) or they may as well wave goodbye to the idea of grandkids.

And as for age? Unless the age is specifically stated on the toy, the parents/guardians are totally lost. I've actually been told that it's ILLEGAL for toys not to have the recommended age written on them.

But I'm rambling...prepare for a bringing up to date :)

hmm, well there was an old rainbow bright movie that I remember being good... not sure why and apparently there is a new my little ponies series, I heard about it watching buzz, its apparently on a network called hub and it seems to be about one of them who hates the others and wants to get away from them, possibly murder them.... damn that does sound pretty good

edit: ok that was... odd, well one things for certain Im not the gender that my little ponys is aimed at

I think part of the reason that old girls stuff doesnt translate as well is that girls are more willing to let go of it and move on to drama type things and those dont lend them selfs well to toys, or at least the ones we do here dont

Grievous222:
Honestly, I can't believe that no one has ever done a big budget Powerpuff Girls movie. I honestly don't know if that counts as a "girl show" but as a boy, I loved it, and always wanted a good movie. Of course Hollywood would probably turn it into a teen romance story, but still, it feels like an untapped well.

they did make a powerpuff girls movie, it was wicked

I didn't have TV while growing up, but I adored cartoons and would obsess over every bootlegged video tape I could swindle out of my relatives with cable. I don't really remember if I had a preference for girl type shows or boy type shows. I know I favoured shows that my parents didn't want me to watch, but beyond that, My Little Pony to Strawberry Shortcake, it was all all fair game. One thing that surprised me later on was that I always had an interest in anime, even before I knew it was such. My most watched cartoons were stuff like Bumpty-Boo, the Pink Dragon, Mrs. Spoon, and Wizard of Oz.

To a more on topic note; I would love to see Michael Bay's take on My Little Pony. I would laugh so hard.

From what I can remember, and that is speaking from someone who weren't allowed near the pink toys, the thing about "girls franchises" was that there seldom was any backstory to it. Us boys got the heroes with the villains, allies and the fort of doom, the girl stuff was blanc slates, ready to be filled with whatever personality was wanted.
Also, can you imagine if they tried to adapt a girl toy to an audience as old as we are? Take the stereotypical girl toy Barbie. "We boys" got GI Joe witch i didn't like, but anyway, it wasn't a movie anyone would have laughed at me for going to the cinema to see, not with a kid but for my own enjoyment. Now think how that would have looked if the toy getting a live-action movie was Barbie, and a 23 year old woman went to see it. It wouldn't be the same thing. Even if I'm going to the extreme with my example, I think it bares some merit.
Anyway, I'm looking forward to see what next weeks intermission will bring. Interesting subject indeed.

Heh, that was a pretty funny joke about the anime/manga culture being better...wait...what do you mean he's serious? Huh, the anime/manga people I've met in my time were worse basement dwellers than anyone in my D&D group and we had some winners there. Not to say he's wrong, but man I'd love to meet them instead of the ones I did.

OT: Well, growing up with my female cousin who was a year older than me meant I had to play what she wanted to, and I am intimately familiar with Rainbow Bright, My Little Pony, Care Bears, and to a smaller extent Starwberry Shortcake. I must say that (Oh, guess I should clarify that I am male, so please color perceptions appropriately) I'd agree that they all lacked substance. I actually pretty much hated Transformers and G.I. Joe, but at least they did something interesting, and more importantly had decent villains for conflict purposes. As it has been said, getting the ickies from a mean mean wizzard isn't really compelling for anyone.

I guess if they wanted to do some kind of She-Ra or Gem reboot to try and salvage something there, they could, but at that point they might as well just try and make a new IP with a strong female lead. I suppose I've rambled enough for now though, but hey what's the point if we can't mine our nostalgia for cheap knock off movies?

I wonder...

I may be a pretty darn effeminate male, but I'm still a male and thus I didn't grow up with "girls' stuff". (In fact peer pressure made darn sure I ran far away from anything on the distaff side.) Given the general suggestion that there isn't much to remember there, maybe it's time to sort-of subvert the nostalgia trope? As in, don't make a movie based on a big girls' toy, but on a whole new IP, modelled on old standards, but without the supposed "suckiness". (Like a girls' toy version of Matt Hazard, but good.)

I think there's some good design space to be tapped there that wasn't done much in the 80s in order to stay sufficiently "girly". Particularly with Western versions of the "magical girl" concept, which I've always wanted to see done in a more serious style. Maybe sit some Hollywood screenwriters down with episodes of Princess (Guinevere/Starla) and the Jewel Riders or back issues of Amethyst, Princess of Gemworld, and encourage them to do something like this to appeal to the 80s crowd. I don't know if it'd work, but I think it'd be fun to try.

