Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Grinch

Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas
Rating: PG
Run Time: 104 minutes
Released: 2000
Director: Ron Howard

Cultural Rating: pawpaw
Adapted from the 1957 Dr. Seuss book How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, this live-action film offers a commentary on capitalism and bullying.

Summary:
The Grinch, a green curmudgeon with a small heart, attempts to ruin Christmas in the cheery town of Whoville.

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Moana

Moana

Moana
Rating: PG
Run Time: 107 minutes
Released: 2016
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

Cultural Rating: pawpawpawpaw

This film is a particular example of Disney’s recent move toward more inclusive narratives that attempt to meaningfully represent underrepresented or misrepresented identities in society (in this case, Polynesian cultures). The film not only addresses important notions of individual and collective identity but also includes a nuanced character, Moana, who is willing to go against the grain and do what she feels is right.

Summary:
Moana, who is in line to become the next chief of Motunui, must go on a journey in the ocean to save her village from a blight by restoring the heart of Te Fiti.

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Minions

minions

Minions
Rating: PG
Run Time: 91 minutes
Released: 2015
Director: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Cultural Rating: paw

Overall, the film offers a problematic narrative about power and oppression (see talking point).This film mostly adheres to traditional gender roles and reinforces stereotypes regarding the body and disability.  

Summary: Minions are recruited by a supervillain, Scarlet Overkill, to help take over the world.  

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Check Out Our Article!

Sorry Pop Culture Pug has been quiet lately! We have been working on an article published in Red Feather Journal: An International Journal of Children in Popular Culture. Check it out here! And, stay tuned for more reviews!

Black History Month

Take the time to educate yourself on Black history from these sites:

Time for Kids: Black History Month

African American History for Kids

Tell us something you have learned about Black History!

Sing

sing

Sing
Rating: PG
Run Time: 108 minutes
Released: 2016
Director: Christophe Lourdelet, Garth Jennings

Cultural Rating: paw

This film addresses the importance of persistence despite setbacks and fears; however, the film does not appear to engage with identity in a meaningful way as it regularly uses stereotypes regarding identity topics, such as race/ethnicity, the disabled body, the fat body, and gender, for laughs and subplots.

Summary: A struggling theater owner, koala Buster Moon, begins a singing competition to help save his theater.  

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The Jungle Book (2016)

jungle_book

The Jungle Book
Rating: PG
Run Time: 106 minutes
Released: 2016
Director: Jon Favreau

 Cultural Rating: paw

The Jungle Book does not significantly challenge constructions of cultural identities. While the film examines the importance of accepting others for their differences, the film does very little to engage with gender, disability, sexual orientation, or the body. However, it should be noted that the film makes an attempt at racial diversity and is an improvement from Disney’s 1967 version of the film.

Summary: A boy, Mowgli, goes on a journey of self-discovery after he is forced to leave the pack of wolves who raised him.

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