If you have children, care for them, or are a big grown up kid you recognize some of these characters right? I want to ask you the viewer about the reach and impact animated films/TV have on kids and culture. Beyond these five Disney characters, what cartoon series or animated film do you know of with an Asian American main character? Got one? Good, now look up the highest grossing 100 animated films/shows via wikipedia. How many of Asian American characters are present? Are the stories fun, silly, serious, preachy, informative, realistic, visible, or invisible? How do you feel about people challenging Hollywood (animated studios make blockbusters too) for whitewashing characters based on Asian or Asian American stories or not including Asians at all if it’s not an animal? If all children could see themselves represented prominently in billboards, bus ads, backpacks, toys, and films would that make a difference? More directly, how would films/shows about Asian American life, culture, and backgrounds help our kids feel understood, loved, or proud when they are not in our presence? PLEASE do me a favor and watch the most recent of these “Sanjay’s Super Team”. I think it speaks volumes about these questions without trying to preach or put anyone down.
Sources: Up, Lilo & Stitch, Big Hero 6, Mulan, Sanjay’s Super Team
Dig this? Check out this portrait of model maker/SFX artist Fon Davis