Girls in Disney movies

Discussion in 'The DIS Unplugged Podcast' started by DrMomof3, Jul 7, 2011.

  1. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Can anyone think of any Disney movies - made for tv or otherwise - that show girls playing sports?

    Here's my reason for asking: I've always played sports. I started competing as a gymnast around age 6 or 7 and I recently started running. I have 3 children - 2 boys and 1 girl. My daughter is 5 years old and about to start kindergarten. She loves the whole Disney tween genre - Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Camp Rock, etc. I thought it was all pretty benign until recently. Last week my daughter announced, "Girls can't play sports. They're just cheerleaders." I was fairly upset by this comment (and explained that she was incorrect and made her watch some of the tennis finals this past weekend - and reminded her that she's playing soccer this fall).
    This made me think if she watches any shows or movies showing female athletes. In HSM the girls are either nerds or cheerleaders. No sports in Camp Rock. Miley Cyrus is hopeless in gym class. The princesses are all, well, princess-y. I can't think of a single show or movie aimed at the tween age group that shows "cool" girls playing sports.
    I'm a little disturbed by this for many reasons. One, my daughter's comment really shocked me. Two, we're in the middle of a huge childhood obesity epidemic. If I'm right that there are no or few Disney female athlete role models, where do you think I could write a letter to inquire?

    Thanks for opinions!
    Amanda
     
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  3. dansyr2514

    dansyr2514 DIS Veteran

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    Mulan fights..not sure if that is considered a sport? Wasn't there a movie...something like Bend it like Beckham that has girls playing soccer. I haven't seen it so I'm not sure it's age appropriate and I don't think it's Disney, but It seemed pre teen age.
     
  4. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Bend It like Beckham is a wonderful movie! Although there's nothing offensive in the movie (one set of parents worry that their daughter might be a lesbian - she's not - and some minor romance), it's definitely over her head. A lot of the movie deals with cultural integration issues. A girl from a very traditional family (I think the family was Sikh but haven't watched the movie in ages) is forbidden from playing soccer and she plays in secret. Anyway a great movie but not yet a solution for me! :thumbsup2

    Amanda
     
  5. newmouse2008

    newmouse2008 Administrator Administrator

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    Stella likes the Parent trap, both old and new version. they girls are at camp and doing a few things, fencing, swimming and outdoor things. But you are right, not alot out there with sports. Annabelle in Freaky Friday The Jodie Foster one) played a sport. Is that Disney? It's not Disney but Mary kate and ashley olsen did a few movies about sports .I remember one called Switching Goals, about soccer.

    T.
     
  6. siskaren

    siskaren DIS Veteran

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    Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior is about a girl who kicks butt against bad guys. (I think she also plays soccer, but I haven't seen it in a while, so I'm not sure.)
     
  7. SecondStar2TheRight

    SecondStar2TheRight Earning My Ears

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    Motocrossed and Double Teamed - They are both Disney Channel Original Movies.
    Motocrossed is about a girl who takes her brother's spot in a motocross competition because the brother is injured.
    Double Teamed is about twin sisters on a basketball team.
     
  8. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks Teresa! I'll look into the Olsen Twins movies. Those haven't really been on my radar. And I don't think I've ever seen the Parent Trap.

    Thank you!

    I'll have to find them. Thank you!

    Amanda
     
  9. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Interestingly, Motocrossed and Double Teamed are only available on VHS. :scared1:

    Amanda
     
  10. mrzrich

    mrzrich DIS Veteran

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  11. dmccarty

    dmccarty DIS Veteran

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    Why are movies needed?

    When I was a kid there were no movies or TV shows showing girls playing sports. Frankly, I do not remember boys being shown playing sports either. We had 1-2 overweight kids per 30 kids in a classroom. I went to school in four different states and it was the same in all of the schools.

    Now, my kid's schools are full of overweight kids. Yet most of our kid's friends play sports. Even the overweight kids. Our girls have played soccer in multiple leagues as well as basketball. When I was a kid, girls where lucky to play soccer and not many did. Today there are all sorts of opportunities for kids to play sports regardless of gender. Far more than when I was a kid.

    We live in a semi rural county. The nearest Walmart, Target, mall, and doctors are at least 30 miles away. Yet we have multiple sports leagues for the kids. There is the Y, the county, schools, and several private organizations. Our oldest DD has been bugging us over the last couple of days because she wants to play FOOTBALL. :scared1: She also wants to start back up on martial arts.

    When I was her age, there were NO sports for girls. No way was a girl playing full contact football. They could be Cheerleaders though. :rolleyes1 Martial arts was something you went to Japan to study. It sure was not in the cities I lived in as a kid. Now it is quite common.

    Our kids are playing sports because the want too. They are not being pushed into it from us. I am most certainly NOT a role model for sports. I do not like sports. They are boring to me. I have played soccer and football but I have more important and interesting things to do as an adult. I do not watch sports on TV and I follow no sports at all unlike so many people.

    (Dear reader do not take my opinion on sports as an attack on any sports lovers. I just could care less about sports, most TV shows(Disney cartoons not included :rotfl:) and most mainstream movies. It is not something that interests me in the least.)

    In spite of my complete lack of interest in sports my kids are very active with sports. If anything, I am a negative sports role model for them but they are very active in sports.

