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

[[3]] Frozen (2013) [imdb]

This movie passed 3 of 3 tests. It was entered by NessieNos on 2013-11-20 15:52:07.



NessieNos said:
The primary characters are sisters, who are very close growing up but become emotionally estranged. The film opens with them talking and spending time alone together as children, and a major conversation between them as adults is key to the movie. It's fundamentally a film about the connection between two women over the course of their lives.
Message posted on 2013-11-20 15:52:07
davecobb said:
The central plot revolves around a splintered relationship between two sisters; there are at least two scenes where they talk (and/or sing) directly to each other (and a third scene through a closed door) about each other and their relationship. The "twist" at the end of the movie involves an "act of true love" that has nothing to do with a man.
Message posted on 2013-11-27 06:20:38
Finneas Nigellus said:
I enjoyed this film, and thought it was an excellent example of strong female leading characters. It was that rare thing, a Disney movie that I was pleased my daughters' had seen.
Message posted on 2013-12-08 21:57:15
Denis Murphy said:
Agree with the rating and comment. I would also be proud to take my sons, because of course boys also benefit hugely from seeing complex representations of women on screen.
Message posted on 2013-12-27 21:03:54
John said:
When I left the theater after having watched this, I wondered if it passed any of the 3 parts of the test and started to go over the plot in my mind again. It's nice to see a Disney film pass.
Message posted on 2013-12-31 19:54:07
Jeff said:
As a father of two girls, I have become increasingly sensitive to female portrayal in films and video games. I am proud to have taken my girls (3 & 5) to see this film which highlights the strength that two sisters can get from each other.
Message posted on 2014-01-07 01:57:55
Beatrice said:
Yes, it passes the Bechdel Test, but the process of development in this movie took Hans Christian Anderson's work from being a unique, feminist story to being male-dominated pablum. The majority of female characters from the original story were removed and the main character, a regular little girl who saves her platonic male friend is turned into an adolescent princess, and is given a male sidekick with which she has romantic tension (who has to save her from a curse, accidentally cast on her by her bumblingly incompetent sorceress of a sister). The once formidable snow queen is given depth and complexity, but her formidable presence is sacrificed. She is no longer a competent sorceress, and is transformed into a blundering girl who can't control her powers, until she learns to control them with "the power of love". The real villain turns out to be a man, because women can't be seen as commanding or capable enough to do any real harm. Then, of course, there's the fact that the main character looks EXACTLY like the girl from Tangled. When the animators were asked about this choice they claimed that it's hard to animate females because you have to keep them looking pretty while they portray different facial expressions. According to Disney, females can't be complexly human - they have to be, first and foremost, pretty. This movie may have successfully marketed itself as an updated, feminist model of the Disney movie, but it is in no way truly successful at creating anything more than enormous profits and deleterious indoctrination. In other words: fail, fail, FAIL!
Message posted on 2014-01-09 01:16:37
Indy said:
To the above poster: are you kidding? The story was inspired by the Snow Queen, not written to portray that particular story. Elsa's struggle with her powers and the concept of "conceal, don't feel, don't let it show" is hugely metaphorical for mental illness - something a lot of people can relate to. Furthermore, her acceptance of herself as who she is and not what people want her to be is a great moral to be portraying in a children's movie. Yes, at the end, Elsa comes to accept her powers through love - but it's her sister's love and not the love of a man that shows her that. How can you say that this isn't a good message for a movie to portray? On the relationships with men in this movie - specifically Hans and Kristoff, it positively presents having a friendship before love and not relying on men to do the saving (Anna goes to talk to Elsa, leaving Hans at home, and then only takes Kristoff with her as guide in unknown wilderness - leaving him at the door once they reach the castle). Not to mention the portrayal of asking consent at the end of the movie, and the song 'Fixer Upper' which shows that Kristoff, like everybody, has flaws that don't mean they're unable to love.
On The Snow Queen being formidible - there are already many formidible female roles in Disney films: the classic evil step mother, Maleficent, Ursula. These all portray power and magic in a negative light - basically saying that women with power all let it go to their heads. Elsa says you can have power and strength and still be good.
I literally don't understand how you can read so much negativity into a story based solely on the fact that one of the main characters looks like another main character in a different movie - completely irrelevant to the actual characters and plot - and that they adapted an old story written by a man in a social context very different today, to remove the evil sorceress and replace her with a good sorceress, which has not been seen in Disney before, while the former has many times.
This movie passes the Bechdel test, but it does so much more than that. It's a massive step in female representation, and it targets a young audience. Applause all round for Frozen!
Message posted on 2014-01-28 22:39:09
dekarl said:
I think the ImdbId should be a unique key to avoid duplicates, like this entry and
Message posted on 2014-02-05 21:14:35
Kom Hitro said:
I agree with Indy. I have to ask if the poster above them is kidding. Apparently Beatrice doesn't want female characters to be portrayed with the same depth and complexity that is similar to the treatment often given to male characters without any hue or cry raised over it. (But I have to thank Beatrice for pointing out the reason why I absolutely detested one blogger's complaint about the treatment of Jean Grey in the Dark Phoenix Saga. They wanted her to sacrifice her depth and complexity so that they could prove women could hold great power without sacrificing their lives, iow, a two-dimensional character that would have done more to diminish feminism than support it. And never mind the fact that one would have to ignore the iconic role of the Phoenix: death and REBIRTH; to do it and never MIND the fact that the blogger also had to ignore the fact that it was the WOMAN who obtained - AND HELD - the greatest power amongst her teammates, which would imply that her MALE teammates *couldn't*, given the blogger's OWN logic, dontcha think?).

