meus intuitus

No Yellowface… Just Russell, the Wilderness Explorer!

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Up is not just an incredibly entertaining and endearing movie–it is also a beautiful counter example to racial stereotyping in main stream cinema.  One of the protagonists in this movie is a fat little Asian boy named Russell.  That’s plenty of cannon fodder right there.  He could have eaten dumplings and rice, used chopsticks, had an accent, had lines-for-eyes, done martial arts, had a Chinese name, worn a shirt with a panda on it, etc.  It would have been incredibly easy to throw something along those lines in–even without being offensive.  Yet, they did not use a single stereotype; not one.  In fact, the kid is a boyscout!  What is beautiful about his part in the movie is that he is there only as himself. He is not the racial comic relief or the satisfaction of a stereotype.  Rather, he is there for his family history, his boyscout organization, his personality; he is there for who he is, not what he is.  Even so, he is a hilarious character!  Without exaggeration, this funny little kid is the most genuinely portrayed Asian American protagonist in mainstream cinema that I have seen.  Bravo, well done, and kudos to Disney Pixar.


Written by meusintuitus

June 24, 2009 at 2:21 pm

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