In parts of the animation industry, women have made significant strides.
That’s according to new research out of the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of California, which shows the management side of animation is were women are most included. The study also reveals much more needs to be done to support women of colour in all aspects of the industry.
Over half (52 per cent) of all animation executives in film are female and in television, the number is 39 percent, the study found. This is a significant feat for women, who have been historically excluded from key roles in the film industry.
Despite these promising numbers, it is clear that the experiences of white women and women of colour vary greatly in the corporate side of animation. Only six percent of executives in animated film are women of colour and nine percent in television.
The number of female producers in animation has seen a significant increase over time. The latest figures show over the last 12 years and in the top 120 animated films, 4 in 10 producers were female. However, in this same sample of the top 120 films, only 2.5 percent of directors were women.
The study confirms an obvious lack of opportunities for women in the industry, as in other areas of animation, women continue to remain in the minority.
Nine percent of writers across these 120 top animated films were women. One percent of these writers were women of colour.
Studies show films with female leads are more likely to perform better at the box office, however female leads in animation are very rare. Only 17 percent of the top 120 animated features from 2007-2018 had a female lead or co lead. Just three of these films depicted a female of colour as the protagonist.
Sadly, it seems the much-loved female animated characters we have seen in recent years, like Moana and Elsa, are the exception, not the rule.
Annecy 2019: First-Ever Inclusion in Animation Study Confirms Obvious Lack Of Opportunities For Women In Industry. Lots of excellent detailed analysis in this new study that came out today. https://t.co/LYjVGDRn2u pic.twitter.com/nGgQujbmOG
— Cartoon Brew @Annecy Festival (@cartoonbrew) June 10, 2019