    I really do not think the youth fat problem in this country is because of lack of exercise. Cheap, ever present, easily accessible, high calorie food is the problem.

    My generation had less opportunity to play sports, but we did not have all of this high calorie, supersized food pushed on us constantly either. My generation was not fat as kids. As adults? That is another thread. :rotfl:

    Later,
    Dan
     
  12. Becx N Gav

    Becx N Gav DIS Veteran

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    There is a Disney Channel movie about a girl who is a figure skater but has to play ice hockey or something?! I would look it up but I can't access IMDB at work :confused:
     
  13. standleyent1

    standleyent1 Mouseketeer

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    Ice Princess is a good Disney movie not only is it about atheletes but it is about intelligence as well!
    :banana::banana:
     
  14. PeterPan09

    PeterPan09 <font color=royalblue>bury my iPod with me, on shu

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    I'm with the OP on this one. I'd like to see more movies and TV shows where the female characters are active participants in sports. And yes, I know cheerleading these days requires a lot of athleticism and is considered a sport, as does figure skating but that's not the only avenue for girls now.

    I grew up in an era where the girls who liked sports were NOT popular. The few of us that dared to venture out of the approved cheerleader/Lassie League Softball arenas took a LOT of heat for it. I love the fact that today our girls do not have to suffer that way. I think a realistic movie or TV show for young girls would include at least one major character who plays soccer, swims on a team, or even does triathlons!
     
  15. disprincessatheart

    disprincessatheart I was a Disney Bride 4.29.08

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    How about shes the man with Amanda bines? I remember the title because i saw an e special that mentioned it the other day and she played a girl who pretended to be a boy so she could play soccer.

    Theres a tv show about a girls gymnastics team on abc family but I think it's pretty teen drama heavy.
     
  16. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Thank you for all of the great suggestions!!! I will definitely look into some of these movies.
    As to the question of why sports?
    Ultimately I don't really care if my daughter chooses to be an athlete or chooses to do something else (I may even enroll her in cheerleading classes next year because she has expressed interest! :thumbsup2 ). Her current 5 year old dream is to be a Rock Star and I think that's awesome.
    What bothers me is the concept of "girls can't do..." In my life I have done many things that "girls can't do" including playing boys baseball (in elementary school), racing sailboats (as a "skipper" instead of a "crew"), and becoming a urologist (I specialize in pediatric urology). I want my children to grow up with the belief that they can achieve things through hard-work and perseverence without limitations based on size, gender, etc. My youngest son has very, very mild cerebral palsy and I hope he is never aware of the fact that he has a disability.
    My passion for this is not limited to girls or sports!!! I just don't want my children to grow up with the "I can'ts!" I'm disappointed that the message my child got from watching HSM (and I watched with her and, in my innocence, didn't really get the same message) was that boys play sports and girls are cheerleaders. I have NO problem with her cheerleading but I don't want her to think that she CAN'T play sports.

    Again, Thank You for wonderful suggestions!
    Amanda
     
  17. FrankieDplus3

    FrankieDplus3 Can't wait to go back!

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    I find it interesting that a lot of the movies being quoted are about a girl playing a sport, but, not necessarily playing the sport with other girls.

    It seems that all the girls have to pretend to be a boy or they have to play on the boy's teams? Where are the "Girl's" teams?

    :stitch:
     
  18. roomthreeseventeen

    roomthreeseventeen Inaugural Dopey Challenge finisher

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    Amanda, what about watching girls actually playing sports? When I was little (OK, I still do this) I really liked watching women's gymnastics and figure skating. Also, the Olympics aren't for another year, but I bet you can find all kinds of footage online of teenagers/young women in the Olympics.
     
  19. garneska

    garneska Mouseketeer

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    To the OP. I understand your issue about girls can't. It is not that the girls need to play sports just that anyone can do anything they put their mind to (boys/girls/race/religion). I think that is the lesson children should be taught and that sometimes it takes work to get it. Anyways I have no kids but I am a female who played sports and my attitude was always I can do it if I want to. I am not limited because I am female. Sad as it was growing up I watched the smurfs, and I loved Smurfett because that was exactly her attitude. So my suggestion...find smurf cartoons.
     
  20. DisneyKevin

    DisneyKevin Kelvis Moderator

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    I thought LILO was a good role model for kids.

    She swam and surfed and actually looked like a little girl.

    She didn't give an unhealthy body image of a six inch waist and she wasn't born with her feet already formed to fit in heels.

    She also wasn't waiting for a boy to make everything better.

    She was pretty self- reliant and I think that covers everything from sports to all other aspects of life.
     
  21. DrMomof3

    DrMomof3 DIS Veteran

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    Thanks for more great suggestions!
    I was thinking about taking Jessica to see a NY Liberty basketball game or maybe even to watch the local high school girls play some games this fall. The funny part is that she has been participating in sports - her preschool had an after-school sports clinic once a week (it was mostly boys but she loved it) and she just finished a one week multi-sports camp (again, she was the only girl and loved every minute). But the current Disney world that she sees (and admires - Camp Rock is part of her inspiration for becoming a Rock Star) tends to show something different.
    I've never seen Lilo and Stitch (amazing, right?) and I'm sure my kids would love that. I loved Smurfette as a child, too! Haven't seen the Smurfs in many, many years. :thumbsup2

    And more thanks!
    Amanda
     

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