BURBANK, CA—Citing a groundswell of praise for such stereotype-bucking princess films as Frozen, Brave, and Tangled, Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger said Thursday his company has probably accumulated enough goodwill to make its next animated feature a real sexist one.
Though still unsure whether the forthcoming fairy-tale adventure would center on a helpless Dutch peasant who splits her time between domestic duties and pining for a rich man, a vain young princess who constantly preens in front of any reflective surface, or a curvaceous, long-lashed horse who inexplicably has rouged cheeks and eye shadow, top Disney officials agreed they are well positioned to sneak in an overly chauvinistic film that exploits antiquated female stereotypes for all they’re worth.
“We’ve had a pretty solid run of strong, independent heroines, so I think we’ve racked up enough cred to get back to what we do best and make a regular old damsel-in-distress picture with some real heavy themes about purity,” said Iger, surmising that after the studio’s recent streak of well-rounded female protagonists, audiences would surely let a “real dumb one” slide. “At this point, I think we’ll be fine if we slip in a movie with some blond girl who always combs her hair, sings sad songs about the man she’s longing for, and otherwise doesn’t say much. Or maybe she’s a foolish, overly emotional robin who is constantly patted on the head and kept in line by her knowing father.”
“Either way, she’ll only be able to titter coyly, weep, or fret,” Iger continued. “And she’ll definitely completely alter who she is to win the heart of her love interest. I’d say we can probably get away with that.”
Noting that critics have given them a tremendous amount of credit in recent years for creating female leads who are plucky, self-reliant, and get by on their wits, Iger said there will never be a better time to give the go-ahead to a screenplay that hinges on a passive young woman who does nothing but wait in place for a man to come validate her existence through marriage. The CEO also indicated that churning out a story in which all the female characters are either petty, naive, vapid, or love-crazy, and in which the lone voices of reason come from levelheaded male woodland creatures or paternalistic sorcerers, would be “a walk in the park” for his creative team.
According to Iger, Disney believes it now has the cultural cachet to make its most misogynist movie in years, perhaps by going back to a female lead whose life is empty, unfulfilling, and valueless until the moment she receives true love’s first kiss.
While the film has yet to be storyboarded, Iger added that it is a given that the heroine will be so helpless and unable to make decisions on her own that she will require the aid of small animals to guide her at critical moments.
“We’re still kicking around ideas, but I can tell you that if we dip back into the princess well, the main character will be thin, pretty, and white—that much we’re sure of,” said Iger, stressing that Disney’s executive board had given writers the green light to “revert to the basics” on this one. “We don’t have to do any of that Princess And The Frog garbage for a while. We did Pocahontas, we did Mulan, so we’re all set for diversity right now. Audiences can expect a real porcelain-skinned one with disproportionately large blue eyes and a waist so small it couldn’t possibly contain functioning organs.”
“And even though she’s supposed to be just 15 or something like that, we’ll definitely give her a full hourglass figure and a few skintight outfits,” he added. “We definitely have enough goodwill in the tank to pull that off.”
Executives confirmed that as long as Disney’s audience is willing to bear with them on this one, a completely sexist blockbuster could prove to be a huge boon for the media company, spawning a lucrative franchise that could extend to several sexist sequels and even a degrading Broadway musical adaptation.
However, Iger noted that the company’s merchandising department would be the primary beneficiary of the movie’s success. By implying to another generation of young girls that their principal value as individuals lies in being deferential, sexually desirable beings, the movie would help the company continue to cash in on its profitable line of princess-themed dolls, clothing, personal products, and video games, the CEO confided to reporters.
“Look, at the end of the day, we’re trying to move some product here,” Iger said. “No one asks for Mulan wearing shapeless warrior’s armor for Christmas. So we’re putting the next one in sparkly heels, a tiara, and a form-fitting dress slit to the thigh. End of story.”