“See Jane” by Adrian Garcia

To bring attention to gender inequality and the poor representation of girls and women in children’s media, Newton Massachusetts-based Hero4Hire Creative partnered with actress/advocate Geena Davis to launch See Jane, a national public awareness campaign. This beautiful new PSA uses a combination of traditional hand drawn with computer animation techniques. Adrian Garcia directed based on designs by Lindsay Small-Butera.

CREDITS
Director: Adrian Garcia
Designer: Lindsay Small-Butera
Animators: Dan Flynn, Mike Nordstorm, Adrian Garcia
Writer: Allison Dressler Kramer
Original Score: Daniel Koren
Voiceover Talent: Mira Downie
Sound Design: John Moreland
Executive Producers: Allison Kramer/Joan Meister
Creative Director: Evan Sussman


  • Omar Wiseman

    Wow… really enjoyed this. It’s good were getting the media to start changing.

  • http://bakertoons.blogspot.com/ Charles Brubaker

    Lindsay Small-Butera posted more information and sketches on this PSA over at tumblr:

    http://smalllindsay.tumblr.com/post/36013526860/click-here-to-watch-i-am-incredibly-proud-to

  • A.M

    Wow! Token female role model? That’s never been done before!

    Urgh, I just hope that they are also campaigning for female representations of not so strong characters. Y’know, like Donald Duck and Scott Pilgrim – characters that have unlikable characteristics but are actually damn interesting. It’s always the same with these campaigns – they want strong, heroic, female characters but they don’t seem to want other character archetypes.

    I agree – there should be more female representation. However, this sort of appeal to the media always ends up with companies creating female tokens instead of just making characters. It’s not that hard to write a female character. What is hard is trying to please everyone.

    • Scott

      What makes you think they only want strong, heroic, female characters? One of their explicit aims is to have more female characters of every kind, rather than defaulting to male.

      Geena Davis has spoken about the boat race scene in Stuart Little. As originally staged, every child operating a remote controlled boat was a boy. Davis suggested to one of the assistant directors that some of the remotes be given to girls. Obviously these aren’t hero characters. It was as simple as making girls more visible.

      • A.M

        I sure hope that companies read it that way.

  • Mel

    You are describing flawed characters in citing the likes of Donald Duck. Flawed characters tend to be far more interesting than most heroic character leads. Flawed characters are also more fun to write and animate than are bland personalities. Every Disney feature has been driven by its villains – the ones with the major flaws and therefore the most interesting. why can’t the emphasis be on flawed, interesting and entertaining characters who happen to be female? It should not be an insurmountable problem. A host of other preconceived notions regarding women is clouding this issue.

    • A.M

      Thing is, portraying females in this way isn’t a problem whatsoever. The problem is that we aren’t used to writing females like this and I think we had better do it more.

  • Karl Hungus

    Why am I supposed to care about genders being equally represented in the media that children watch when the same people are telling me that the genders of the parents that raise those children don’t have to be equally represented.
    I mean really, for a MENSA member Geena Davis has been coming off as pretty thick. Does she get out much?
    The new narrative is that gender doesn’t matter. The genders are interchangeable when it comes to child development. Thats the drum they have been banging about gay marriage for years. And now Geena steps forward with this? Its getting confusing already….

    • http://rubikunsreviews.livejournal.com Rubi-kun

      Unless gay parents are forcing their kids into secret all-male/all-female Marxist communes run by the Illuminati and the Lizard People*, kids are exposed to a lot more people than just their parents. Gender ideally shouldn’t matter much, but in this unideal world it does. Lack of female representation in media comes from a place of societal sexism, so fighting sexism is an important goal if we want a truly more gender-blind society in the future. And so you’ve missed the complete point.

      *P.S. They aren’t.

      • Karl Hungus

        The prevailing philosophy on same sex parents is that they are EQUAL to traditional parents and that means gender doesn’t matter. I’m on board! If thats what the narrative is on the issue(and it is – I won’t litter this thread with links) than so be it.

        But don’t tell me now that gender must be represented equally in cartoons when it isn’t represented equally in PARENTS.
        This whole bean counting of boys and girls on tv becomes intellectually bankrupt the minute we say that gender is irrelevant in every other minute of a child’s life.

