Pixar Chief: We're Ready For "Female, Ethnic Characters"

Photo: Courtesy Pixar.
In the 20 years since Toy Story, Pixar has featured talking toys, talking cars, talking monsters, talking fish, talking bugs, romantic robots, rats who cook, and super-stretchy superheroes. According to Disney-Pixar chief John Lasseter, they're now focusing on adding more diverse female leads.

When asked by The Guardian why Pixar has yet to feature a black protagonist — like say, DreamWorks Animations' latest hit, Home — Lasseter acknowledged that the company was ready to move forward.

"It’s very important for us — both at Pixar and at Disney — to have female, ethnic characters,” he told the British paper. “That’s grown in importance over time. We’re really paying attention to that."

Using the term "ethnic," which many see as an offensive buzzword that trivializes their diverse cultures, probably isn't helping his cause. However, it's reassuring to see that Pixar is at least aware of its diversity problem. 

To be fair, Pixar did give us 2012's Brave, the tale of Scottish warrior princess Merida. Pixar's newest release, Inside Out, also features a female protagonist, with Amy Poehler and Mindy Kaling voicing two of the five emotions guiding her decisions. Fingers crossed the film doesn't paint females as overwhelmingly emotional creatures who can't make a rational thought process. 

We assume the "ethnic" (eesh) project Lasseter is hinting at is a film inspired by the Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos, which it first announced in 2012. As far as females go, well — does Dory also count? 

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