You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Villains and vixens dominate cartoon roles for women

Associated Press logo Associated Press 1/23/2017
This undated sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Princess," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Princess: She has an impossibly tiny waist and is gorgeous beyond belief. Big eyes, flowing locks, luscious lips and a heart-shaped face. She's historically usually white and depicted as innocent and virginal. About the typical princess' waistline, Larsen-Dockray said: "If they were life-size, they would not have space in their bodies for reproductive organs." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP) © The Associated Press This undated sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Princess," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Princess: She has an impossibly tiny waist and is gorgeous beyond belief. Big eyes, flowing locks, luscious lips and a heart-shaped face. She's historically usually white and depicted as innocent and virginal. About the typical princess' waistline, Larsen-Dockray said: "If they were life-size, they would not have space in their bodies for reproductive organs." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP)

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (AP) — More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters — not just the stereotypical nerds, sex bombs and villains that dominate now.

This undated sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Godmother," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Godmother: She's always plump and rosy-cheeked, with particular emphasis on large breasts and buttocks. "I think a lot of animators at that time were thinking about their nannies," Larsen-Dockray said. "They're like the epitome of physical comfort, every man-child's dream." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP) © The Associated Press This undated sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Godmother," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Godmother: She's always plump and rosy-cheeked, with particular emphasis on large breasts and buttocks. "I think a lot of animators at that time were thinking about their nannies," Larsen-Dockray said. "They're like the epitome of physical comfort, every man-child's dream." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP)

Women depicted in animation these days typically fall into a handful of archetypal roles. Here's a look at four of the main ones, depicted by a female student at the California Institute of the Arts and explained by Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman" for the school's experimental animation program.

This sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Villainess," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Villainess: While male villains can be any shape or size, female villains almost always are old and unmarried. They have gray hair, wrinkles and harsh makeup. They're hardened and sour and always look stern and angry. Visually, they're typically depicted looking almost bony with sharp lines, including high cheekbones and pointy elbows. (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP) © The Associated Press This sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Villainess," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Villainess: While male villains can be any shape or size, female villains almost always are old and unmarried. They have gray hair, wrinkles and harsh makeup. They're hardened and sour and always look stern and angry. Visually, they're typically depicted looking almost bony with sharp lines, including high cheekbones and pointy elbows. (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP)

___

This sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Nerd," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Nerd: Many female sidekicks are depicted as nerds. They have glasses, they're shy and awkward, and they often have freckles. They're also usually in a makeover episode at some point, Larsen-Dockray said, as if to remind viewers that they can be feminine. "It's really messed up." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP) © The Associated Press This sketch by Stephanie Delazeri, an animation student at California Institute of the Arts in Santa Clarita, Calif., shows "The Nerd," an archetypal female character. More women are entering the field of animation, and one of their goals is to create more realistic female characters. Cal Arts instructor Erica Larsen-Dockray, who teaches a class on "The Animated Woman," said of The Nerd: Many female sidekicks are depicted as nerds. They have glasses, they're shy and awkward, and they often have freckles. They're also usually in a makeover episode at some point, Larsen-Dockray said, as if to remind viewers that they can be feminine. "It's really messed up." (Stephanie Delazeri/California Institute of the Arts via AP)

THE PRINCESS

She has an impossibly tiny waist and is gorgeous beyond belief. Big eyes, flowing locks, luscious lips and a heart-shaped face. She's historically usually white and depicted as innocent and virginal. About the typical princess' waistline, Larsen-Dockray says: "If they were life-size, they would not have space in their bodies for reproductive organs."

___

THE FAIRY GODMOTHER

She's always plump and rosy-cheeked, with particular emphasis on large breasts and buttocks. "I think a lot of animators at that time were thinking about their nannies," Larsen-Dockray says. "They're like the epitome of physical comfort, every man-child's dream."

___

THE VILLAIN

While male villains can be any shape or size, female villains almost always are old and unmarried. They have gray hair, wrinkles and harsh makeup. They're hardened and sour and always look stern and angry. Visually, they're typically depicted looking almost bony with sharp lines, including high cheekbones and pointy elbows.

___

THE NERD

Many female sidekicks are depicted as nerds. They have glasses, they're shy and awkward, and they often have freckles. They're also usually in a makeover episode at some point, Larsen-Dockray says, as if to remind viewers that they can be feminine. "It's really messed up," she says.

AdChoices
AdChoices
AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon