Disney’s Aladdin and the Bechdel Test

I’m not a huge fan of Disney. I was a tom-boy as a kid, so princesses and damsels in distress – blurgh! I wanted to be killing dragons with my own sword, not watching some male do it for me. Still do!

I came to realise as an adult that I don’t actually hate my own gender, I just hate the typical portrayal we are constantly bombarded with. It’s all so bloody black and white and incredibly limiting. Men are strong, testosterone-filled heroes who wear blue and women are simpering, brainless idiots whose only purpose in life is to find a man, whilst wearing pink.

Anyway, what has this to do with Aladdin?

Well, we were chatting after tea and the discussion turned to Robin Williams. I loved him as the genie, he really made that film and the songs were fab. My son, who was probably about three last time we watched, said he didn’t remember so we put it on.

My son chuckled when the Sultan chases Iago round on the magic carpet but otherwise sat stone-faced and totally unimpressed and my daughter said, “I’d forgotten how annoying Jasmine is.”

“Indeed!” I said, “But to be fair her father is even more annoying.”

At the end, daughter said, “Well! That wouldn’t pass the Bechdel test

“The what?” I said.

She gave me one of those withering looks teenagers are so good at. After she explained I agreed with her.

We did like Maleficent though and my favourite Disney film is ‘Fantasia’.

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