10 International Animated Films That Showcase World Cultures – Dana Ziyasheva reports (Guest Post)

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The United States has always been a culturally diverse country, and it will become even more so in the future. In 2019, more than half of Americans under age 16 identified as a racial or ethnic minority for the first time – so not really a minority after all! Young audiences want to relate to what they’re watching, explore their heritage, and learn about their friends’ cultural background. And Hollywood has started to take notice: Moana, Mulan, Coco, and Encanto added ethnic diversity to Disney/Pixar’s time-tested formula, with action-packed, broad-stroke narratives centered on their title characters’ identity search.

As a parent, I want my kids to see the world as a dazzling array of cultures, a rich and varied tapestry woven by the creativity of humankind. Families can use movies like the ones below to begin or continue essential conversations about cultural codes, biases and stereotypes, cross-cultural communication, and inter-faith dialogue. Ranging from the 1922 version of Cinderella to 2019’s The Knight and the Princess, these non-English movies provide a glimpse into the history of animation around the world. Created in the now-defunct Soviet Union, The Crocodile Gena and Cheburashka offer subtle expressions of social opposition. Others, like the Egyptian Knight and Princess, are a labor of love and cultural statement by their creators. Bouba & Zaza Protect the Earth, Pachamama, The Legend of Buddha, and Kirikou are the dazzling result of international cooperation and contribute to global conversation on sustainable development. Continue reading on THE FEMALE GAZE

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Guest Post

The Alliance of Women Film Journalists publishes guest posts -- reviews, interviews and other articles -- by film journalists who are not AWFJ members, but whose work meets our editorial standards. Guest posts are published in full on THE FEMALE GAZE, a sub blog of AWFJ.org. You will find a link to the full article at the end of this truncated version.