Bechdel Test Movie List

/bech·del test/ n.
1. It has to have at least two [named] women in it
2. Who talk to each other
3. About something besides a man

[[1]] The Lion King (1994) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by neil on 2008-07-30 01:03:58.



neil said:
The Lion King of course doesn't actually have women in it, but I'm counting female characters.
Message posted on 2008-07-30 01:03:58
Katz said:
Wow. I just rewatched the Elephant Graveyard scene, thinking that surely Nala must say something to Shenzi (Whoopi Goldberg's hyena character). After the hyenas appear, Nala has exactly two lines: "Did we lose them?" and "Simba!", both uttered when the hyenas aren't around.

So the closest this movie gets is when Nala says "I'm taking a bath" and Sarabi says "It's time for yours;" the lines are consecutive, but they're both directed at Simba, not at each other.
Message posted on 2009-11-16 23:39:11
Jill disagreed with the rating and said:
Actually, in the "I'm taking a bath scene" when the lion cubs are plotting to go to the elephant graveyard there is a conversation, though brief, between Nala, her mother (Sarafina), and Sarabi (Simba's mom).

Nala: "Mom, Can I go?"
Sarafina: "I don't know. Sarabi, what do you think?"
Sarabi: "Well..."
Nala/Simba together: "Pleeease?"
Sarabi: "It's alright by me...(cubs rejoice that their devious plan has succeeded) log as Zazu goes with you."

I am not sure if anyone calls Sarafina by name in the script, or if she is just listed as Sarafina in the credits, but Nala and Sarabi certainly are named. I think this counts.
Message posted on 2010-03-21 20:55:06
Renee said:
Nala to Sarafina: Mom, can I go with Simba?
Sarafina to Sarabi: Hm...what do you think, Sarabi?
Sarabi to the cubs: Well...
Cubs: Pleeeease?
Sarabi to cubs: It's all right with me.

There's no conversation there. No two female characters actually talk to each other, and this exchange all has to do with whether or not Simba (male) and Nala can go play. This rating still stands.
Message posted on 2010-09-06 08:15:24
j disagreed with the rating and said:
Safafina: "Hm...what do you think, Sarabi?"
Sarabi: "Well... "

This is clearly Sarafina and Sarabi talking to each other. 2 out of 3.
Message posted on 2011-07-08 07:59:30
mutestar disagreed with the rating and said:
Even with Nala and Sarafina, Sarafina is still conversing with Nala when she's considering it. And in essence it's "Can I go mom" "What do you think, Sarabi" "Okay, you can both go." That's definitely to Nala as well.
Message posted on 2012-03-11 23:48:22
Renee said:
The Nala/Sarafina/Sarabi conversation, or all variations--this conversation centers around Simba (whether Nala can go to the watering hole with Simba)
Message posted on 2012-07-22 17:29:01
Arie disagreed with the rating and said:
The scene with Nala, Sarabi, Sarafina should count. Sarabi do have a brief exchange and while the conversation is about Nala and Simba going to the watering hole Simba is a child not a man. The rules say man not male.
Message posted on 2012-07-23 16:06:19
Daniel Hofverberg disagreed with the rating and said:
Arie: Considering how other movies have been judged on this site, "man" has in reality been interpreted as someone of male gender regardless of age. So to be consistent with other films, Simba should be considered a man in this regard.

So in my opinion, the film passes 2 out of 3 tests, but the women only talk about Simba so it should not pass the third test.
Message posted on 2013-01-29 10:02:21
BD disagreed with the rating and said:
I'm new to this, but this rating and debate strikes me as crazy. There are two mothers talking about what they're going to let their children do. In no way is this "about a man" - it's not a romantic situation, it's not about marriage, it's about how you watch and raise your little (pre-pubescent) kids. Two moms. Talking. About Kids. Passes the test....
Message posted on 2013-11-17 04:31:38
Dallas robinson disagreed with the rating and said:
also, this brings up an interesting question. How does the test address groups of people? so in this case two females are talking about more than one child? or age, how does it address that? while the rules states they can't be talking about a man that doesn't mean no one that is male period otherwise any conversation about a baby or child that happens to be male wouldn't count.
Message posted on 2014-12-25 05:29:59
Jacob disagreed with the rating and said:
There is a brief scene in the beginning of the the movie where Nala talks to Sarafina, and Sarafina talks to Sarabi, so it does pass the test
Message posted on 2015-02-07 01:30:06
Carrie said:
Sarafina isn't named, so even if you thought that interaction would count, it doesn't matter.
Message posted on 2015-05-21 02:20:00
Maplestrip said:
Well, if the two mothers are talking about a "group" of characters, and that "group" isn't entirely male, then it seems to me that it meets criteria 3. Imagine if this group consisted of ten cubs, four male and six female. Clearly, gender isn't remotely relevant in such a situation.

That being said, a motherly care for our male main character, or a motherly worry about the actions of our main character, would mean that it fails the test.

I haven't watched the film in ages so I don't know, but it seems to be getting close. The Lion King has a strong focus on protagonist Simba, his father figures, and the villain, which are all male.
Message posted on 2016-04-04 09:52:50
Johan disagreed with the rating and said:
Nala and Sarabi (named females) converse in the scene at the watering hole. It should at least pass the second test from that.
Message posted on 2017-12-09 17:41:37
Drew Olds said:
When I first watched this film, my dad pointed out that Nala should challenge Skar and takover instead of convincing Simba to do it.

It is just a matter of practicality- she can beat Simba in a fight every time (something they make a point of quite thoroughly).
Message posted on 2018-02-27 00:13:52
Molly said:
We're getting into too much technicalities here that can only be cleared up if we had exact guidelines to base the test on, of which we do not.
There's only one small scene in the whole movie where females talk to each other. Sarafina clearly talks to Sarabi, but the problem there is that Sarafina does not have a name in the film- though she does in the credits. Does that count? The rating depends on that.
Then, Sarabi speaks to both cubs. She is telling Simba and Nala they can go. So, does a named female character speaking to a named female character as well as a male count? Or do the females have to be alone? If a female were to speak to a large crowd of males and females, that wouldn't count. But what about if the crowd is only 2 people?

Tsk, tsk.
Message posted on 2018-06-21 11:07:37
Dan said:
Does it actually matter though? Bottom line is that there are only three females that I can name on the top of my head, and two of them serve the purpose of being a male’s companion, while the the third is considered a villain.

Disney, I know that Hamlet didn’t pass the Bechdel test, but c’mon, that was 400 years ago and we’ve kinda progressed since then.

There is no real point in contesting this one scene, because the fact that it’s one scene being contested is the problem itself. If it’s progressive, then we shouldn’t have to notice it.
Message posted on 2019-10-12 11:55:49

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