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]] Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) [imdb]

This movie passed 1 of 3 tests. It was entered by Rosie on 2014-03-02 09:55:03.



Rosie said:
A really misogynistic movie which I would strongly recommend not subjecting your children, whatever their gender, to. The main female character has to be saved repeatedly by the two title characters, who come up with all the bright ideas about how to save the world and do adventurous, exciting things whilst she is forced to marry Egyptian princes/dragged away inside Trojan horses. She is always portrayed as completely helpless and dependent on the male characters to save her. The only moment the film comes close to passing the test is when she is comforted by her mother (who says nothing throughout the movie apart from echoing her husband) whilst Sherman and Mr Peabody save the world. Worst of all is what happens to the villain at the end when she gets her "just desserts". She is grabbed by a Roman soldier who fancies her and then dragged through a time vortex, shrieking. She is abducted but after the vortex closes no-one bats an eyelid.
Message posted on 2014-03-02 09:55:03
Rebecca said:
This movie is despicable garbage. A completely sexist, racist, homophobic film that continually puts down women, POCs, and makes "gay" jokes which is supposed to make children laugh. It's horrible to think that kids are watching sort of garbage! This is how bigots are bred. Parents don't take your kids to see this!

Also yes, it fails the test.
Message posted on 2014-03-09 16:35:39
Elizabeth said:
Definitely pathologically obvious mysoginistic movie and very hateful of other people who are not "normal:" Adding these examples:

1) all female characters are either bitches, mean, domineering, indulgent, self-absorbed or passive

2) the 2 fat women (Marie-Antoinette and Grunion) were very negatively portrayed and their fatness was very exaggerated and viewed as evil through gross body movements and camera angles

3) the girl initially does the flying in DaVinci's contraption, but gives the controls to Sherman who flies and then he gets all the credit

4) the nice boy in the wheelchair tries to add positive comments, but is too passive and gets trounced on by the girl

5) didn't see one famous female character from the past that did anything important or valuable - all were MALE. All were white. What about someone like Harriet Tubman?

6) girl almost gets "raped" by the rapier for the blood ceremony during Ancient Egypt because she didn't want to marry King Tut? Confusing.

7) why does Sherman have to fall in love with the bitchy girl? Why does the screenwriter feel obligated to have the lead character win over such a nasty person? Very insecure, clearly.

Also, how many other film references can you put in this movie before there is nothing original in it? This one contained so many "bits" that it was pastiche.

This movie also did not have build and the editing was too fast and lost the storytelling in the process. It was more like a ride I wouldn't want to go on again.

Only thing good about this movie were the credits at the end - they were beautiful.