Beatrice, however, ALSO seems to be ignoring the fact that these formidable sorceresses they refer to are *as two-dimensional as they come*. But, with Elsa, you have a REALISTIC female portrayal (finally!), of mental illness (like I have, and as Indy mentioned, but which is also often portrayed with a FAR more negative image than it is, here, BECAUSE of Anna, which strikes me, 'strangely' [as you may say], as a POSITIVE for feminism...), self-doubt, conflicting emotions, self-isolation AND struggles with unimaginable power, in a story that is not reduced to the basic good vs evil meme. Meaning that the formidable women that Beatrice loves so much are only considered to be formidable BECAUSE they're evil (which is an idea held completely opposite to that of the blogger I mentioned, earlier, showing that such like feminists seem to contradict each other quite often), and which is something to more likely DIMINISH feminism than support it.

If the storytellers had to sacrifice a few two-dimensional, to replace them with more three dimensional, female characters, I think almost everyone else would agree that's a WIN for feminism, NOT a loss.
Message posted on 2014-02-13 09:44:08
James said:
The first scene is two girls talking about playing in magic snow. That is an instant pass.

I actually found this movie to be a little overrated (Brave, Up, and How to Train Your Dragon were more my thing I guess. Olaf is a character who needs to be tossed in a boiling lake. And the musical numbers felt forced to me. But I'm clearly alone there). However, it is so rare seeing an actual female friendship done like this. It was a Disney Princess movie, with an actual focus on princesses.

You see the "strong female character" box checked every now and again. But usually that female character hangs around dudes all the time.

I was also impressed by how the romantic angle of the movie subverted expectations without being too cynical or self aware about it.

One thing I think is interesting gender representation wise (that is what the site is for) is that Anna and Elsa seem to be the only major female characters period.

Minus one of the trolls the entire supporting cast is male. There is nothing wrong or right with that (there aren't THAT many people in the movie) but it was interesting when I thought about it. It isn't a complaint, just something I noticed.

Obviously the plot requires both parents to be dead, and Anna's two romantic interests were going to be dudes. But so are all the reps from the other kingdoms.
Message posted on 2014-03-07 22:23:36
freda disagreed with the rating and said:
I believe that it is a fail because all but two of the characters are men, and the two characters actually seem weak to me. Let's start with Anna. Her one goal when her sister's coronation take place are finding the one, and that continues through the entire movie. She is told not to marry someone she just met, namely hans (who later rebukes her for claiming to love someone she doesn't know) and the fixer upper song is just making a cutesy way to force a marriage to who again she didn't really know longer than a day (ex in the song they say they can fix the fact she is engaged!) Second she is told that is is dangerous to see her sister and regardless of the love for her sister, antagonizing someone who you know can hurt you??!?!!! How stupid can one character be? Now let's get to Elsa. I agree that it is great to see a real portrayal of mental illness in a film. However, she again runs from everything and resolves nothing, would you want a leader like that?
Message posted on 2014-03-19 16:10:01
Chucks said:
Freda, you aren't describing the test. Whether the women are weak is irrelevant. That all the other characters are men is irrelevant. You have ONE: two women TWO: talking to each other THREE: about something other than a man. That's the whole test, it passes.
Message posted on 2014-03-22 00:09:24
Sachiko said:
Is Freda serious? They victim-blame both female characters after attempting (and failing) to describe how this fails the Bechdel Test. In other words, (fails in) using non-feminist tactics, as a previous poster did, to prove how they believe something fails one (of many) feminist tests. Besides, I'm thinking they didn't watch the movie until the end. Anna's one goal may have ended up being fulfilled with someone in the end, but that was absolutely a side story to the main plot. Also, Elsa returns to Arendelle long before she believes she's ready. How does that sound like someone who keeps running from everything? In fact, I, personally, believe that someone who recognizes their INABILITY to lead is just as great as someone who is aware of their ABILITY to lead. Yet, in the end, Elsa does regain her confidence in that respect. Also, why does Freda never mention that Elsa is not driven by her romantic inclinations at any point throughout the story? Is it only relevant when an author can use it to their advantage or is it that Freda and the rest of us actually were not watching the same story, after all?
Message posted on 2014-03-23 14:51:02
Libby said:
Freda, notwithstanding the irrelevance of this to the test, that fact that the naiveté of Anna's goal to find 'the one' is exposed when she is duped by Hans is surely testament to the fact that this was portrayed as a foolish attitude to have as opposed to being something that girls should aspire to. Her quick engagement was explicitly criticised by at least three other characters in the film (Elsa, Kristoph and the trolls), and I saw it as Anna starting out as an old school Disney princess and discovering along the way that 'love at first sight' doesn't always work out the way it does in fairytales. Which is an important lesson for young filmgoers (and it's even more important that the lesson is being offered by Disney, after the years of churning out the same old love stories).

