Step 1: Research
I have always LOVED Disney and Pixar movies, growing up with classics like Toy Story and Finding Nemo. Watching these as a girl, I was mostly oblivious to the similarities between women characters. I recently read this article by Isis Madrid which references a Tumblr post by Every Flavored Bean, claiming that nearly every female character in Disney Pixar movies has basically the same face.
I believe Madrid raises some valid points in her article. After looking at her readers' comments, however, I was appalled at how many people thought her words were absurd. The vast majority of comments did one of three things: justified Disney for infantilizing female faces, claimed that Madrid left too many female characters out of her research that disprove her argument, or accused feminists of "finding something else to complain about".
I decided to do some detailed research for myself, and find out if female Disney Pixar characters' faces, in fact, all look the same. I thought I'd take it a step further by also comparing protagonists with antagonist characters. I started by gathering images of every character (male and female) listed on IMDB.com in each of the Disney Pixar full-length feature films made from 1995 to 2017. (Note: I will not be including Pixar's short films, nor any Disney movies that do not involve Pixar.)
*This project began in 2015, but it was edited in January 2018 to include the latest Disney Pixar full-length films The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory, Cars 3, and Coco.
STEP 2: NARROWING & DRAWING
I focused on two character groups: human males and human females. Inspired by the Tumblr blogger I then drew each character's face, carefully making his or her nose, eyes, and overall face shape match as closely to the original character as possible.
The following characters were drawn after eliminating fish, bugs, automobiles, robots, monsters, and other various animals. (Note: Because I wanted to focus on human faces, I did not draw any of the beloved characters from A Bug's Life, Cars, Cars 2, Cars 3, or Monsters University.)
STEP 3: ANALYZING GENDER DIFFERENCES
By grouping all males together and all females together, it is easier to compare gender differences. Here are some conclusions I made: first, there are many more male human characters in Disney Pixar films than female humans. One of Disney Pixar's more recent films, Inside Out, is the only one with more female human characters than male. Second, males seem to have much more variety in the shape of their faces than their female counterparts. This could partly be attributed to the higher quantity of males than females. Third, half the female characters have large eyes, small noses, and round faces, creating a doe-eye / button-nose aesthetic, which some might call "infantilizing". The only male characters with all of these features are Jack Jack from The Incredibles (a 1-year-old baby) and Spot from The Good Dinosaur (also a young child).