CONCLUSION: There is something pathologically wrong with the screenwriter and director? Why didn't Dreamworks filter the script earlier? This movie should NOT BE SEEN by anybody. Somebody needs some serious therapy.
Message posted on 2014-03-10 01:18:41
Kaiju said:
It's saddening that an eight year old is just use as a love interest for another eight year old in this movie
Message posted on 2014-06-02 01:41:16
rich said:
Rosie? Did you watch the film or briefly glance at it occasionally? The film is about the boy and dog - of course it focuses on them. You seem to have managed to completely overlook Penny's nasty bullying at the start which happened simply because Sherman knew more about history. She was only forced to marry the prince because shed originally agreed to it and couldn't back out. She liked the idea of being a princess more than bothering to find out what was involved. She was quick to use her power against sherman and peabody before peabody pointed out what she was heading for. The mother is the strong one and the father is an idiot. Oh and the "worst" thing? The unpleasant social worker was grabbed by agamemnon ... but the last scene has her happily marrying him and being the dominant one.
Message posted on 2014-08-12 19:05:02
Rosie said:
Hello rich. I find your comment unnecessarily antagonistic. I watched the film beginning to end in the cinema, although perhaps my vision was obscured by my pained winces. Firstly, why are both the dog and the child male? The film could have shown, rather than a stereotypical very successful businessman, a female dog who had achieved a lot and was extremely intelligent, or the child could have been an inquisitive, intelligent and kind girl. Saying "the title characters are both male" is no excuse for the film not passing the test, because making both the title characters male was a CHOICE. Penny was a very unpleasant child, and this sent an unhelpful message that Penny's personality didn't matter in whether Sherman liked her or not. I am very disturbed by you saying that "she was only forced to marry the prince because she'd originally agreed to it". I don't think you understand consent- just because someone has agreed to something in a relationship in the past, it doesn't mean that the other person has any right to expect them to continue to agree to it or for them to agree to it again, or to force them to do it if they will not. The last scene was extremely disturbing; the abduction was a PG version of rape, some sort of sick "redemption by rape" scene, and then to go on to portray her as growing to like her attacker makes the situation so many times worse.
Message posted on 2014-08-14 22:18:12
Rich said:
I was simply pointing out your errors. You have your interpretation of the story, I have mine. You seem quick to avoid things that disprove your desperate search for misogyny , you can make much better arguments if you avoid things like the knee jerk use of the word rape to describe the Greek guy grabbing the woman. For example, I agree with you over shermans attraction to penny. She's horrible to him for the majority of the film. The only thing she has are looks. It's only much later that she shows good signs such as letting him take the controls and encouraging him to believe in himself. The force issue? Pointing something out does not equal supporting it. At the time many people had no choice over marriage - more a business deal between families, especially for royal families. But you want to rewrite the past to match modern day expectations. Why? That's what happened then.
Message posted on 2014-08-16 13:07:00
Kravin said:
Are you aware that this is based on an old tv cartoon? Why should yo turn them into women if they were created earlier as is? Also, in an egalitarian mindset the sex of the characters wouldn't be that relevant. It disturbs me that you have to turn this into sexism (by actually being sexist). Making every story about women would be just as bad (and bigoted) as making all of them about a male lead. That seems to be what you want (from what I read from your posts).
Message posted on 2014-08-28 10:24:52
haber said:
Yes, this is based on an old cartoon from the very sexist 1950's. So fair enough that it's about a boy and a dog. But the stuff Rich said about Penny's nasty bullying and being forced to marry the prince because of her own earlier choice is bizarre. It's not a real person who did these things. She's a character created in a screenwriter's head and that screenwriter made the conscious decision to write her in an awful, sexist manner.
Message posted on 2015-01-07 20:30:29
mickey said:
forget the sad ideas to the movie why did this become a debate on the merits of them being male? they are men and the movie is about them I would think it only natural for the movie to fail the test they may have been no female at all it would still make sense! on the rating
Message posted on 2015-01-27 19:30:36
ben said:
A perfect film to illustrate micro-aggression towards people of color. A white dog decides to help humanity after he is NOT adopted by a black boy who claims the dog is "too sarcastic." The white dog is reading Plato, and makes a joke to the black boy. The black boy's rejection is indicative of his ignorance. Second, the white dog, speaking in perfect Merriam-Webster English (Webster was white), explains that he invented fist bumping and zumba. Fist bumping was popularized by a person of color (Fred Carter), and zumba was developed by a Columbian dancer (a person of color). The white beings again misappropriate. Another example of a micro-aggression is illustrated through Mr. Sherman's presentation of "all the greatest minds." All the greatest minds just happen to be white, Euro men. With the exception of the Egyptians who were previously portrayed as darker tone people who are superstitious and religious fanatics following a trope that people of color are often depicted as superstitious and fanatical (mockery of Voodu and black Pentecostalism is a good place to start). One good of this movie: a judge is a black man. Yea!!!
Message posted on 2015-02-14 03:45:42
young_crone said:
This movie was terribly depressing. It made some horrible decisions about gender (and race and other characteristics). Even though it was based on an existing cartoon that featured two male leads, it still could have sent more positive messages, whether or not it passed the Bechdel Test. Off the top of my head, I can think of two ways it could have been improved.

1. The non-historical female figures could have been made more nuanced/ believable/likable. Actually, leaving them out completely would have been a better decision than including them the way they were. There were three non-historical female characters, and they were all either awful, completely nutso irrational, uninteresting, or some combination of the above. Grunion was the first two, Penny's Mom was the last, and Penny was all three. Consider how much better the movie would have been if these characters had been just a tiny bit nuanced. They could have given Penny better reasons for doing some of the stupid stuff she did. They could have made Grunion a man, or given Penny two moms (or two dads). Et cetera et cetera.

2. It could have included more female historical figures who are known for their intellectual contributions, like Ada Lovelace or Marie Curie. As it is, the only female historical figures it focused on were Marie Antoinette and Mona Lisa, and both were portrayed as irrational and unlikable. Did anybody else die a little inside during the scene near the end where they try to use the assembled genius of the historical figures to fix the timeline, and there are no (named, introduced) female intellectuals in the crowd?

