'Toy Story 4' is sexist, ableist, and lacking diversity, according to critics
We live in a world where, generally speaking, popular culture is slowly but surely becoming more inclusive.
It's for this reason that Disney Pixar's latest hit, Toy Story 4, has come under fire from critics and patrons alike, having shown no diversity in terms of race, gender, ableism, and sexuality - following the same formula we've seen in the previous movies.
While this hasn't stopped the film from receiving mostly favorable reviews from fans, with some describing it as better than it has any right to be, people have been unable to ignore how problematic it in a post #MeToo world, with particular criticism being directed towards the movie's narrative surrounding disabilities.
Because the first Toy Story movie was released in the mid-90s, critic Stella Duffy said that in Toy Story 4, Disney missed a potentially significant opportunity to move with the times in terms of its casting and content.
Duffy, in particular, took umbrage with the fact that the movie's writers have promoted the film by describing Bo-Peep as a feminist.
In an interview, the reviewer wrote:
"Okay, let's talk about the white feminism on display here. Oh look! Bo-Peep's a feminist. No, she's not! She's still going to fall in love, she's still going to have the happily ever after, that's not feminism! It's a woman who kicks off her skirt to reveal bloomers. Had a couple of thoughts… and does some high wire acts. And it's disablist! It covers ALL bases! It looks good - but Disney is supposed to LOOK good. There has to be content to the story too!"
"I'm the Grinch who hated it. Seriously, it's 2019! What on earth is Disney doing having a film that has no leads that are black characters? Yes, there are black actors, but they are yellow and they are green and they are plush! How can they possibly think that it's alright now? Yeah, maybe in 1995 - which was also wrong then, as well, actually - but now, to be serious, where every single humanoid toy, is white? It's just shocking!"
Duffy's critique is a reflection of the fact that women and minority groups have been given increased media representation over the past decade, as shown by a study published by UCL. But despite this, there is still a long way to go as "minorities and women remain mostly underrepresented compared with their shares of the population overall."
Hopefully, Disney takes not of this criticism and updates its future movies accordingly. When laid bare by fans and critics alike, it's impossible to deny the fact that Toy Story 4, while enjoyed, has failed to move with the times - and that is a problem.