Elsa does run away as this is how her father taught her to deal with her problems (Disney doesn't work without bad parenting), and she is flawed, but everyone is and women need to see real women represented in film, not just perfect ones with no issues. We see her escape oppression and achieve great things, only to be oppressed again by people who are scared of her power. Plus eventually, she learns to control her magic and gains the trust and acceptance of the townfolk. It was only Anna who had faith that she could do this all the way through.
Message posted on 2014-04-06 17:31:38
Zann said:
Just wanted to chime in here. First, yes, it passed. But regarding other feminist tests, it really struck me the very first time I watched how the focus of the story was the two sisters, with just minor make characters as almost side kicks. Sure, there was the Anna love triangle, but throwing in some element of romantic love is as basic to literature as the idea of plot. Feminist books have it too! But how cool that Frozen made it so secondary! Bravo! And as a woman with a close relationship with my sister, I don't mind telling you I'd trek across a frozen wasteland for her about a million years before I'd do it for a dude. Sorry, my husband. Smooch smooch. Yeah, I'd do it for my kids too, but that's different.
Message posted on 2014-04-13 05:02:29
Mariana Mattos said:
Honestly, the film is about two young girls. Would you expect Anna, who has lived her life trapped in a castle, to be so grown up and not thinking about finding true love? Should she be thinking about her career, or whether she'd get a job at a multinational? The whole fact that she wants to marry the first guy she talks to is MOCKING the whole idea of princess-prince. Or nobody else realized it? That's why everyone else in the movie went against it and even mocked it, which, honestly, is a great message for those little girls used to the idea of Prince Charming and love without flaws.

Elsa also spent her life fearing her powers and had barely left her teen years, would you expect her to be all grown-up and resolved? Really? Are we still talking about human beings? Because I know nobody with that much maturity before, say, 40 years of age. Very few after that as well, as a matter of fact.
If we want characters to portray real women, let's also take into consideration how real women are, at such age and under such conditions.

And yes, it passes the test and so so so many others.
Message posted on 2014-05-03 08:59:19
DanielleinDC said:
Of COURSE it passes. When Anna finally finds Elsa's ice palace, she begs her to come home. She just wants a relationship with her sister. The act of true love is not one of romantic love, but a woman's love for her sister.

Okay, maybe the romantic element is silly, but if you'd been isolated all your life, you'd probably fall for the first guy you met as well. But then she realizes that if she does have a true love, it's not him. Anna and Kristoff work together to find Elsa, and it's Anna who insists on doing the dangerous work.

It passes. Easily.
Message posted on 2014-06-15 03:30:45
Eliza said:
People saying that it doesn't pass the test because there isn't enough girls, or because the characters are 'weak', obviously don't know the Bechdel Test.

1. Two named female characters:
Elsa, Anna, and the troll Bulda.

2. Who talk to each other:
Elsa and Anna have numerous conversations.

3. About something other than a man:
Topics that come up in Elsa and Anna's conversations include:
~ Elsa's powers
~ Wanting to be friends
~ Elsa's coronation
~ Loving each other

So, yes, it passes. A lot better than some other movies, too.
Message posted on 2014-07-03 10:15:15
hahahaaaa said:
This passes the test, easily. And, as a plus, the moving is so, so amazing. It will put a smile on your face for a long while after. The most emotionally moving film I've watched in my life. Elsa and Anna, they're both perfect- flawed yes, but perfect.
Message posted on 2014-07-12 00:42:42
Thomas said:
It may pass the Bechdel test but it fails the "making a film that doesn't appropriate and bastardise another culture" test
Message posted on 2014-07-25 11:56:27
Jamie said:
No arguing, it passes the test. We have our named female characters. They talk to each other. They do talk to something about something other than a man.