Also, did anyone else notice that the one female historical figure who is remembered for her intellectual contributions got only a cameo role, and it was a negative one? Sherman goes to a school named after Susan B. Anthony, and in the initial scene with the irrationally aggressive Ms. Grunion, there's a portrait of Anthony on the wall behind her, and it's a portrayal of Anthony that makes her look evil. They could have chosen to portray her looking benign, or concerned, or dignified. There were millions of ways that they could have portrayed her that would have looked positive or neutral, but instead they portrayed one of the most famous supporters of women's rights as unlikable. It made the rest of the sexism in the movie feel intentional and malicious.

And I agree with others that the abduction of Grunion essentially amounts to an insidious, whitewashed rape.

Message posted on 2015-02-17 21:38:49
Tj said:
I did not like this movie, but certainly not for the reasons stated by many of the women here. There are many many movies with women at the center of the action, but for a moment can we at least discuss this film, about a male being bullied, wow. Here we have a film about a 7.5 year old and how he is bullied, and while he gets punished for defending himself, his aggressor gets off Scott free. Furthermore, he is humiliated by his Dog Father by having to entertain the bully, who as mentioned got off Scott free. Of course Sherman falls for the bully, because we all know boys have to emotions other than sexual. Hollywood is indeed sexist, but it would be nice if some could see how the system works against both sexes and not just their own.

On a side note I did not like how Mr. Peabody described ancient Egypt as "barbaric", that might be Hollywood zionism sneaking in there.
Message posted on 2015-03-24 17:21:00
Brooke said:
Though the inspiration for the male characters does have a foundation, the entire point of the site relates to the bechdel test, which this movie certainly does fail.

A good movie for a child who aspires to be an MRA or MGTOW. ;)
Message posted on 2016-01-25 17:42:19
Marie said:
In ancient Greek myth Hades abducted Persephone and in the books they called it rape. Technically it was an abduction not rape when Agamemnon grabbed Grunion. Oh and sidenote the Minotaur never had kids and if you're wondering why Christmas at Oedipus' house would be awkward its because he killed his father and married his mother in the myths. Oedipus' mother then committed suicide when the truth came out
Message posted on 2016-06-26 16:44:08
Dude said:
Not only women think this is a mysogynist piece of garbage. As a guy, I cringed through the whole thing!
Message posted on 2017-01-03 21:42:39
Kipper said:
Denying that this is a sexist film is a real stretch. For what it's worth, I can get over the two-male protagonist thing, and can even see the attempts to make Penny's character 'feisty' (even if that's sabotaged by cringey sexist plotlines). But the Mrs Grunyon characterisation is undeniably horrible on so many levels, you have to be pretty dmned entrenched to not see it. Feel familiar that it's always the big, ugly old lady that ruins things for the fun but irresponsible dad type? I think so! Never mind that social workers are often seriously underappreciated heroes in real life...
Message posted on 2018-12-23 18:21:31
Nelle said:
In the background in the Dean's office the is a painting where Susan B. Anthony is portrayed as scowling and surrounded by cats. I often find people who believe that feminism leads to single lonely cat ladies and,to me, that portrait seemed very intentionally malicious towards a great woman who fought for equality. Unless I missed it, there are no significant woman from history portrayed as positive. Although many men from history are portrayed as nobel.
Message posted on 2020-08-15 18:37:01
femmeapples disagreed with the rating and said:
Well... erm... as it turns out... Mr. Peabody and Sherman... has a 3/3 Bechdel Test Pass.

My friends and I watched this movie because of this comment thread, a master class in trying to explain sexism and racism to people actively trying to deny its existence. A collective of unfortunate movie goers, beautiful strangers on the internet trying to unwork the damage that this movie has wrought across space-time.

The Bechdel is at 1hr5min:
*the crew has rushed back to the penthouse from the Trojan War*
Patty Peterson: So, what's going on here?
Paul Peterson: Yeah, what's with the getup?
Penny Peterson: Toga party!
Patty Peterson: (laughs) Toga party?
*and that's more than technically a Bechdel!! dingdingding*

I can sleep soundly tonight, knowing that, despite the racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, antisemitism, Orientalism, ableism, and a thousand other "dog whistles", this movie, Mr. Peabody and Sherman (2014) passes the Bechdel Test. A win for feminism? In 2020, I'll take what I can get

fun fact! This same guy directed The Lion King in 1994??
Message posted on 2020-10-11 06:17:46
rat disagreed with the rating and said:
It’s a... children’s movie...
Message posted on 2022-06-21 15:06:00

> Add comment

> Add review

Back to the list.

Privacy policy