Where Are the Women? Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (aka The Peanuts Movie)

Where Are the Women? Snoopy and Charlie Brown The Peanuts Movie

The resonance of Charlie Brown’s put-uponness has descended into clichés about male characters who are prompted to personal journeys by beautiful women.

Warning! Minor spoiler in the Wildcard section.


[no significant representation of girls/women]


Is there a woman who is kidnapped (either onscreen or off) whose kidnap motivates a male protagonist? [why this matters]


Is a woman or women used as decorative objects/set dressing? [why this matters]


Is there a female character who is primarily defined by her emotional and/or sexual relationship with a man or men? [why this matters]


Is there anything either positive or negative in the film’s representation of women not already accounted for here? (points will vary)

While she isn’t Manic Pixie, the Little Red-Haired Girl is definitely a dream girl. She isn’t a character, and we only ever just barely glimpse her face. She is placed on a pedestal by Charlie Brown, and without him ever knowing a single thing about her except that she is pretty, she becomes a motivating factor for him to improve himself in order to be worthy of her. And his journey is over when she finally speaks to him, at the very end of the film, to tell him how awesome he is.


IS THE FILM’S DIRECTOR FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

IS THE FILM’S SCREENWRITER FEMALE? No (does not impact scoring)

BOTTOM LINE: This adaptation of the long-running comic strip could have earned a few points by keeping Lucy in her traditional role as an antagonist for Charlie Brown. But Lucy is cast aside in favor of elevating the anonymous Little Red-Haired Girl into a dehumanized object of desire for him. Meanwhile, in Snoopy’s fantasy of battling the Red Baron over the skies of Europe, he is motivated by a pretty pink poodle whom he must rescue when she is captured by the enemy. A comic strip that had an everyman (and everywoman) resonance in the constant put-uponness of Charlie Brown’s good nature, bad luck, and endless optimism has descended into tedious clichés about male characters who are driven on their personal journeys by women who are literally nothing more than beautiful to behold.

Click here for the ongoing ranking of 2015’s films for female representation.

NOTE: This is not a “review” of Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (aka The Peanuts Movie)! It is simply an examination of how well or how poorly it represents women. (A movie that represents women well can still be a terrible film; a movie that represents women poorly can still be a great film.) Read my review of Snoopy and Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie (aka The Peanuts Movie).

See the full rating criteria. (Criteria that do not apply to this film have been deleted in this rating for maximum readability.)

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Thu, Dec 17, 2015 12:56pm

Snoopy didn’t need motivation to fight the Red Baron! It was war!

MaryAnn Johanson
reply to  RogerBW
Thu, Dec 17, 2015 10:42pm

He doesn’t need the motivation to fight, but rescuing a damsel in distress does make him a hero. Apparently. It’s depressing that people still think this is a thing we should be rooting for.