Last Saturday, April 28, marked two years since the last major release of an animated feature in the United States either directed or co-directed by a woman. That film was Ratchet & Clank, released on April 29, 2016, co-directed by Jericca Cleland and Kevin Munroe.
Since that date, the 31 animated features that have been released stateside in 1,000-plus theaters have been all directed by men. There is no change in sight either: there are no major releases of films by women currently planned through next April 28, which will be three years since the release of Ratchet & Clank. (Later in 2019, there are two films co-directed by women that are on the release schedule: Everest from China’s Pearl Studio and Disney’s Frozen 2.)
With all the recent attention on diversity and representation in Hollywood, the conversation seems to have largely bypassed the feature animation industry. Cartoon Brew has been keeping track of who’s been directing features throughout the 2010s, and it’s a dire picture in terms of diversity: there has been exactly one animated feature to be solely directed by a woman (Kung Fu Panda 2) and just four more films that have had a woman director paired with a man.