I am a girl and I am about your age Bob, so maybe I can help. I have been sitting here for the last ten minutes trying to think of a girlie franchise I would want to see made into a movie and I am coming up blank. Cabadge Patch Kids? No. Barbie, well Kelly Sheridan is doing her best with that and it is not all that great. My Little Pony? Rainbow Bright? Carebears? Yeah, not much to work with. I suppose we could go a little out there and try a full length feature film of She-Ra, but to be honest she is kind of a spin off.

I did a quick Google and this is what I found as top link:
http://www.retrojunk.com/details_articles/85/

Those are all (with the exception of She-Ra) not just "girlie" but also toddlerish. The pink side of the aisle is not quite out of the forumla and diaper stage apparently. The is at the heart of the problem, girl stuff was (is?) boring and babyish. Nothing witty, deep or epic. Pablum mixed with pink frills and lace.

I will give it some more thought tonight at work Bob, but I think you are s.o.l on this one.

Electrogecko:
What the hell people! Comment! I don't have an educated opinion on any subject on this article. I can honestly say that I never played with any action figures/dolls and never really watched any cartoons outside of Nickelodian. I was into K'nex and Legos and Nintendo...that's pretty much my childhood right there.....and baseball in the backyard with neighbors.
Is it insecurity that's keeping everyone away?

Some of us that would normally comment with educated opinions have decided to send e-mail instead. I know I did.

I remember they tried this at least once, with the Bratz movie. That was quite possibly the worst thing ever, but then again Bratz aren't old enough to be nostalgic yet. I remember how Mighty Max got a cartoon series while Polly Pocket didn't, yet there are still Polly Pocket toys and Mighty Max hasn't been heard from in over a decade, that hardly seems fair...man I'd love to see a Mighty Max movie...

I think the topic is interesting, and it really makes me wish I could contribute, but I'm a guy and as clueless as you.

However the impression I get (which might be dead wrong), is that those movies and such ar absent because there just weren't that many memorable toys for girls. I know that most of the girls in my family (sisters, cousins etc) either played with dolls or more creative toys like Duplo (and more reasently DS games like New Super Mario Bros or Wii games like Mario Kart). I wasn't much of a toy person myself - I liked to draw.

Some girl stuff has already been turned into movies (though probably not the big sellers) such as Barbie.

Okay. I was and am mainly a tomboy. I grew up with brothers and was basically raised by my father because my mom was in nursing school during my formative years. But my mom did try to scramble and turn me into a real girl once she realized what had happened. She didn't really succeed, but I do have some typical girly things I liked.

My Little Pony (but they already made a few movies)
Rainbow Brite
Beanie Babies
Skip-It

And while I didn't like them, I remember
Furbies
Cabbage Patch Kids
Tamagocchis/Giga Pets/Whatever
Puppy/Kitty/Bunny/Pony surprise

I have to admite I have no idea how most of these would translate into movies, though. I'm not sure you're asking the right audience, to be honest. I will post it up on Twitter though, and maybe my friends can help.

What was the name of the show with the little girl robot? It wasn't Punky Brewster but it was the same sort of era. Maybe there would be something there.

I think the lack of female analogs to the GI Joe/ Transformers movies is mostly an indictment of the modern american male. Which is to say at a certain age girls became women, and to quote the good book, put away childish things.
Contrastingly movie going 18-35 year old males still live in a psuedo-childhood, where giant robots, and super heroes, and such are still cool.
I don't claim to understand the old generations very well. But I'm pretty sure if 18 year old male in 1978 told other 18 year old he wanted to see a Howdy Doody movie, he would have been ostracized and burnt at the disco stake.

sszebra:
I think the lack of female analogs to the GI Joe/ Transformers movies is mostly an indictment of the modern american male. Which is to say at a certain age girls became women, and to quote the good book, put away childish things.
Contrastingly movie going 18-35 year old males still live in a psuedo-childhood, where giant robots, and super heroes, and such are still cool.
I don't claim to understand the old generations very well. But I'm pretty sure if 18 year old male in 1978 told other 18 year old he wanted to see a Howdy Doody movie, he would have been ostracized and burnt at the disco stake.

Or our toys just sucked lol.

When I was a girl I had all the girlie toys and I am sure I watched all the girle shows, but the story lines I remembered were from the "guy" shows.

You know what the problem with girly shows in the 80s was. They aimed too low.

Jem has this holographic super computer thing that bends light, creates holo objects, makes disguises and splits realities. So she uses it to be a rock star? Could you imagine what Batman could do with that kind of thing? But she uses it to be a rock star? And her rival band wasn't that talented...

