Character Cutter

character design rants

Merida’s Face - RevampedInfantilisation of adult or young adult women. It’s possibly my biggest peeve with character…View Post
Hair Colour-rantGet it? Colour rant? Colourant?

This is the long overdue continuation of this post.
I’ve been…View Post
Korra: Design ReviewHaha, couldn’t figure out why I didn’t receive any ‘how dare you hate stuff’ comments over my…View Post
Despicable Me 2: Misogyny AboundsThis post could have been up weeks ago… I had actually forgotten about it. BUT it’s important.
Lady…View Post
Let’s Talk About Hiccup’s New FaceSomehow Dreamworks new I had nothing better to do today than get all worked up over a teaser…View Post
Olaf the Snowman, Knock off the SnowmanThe design that Disney seems to have settled on for Frozen’s new silly sidekick is… odd:
Look, a…View Post
Hardscrabble Hard Sell… – Design Review –Hot damn my cheesy titles are just rollin’!
Dean Hardscrabble:
Something about her irked me right…View Post

New Mickey Mouse design, Complete with Sexual Harassment!

Hm, I’m sure I’ll get the hang of these sensationalist titles…

So I stumbled upon this

And I’m thinking… okay, whatever Mickey has a new design (for the new range of shorts films, apparently) that’s cool. Probably a copyright thing but whatever…

Then this:

What exactly am I looking at here? 

I stared at it for a good couple seconds, frozen in disbelief… I tried tilting my head a couple different ways… Surely I was just seeing it wrong. Newp, anyway you look at it, the new and improved Mickey comes upgraded with sexual harassment. 

How shit like this even reaches public viewing I’ll never know. Apparently NO ONE on the project thought that this might be a problematic image. 

Mickey is mistaking Minnie’s bum for a percussion instrument. 

I know I could easily make that mistake… 

And because this is based on 30’s animation, I’ll bet it’s even making the same sound as a bongo. Early animated shorts had a tendency to be sexist as hell, female characters only existed to be either love interests, angry-woman-is-funny tropes, or pretty much anything Betty Boop, because sexual harassment is HILARIOUS. Look at those women NOT wanting to be touched, chased, harassed and raped! Look at them wanting people to respect their boundaries, aren’t they cute!? Fricken hysterical.

THAT aspect of 30’s animation needed to be preserved?! REALLY?!?!?

The more I analyse it, the creepier it gets. Minnie has certainly been caught off guard… she was obviously not expecting her panties to be smacked… Her arms are out in good ole cartoon ‘what’s happening to me’ fashion. He even managed to miss her dress… UNDER the tail. Sick guys…

WHY IS SHE BENDING OVER. Surely she should be recoiling, pulling herself away in shock and alarm and presumably embarrassment? They seem to have caught them in-the-moment, just as she’s realising what’s happening. You know… BEFORE she has anything to say about it and ruins the fun by protesting or some shit.

And in all likelihood the next scene is her smacking him across the face and standing hands-on-hips in a huff tapping her toe with Mickey shrugging and a stupid grin on his face. 

Grow a brain guys. No. A thousand times no. 

But the two images next to it aren’t insensitive at all, not even in the slightest bit whatsoever don’tevenbothergrowingabrainitwon’thelp. 

Also Goofy now looks like this:

I liked Goofy…

Anya’s Design

Anya’s design throughout ‘Anastasia’ has always fascinated me. 

She starts out like this:


Those blues and the primary colours work really well together. But more so her gown… dress… robe thing is a big bold shape, it takes up a lot of room on the screen. All of Anya’s early designs in the film do this:image

You can’t miss her. It’s a very dominant presence. She’s also darker overall, but still has the primary colours going. The colours work together, but the pallet is still unconventional. How many heroines in western animation look like that? If you lined them all up she would stick out like a sore thumb.

The design is bold, and reasonably functional (it’s cold in Russia) but has loads of interest. The hat, the collar thing, the lapels, the sagging shoulders, the folds, there is shit to look at. image

It’s also dynamic. Don Bluth, I think it’s safe to say, likes his flowy bits. A lot of his animation is recognizable for its floppy and gooshiness. Seems to make sense… they’re animated characters, so put stuff on them that moves! From a design stand point, Anya’s first song is a celebration of how dynamic her design really is. It flows, drags, flails, twirls, flops, folds, swishes and shimmies. It adds to her screen presence and makes us like her simply for how interesting she is to watch. image

This one’s my favourite. She spends of lot of important screen time in this outfit. It establishes yellow as pretty much her key colour. Which, again, not many animated girls get to rock yellow. Just look at that button-up collar thing? How cool is that?

These outfits also, possibly by accident, not sure, give Anya near realistic proportions. Her torso is the correct length, it’s not all shrunk into oblivion like many female designs nowadays. 


"I can breathe! I have a diaphragm!"


Admittedly I have a thing for sleeves. Look at those things. 

It also bears mentioning that her head has a lot of interest as well. While I despise the over-use of red hair in animation, the style is very dynamic as well. The tuffs (tuffs?) stick out and move as she does. They frame her head and add to her visual interest.

Also the hat. That is an excellent hat.

It’s nice to see a female character design that has fun with the possibilities of shape and colour and not just focus on emphasizing her figure all the time.  


…….or not.

Here’s where she starts to drop straight of a cliff in terms of not only visual interest, but her personal development as well. I don’t think the latter was helped at all by making her visually generic on top of everything else. 

The blue bugs me… Anya isn’t blue. She’s yellow and/or green. Keep a theme pallet… I know she was blue as a child in the first scene but we didn’t know her then. The Anya we know is yellow. Yellow matched her spunky and meg-ryany personality. Blue is calm and demure. Anya is not calm and demure. (Well, she is in this scene…)

But they don’t just change her pallet and throw all her dynamic clothes with cool shapes and tons of visual interest away. They threw her in a design blender. image

They took our protagonist and over the course of 20-mins, had her change through a succession of 8 different designs. The purple and baby-blue dresses? She doesn’t even look like herself… 

It’s just playing dress-up and distracts from her development immensely. This could have been time spent growing and learning instead of just… clothes. It would have been more interesting for her to speak to the Empress looking a little more like orphan Anya anyways. It might remind us of where she started and the stakes. 

At least she got some of her yellow back with the Dutchess dress. She’s even got sleeves almost.

And they smooth out her tuffs! Her hair was half interesting before; now she’s just an Ariel clone… You can’t just change the hair, the head shape is important. Why couldn’t she have long hair and keep the tuffs?


That bow… gah… ditch the bow.image

Or… just have a bow that resembles her signature tuffs!image

Hm…. and while we’re at it: image

Make it yellow.

Hm… still looks weird without that top-tuff ponytail thing, but it’s more interesting anyways. At least the bangs, keep those.

That was fun.