However, men and romance are featured heavily in this plot. Note that. There's nothing wrong with this and the plot twist of an act of true love is a sisterly one. Points!

Anna goes through two love interests in this movie over a short period of time and there is a dig about falling in love quickly made towards her.

Elsa's ice powers are said to be a metaphor for mental illness and at the end of the movie, she is still forced to hide them away for the good of everyone, though there is some minor acceptance.

For women everywhere, this sort of poo-pooing is very detrimental, especially in a children's movie. If you're intending to watch as an adult, no problem. If you're trying to watch with a little girl, her future dating is her business and she should do it safely and securely, and mental health is a serious issue that should be handled and accepted, not hidden. Frozen does not handle either topic well.

A further test should be made for promoting women's issues for such movies that do pass the Bechdel Test. This is a movie that, while it does pass, holds a few issues I would find very uncomfortable to share with some children.

This movie is very much a learning experience and could help children become open of others if you allow it to be. It could also promote very negative thinking. It's a loaded movie. This is with most Disney films, of course. You may learn so much if you allow your mind to be opened and participate in the dialogue that is now opened before you.
Message posted on 2014-10-01 20:02:53
Lauren said:
What do you mean she hides her power away? It seems pretty obvious that she is using her power to make her people happy at the end of the film. She still has her ice dress and there's no hint that she doesn't use her powers regularly.

I don't think the film can just be read as being about mental illness. I think there is an undercurrent of LGBT issues throughout the film. Elsa suppressing her power (concealing it, not feeling, not letting it show) can definitely be read as suppressing latent homosexuality. The filmmakers even include a gay family in the film (Oaken and his family).
Message posted on 2014-11-03 05:38:22
Peggy said:
Yes, it does technically pass the test but I would disagree about there being two strong female characters. Anna's primary goal is, in fact, love. She falls in love in about two seconds flat. Elsa runs away from her problems. She hides from her problems. I feel that this movie does not actually have two strong female characters like everybody says it does. Even if it did, it would not be the fist Disney movie to have a strong female character. Look at Mary Poppins. Or Mulan. I would characterize Meg as a strong female character. Not the greatest example in the world but she does, at one point, save Hercules. There have, in fact, been many strong female characters in Disney movies. Some of the others just don't pass this test. I would also like to argue a previous point that has been made. Given the story that this is based off of, this is a poor example of a movie with strong female characters. There were many more in the original tale. Some of them were turned into male character in this. I know this point has already been argued but I will still say that it is valid. Overall, it passes the test but the characters and story have been given more credit than they deserve.
Message posted on 2014-12-15 02:18:13
louisa said:
I think Frozen passing the Bechdel test is a good example of how the test isn't good enough. The sisters are NOT the two main characters, if they were why do they talk to each other only three times in the movie? The three main characters are one sister, one love interest and a snowman. The women are NOT realistic, they are pretty little princesses. We need to raise the bar. The Bechdel test serves a purpose, but to say this film supports women is a stretch. Its just not as bad as the usual Disney crap.
Message posted on 2015-01-02 02:09:26
John Cowan said:
Of course the movie passes. And of course the BT is only a minimum bar: it's no guarantee of high quality. And of course the movie appropriates cultural material: that's what art does, and it makes no difference whether the artist "belongs" to that culture or not (art is subversive).
Message posted on 2015-02-01 03:46:45
demented said:
Beatrice is absolutely right. This movie is far less feminist than most gushing fans depict it is, since the plot can be summed up as "woman's out-of-control emotions cause trouble" (so feminist!) neither of the heroines are very bright, and the sisterly love is expressed by blind unintelligent belief in each other rather than having.... I dunno, SMART girls with doubts and realistic feelings.

And of course, it has the ugly Disney mark that when Elsa became complex and sympathetic, they decided she could no longer be a villain. She also conveniently became conventionally attractive at the same time.

Does it pass the Bechdel test? Yes. But sadly, that doesn't make it a very feminist tale. It's the shallow, limp imitation of feminism you'd expect from Disney, who frankly only make feminist films by accident. They don't know what it is.
Message posted on 2016-05-11 07:38:44

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