Fuck rock star, Jem should have been a ninja assassin and maybe a rock star on the side.

I think the reason the "boy" stuff became greenlit for pictures is because it's more recognizable, and it's held up better.

Like Transformers, the movies weren't good, but the pitch sounds just as cool as it did in the 80s Alien robots that came to earth, and they can disguise themselves as vehicles. AWESOME! It's female equivalent, My little pony, well they're still around, but instead of being an all encompassing, general "girl" toy, it's now marketed towards younger girls, who still have an interest in that thing.

That's just one example, and I'm sure there's more, I'm also sure that a few of these "girl" things could be made into actually decent movies, if they tried hard enough.
Of course, I'm neither a girl, nor did I grow up in the 80s, where this stuff would actually be considered nostalgic for me.

Though, I'm not here to totally cast doubt on the whole process. I know one "girl" oriented franchise, at least I think it was, it was pretty gender neutral in terms of appeal.

Xena: Warrior Princess. Yes, it ran in the mid 90s and got canceled in 01, but Hollywood doesn't care how old its mined ideas are. Apparently, the series was supposed to get a film, starring the original actors, but that's not ever likely to be.
There hasn't been a good fantasy action movie in a while, and there hasn't been a good one starring a female hero since... was Red Sonja any good? Ah, it doesn't matter it was basically a Conan Film with its inclusion of Ahnold anyway.

I say, make a full budget Xena film, if only to see an attractive actress in the costume, and a new wave of lesbian subtext, which was basically the lifeblood of the show in its final seasons.

movienut:
What was the name of the show with the little girl robot? It wasn't Punky Brewster but it was the same sort of era. Maybe there would be something there.

Small Wonder?

Both Red Sonja and Xena are aimed at men. Frankly it is very arguable that Wonder Woman was as well.

Don't get me wrong, I like Xena but I also know that a majority of the target audience was male.

Onyx Oblivion:

movienut:
What was the name of the show with the little girl robot? It wasn't Punky Brewster but it was the same sort of era. Maybe there would be something there.

Small Wonder?

That was it! Thank you! And yeah, it was worse then I remembered. It would almost have to be a Stepford Wives rip off to make it interesting at this point.

I don't know why I was remembering something closer to Astro Boy, maybe just wishful thinking.

RatRace123:
I think the reason the "boy" stuff became greenlit for pictures is because it's more recognizable, and it's held up better.

Like Transformers, the movies weren't good, but the pitch sounds just as cool as it did in the 80s Alien robots that came to earth, and they can disguise themselves as vehicles. AWESOME! It's female equivalent, My little pony, well they're still around, but instead of being an all encompassing, general "girl" toy, it's now marketed towards younger girls, who still have an interest in that thing.

That's just one example, and I'm sure there's more, I'm also sure that a few of these "girl" things could be made into actually decent movies, if they tried hard enough.
Of course, I'm neither a girl, nor did I grow up in the 80s, where this stuff would actually be considered nostalgic for me.

Though, I'm not here to totally cast doubt on the whole process. I know one "girl" oriented franchise, at least I think it was, it was pretty gender neutral in terms of appeal.

Xena: Warrior Princess. Yes, it ran in the mid 90s and got canceled in 01, but Hollywood doesn't care how old its mined ideas are. Apparently, the series was supposed to get a film, starring the original actors, but that's not ever likely to be.
There hasn't been a good fantasy action movie in a while, and there hasn't been a good one starring a female hero since... was Red Sonja any good? Ah, it doesn't matter it was basically a Conan Film with its inclusion of Ahnold anyway.

I say make a full budget Xena film, if only to see an attractive actress in the costume, and a new wave of lesbian subtext, which was basically the lifeblood of the show in its final seasons.

Red Sonja was part of the Conan mythos anyway, if I'm not mistaken. And was there really lesbian stuff between Xena and Gabrielle? I mean, in the actual show not in the endless halls of bad fan fiction?

I'll second the notion that a lot of "girly" franchises do not age well for more mature audiences, probably due to a general infantilization of female children. Whereas male children are encouraged to enjoy action, which is mostly ageless/timeless/etc, female children seem to be more "told" to care about what thing is cutest, prettiest, etc. And to be fair, there's nothing HUGELY wrong with genuinely liking cuteness, but it really helps if there's some sort of substance behind it.