        • http://rubikunsreviews.livejournal.com Rubi-kun

          The thing is that, gender should be irrelevant. And essentially, it generally is. But the way society reacts to gender isn’t irrelevant. If it were, then there would be some much hate directed towards same-sex couples, as well as so much sexism in general. Sexism that makes it so that girls are way underrepresented in media and especially kids’ media. Wanting equal representation in media is a good thing. I guess being nitpicky about everything having to be exactly equal could be problematic, but this is about correcting a general trend.

        • anonaly

          What?

          How does the gender of parents equal a discussion regarding representation of gender (or race, ethnicity, orientation, or age for that matter) in modern day media?

          • Karl Hungus

            Because her organization is taking action on “gender balance” according to their mission statement. But they are doing it selectively. Because if they approached it in any other aspect of modern culture, they would be (brace yourself) judging trends in our society and hurting the feelings of adults. And we can’t hurt anyone’s feelings no matter what the data says.
            So its media that we focus on. Cartoons! Its easy to target companies for their minor influences on children’s development. But they wouldn’t dare hold their standards to the primary caretakers of children. Its hypocrisy of the highest order, and more than that, it flies in the face of the last 100 years of sociological, anthropological and psychological research. If you think the equal representation of gender is so important, then try starting with a place where it has a valid and substantiated effect on children – their parents. Otherwise(and I prefer this option) stay out of my cartoons with this RIDICULOUS PC garbage.

  • http://mattmaners.blogspot.com Matt Maners

    Nice animation and I get the whole we need better role models. A better alternative to having all of media change is to have parents especially dads involved in their lives on a daily basis, how about a PSA about that so that you go to the root. Loving and respecting your wife and doing the same with your children far out weighs anything in the media. Also if your daughter is watching 7 hours a day of TV like the PSA said then there are bigger problems.

  • Lulu

    In before “war on men”

  • http://sketchamagowza.com Shmorky

    Thank you for posting this, CB! I like that this video is getting out there. This is an important issue for me and many other cartoonists that want more roles for female characters. This PSA is also wonderfully animated.

  • http://mrcontro.tumblr.com Tres Swygert

    Now I’m just waiting for a PSA animation message about Black males being better represented in the media. Not often you see that for an animated show or an animated film.

    That would be nice.

    • optimist

      One thing at a time. Btw-why black MALES?
      Females are 50% of the human population. Including black females.

  • http://animationhardtofind.blogspot.com GW

    I agree with the message. I’ve read similar things said on many blogs and hopefully this reinforces the ideas. I hope that especially independent creators note this because they’re the ones who’re able to change the easiest.

    A ten year old boy relative was at my house this Thanksgiving playing Spore and he assumed that the playable creatures were male. He was awfully surprised when his creature laid an egg.

  • ParamountCartoons

    Watch the Nostaliga Critic’s “Animaniacs Tribute”. Some of the main characters in Animaniacs and Tiny Toons (Dot, Babs) are regular token characters, and Sherri Stoner leads the way. Unfortuantley, references to sexist figures are promenient, even with those aformentioned characters, especially with Yakko’s “Groucho Marx craziness” for women.

  • Vzk

    Not as bad as Japanese media though.

  • Fox Heres

    The girls on every kids show are always the annoying smart alecs that save the day. It’s boring. Boys have only violent role models and idiots in cartoons. Girls have bossy problem solvers, for the most part.

    The Mighty Bee, on the other hand, was a great show with a layered, nuanced character in a fully comedic lead, and the network killed it.

  • Joel

    As a young man, I’m really happy to see this! I too wish to see more female characters in interesting roles as actual characters. I like what I see in such shows as “Adventure Time,” “Gravity Falls,” “Arthur,” and “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic,” but for a large part (I feel disappointingly confident in saying for the most part), females aren’t portrayed as either actual characters or regular people, which is a real shame both in the fact’s potential impact on younger viewers (as well as not-so-young viewers) and in the lack of awesome female characters. I hope SeeJane.org helps raise awareness of the representation of women in children’s media (as well as media in general) and might eventually lead to better representation, featuring, and treatment of females in media (and hopefully more interesting, memorable characters in the process!).