Of course, someone else upthread also pointed out something very interesting as an explanation for lack of substance beyond LOL COMPANIES THINK GIRLS ARE DUMB; that while male toys were often prepackaged with specific narratives, characters etc, "girlie" toys were more blank slates with which the girls could use their imagination and create their own narratives. There were exceptions, naturally - She-Ra, Jem and Rainbow Bright all had actual characters and stories - but as far as I know, most girls who played with Barbies or My Little Ponies just made up their "cast of characters" from their heads. I certainly did. In a way, this is sort of cool, in that girls were to a certain extent encouraged to be storytellers in their own right, and the toys were the tools with which to tell the story. Unfortunately, it meant we didn't get a huge amount of cool TV shows out of it. Not until anime came along, that is... then we suddenly got more cool shows than we knew what to do with. :3

Having said that, here are a few toys/shows I remember or played with that I'd either like to see a movie of or think could be remade or re-envisioned as new cartoons for modern little girls (note I'm thinking mostly of 80's stuff and not counting anime):
- She-Ra
- Jem
- Rainbow Bright
- My Little Pony (either the old "fantasy" one or the 90's version which was more modern, ie ponies in junior high etc)
- Lady Lovely Locks (does anyone else remember this show? For some reason I loved it as a kid. It had a few interesting plot threads, weird magic system, and a kind of cool villainess)
- Gummy Bears (this is arguably a gender neutral show, but very cuddly and cutesy so a lot of girls enjoyed it. Plus I remember it having cool female characters, fun action and being generally entertaining)
- Teddy Ruxpin (again, arguably gender neutral but cutesy and appealing, with a great marketing tie in - I loved my Teddy Ruxpin doll - and a story that I remember being oddly dark in places)
- Raggedy Ann and Andy (never seen the movie, but considering it made the Nostalgia Critic's Top 11 Nostalgic MindF**ks, I wonder if there's some potential here?)
- The Last Unicorn (well DUH)
- Polly Pocket (never played with these, but they always looked really cool)

sszebra:
I don't claim to understand the old generations very well. But I'm pretty sure if 18 year old male in 1978 told other 18 year old he wanted to see a Howdy Doody movie, he would have been ostracized and burnt at the disco stake.

Howdy Doody, possibly, but "men" of the late 1970s dutifully lined up for movie versions of Zorro, the Lone Ranger and Superman - which were all looked on as kids-stuff at the time. It's worth remembering, when regarding genre film, that before "Star Wars" there was really no such thing as "soft scifi" that wasn't seen as kid material, save for parodies like Barbarella.

Onyx Oblivion:

movienut:
What was the name of the show with the little girl robot? It wasn't Punky Brewster but it was the same sort of era. Maybe there would be something there.

Small Wonder?

God that show was awful. You know there's something amiss when the drone robo-actress is more believable than the entire cast put together.

Sir John the Net Knight:
appeal.

Red Sonja was part of the Conan mythos anyway, if I'm not mistaken. And was there really lesbian stuff between Xena and Gabrielle? I mean, in the actual show not in the endless halls of bad fan fiction?

If I recall correctly, a fanfic writer actually landed the job of writing episodes towards the end, (Yeah, no idea who the hell thought that would be a good idea.) by all accounts she was actually pretty good at writing fanfic, and it was pretty tasteful stuff, I heard.

And I don't think they ever flat out said Xena and Gabrielle were a couple, but the hidden lesbian subtext of the series became a lot more overt.

movienut:

That was it! Thank you! And yeah, it was worse then I remembered. It would almost have to be a Stepford Wives rip off to make it interesting at this point.

I don't know why I was remembering something closer to Astro Boy, maybe just wishful thinking.

Sir John the Net Knight:

God that show was awful. You know there's something amiss when the drone robo-actress is more believable than the entire cast put together.

I've never even watched the show, the theme song and mere idea of the show is a running gag on a local morning radio show.

USELESS TRIVIA MAN! AWAAAAAAAAAY!

Here's something to consider. Have you ever heard the concept that states "girls can play with guy's toys, but guys can't play with girl's"?

I could go watch "Transformers" with my boyfriend in a theater and no one would bat an eye. Hell, I could even go by myself and no one would think twice. It might, to some men, actually be "cool" that a girl would be into something like that.

On the flip side, if I were to ask my boyfriend to come see "Sex in the City" with me, he might receive some sympathetic looks from the ticket seller, or from his friends when he later explains to them what he was just forced to spend the night doing. Men who would go see a movie like that by themselves? A very small minority, I'm sure.

Hollywood knows that. They want to reach as much of an audience as they can. Seeing as how a "boy movie" would bring in both the male and female audience, rather than a "girl movie" bringing just the female, it's the safer (and more profitable) bet to just make the "boy movie" and not bother with anything else.

I know there are exceptions to everything, but... Yeah.

PS: Sorry if my sentences ramble a bit. I didn't get much sleep.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 NEXT

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Registered for a free account here