Everybody loves Pixar movies. They make us cry like children, and laugh like… well, children. Above all, Pixar movies make us remember how and when we felt just like our favorite characters did. That’s not an accident – Pixar has given moviegoers some of the most honest and moving stories in all of cinema, and they’re careful about which stories they choose to tell. If Pixar has a failing (and we’re not necessarily saying it does) it would be that like in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s a shortage of female main characters. One could argue that the stories are mainly about male characters with the ladies relegated to mothers, sisters, or the ever-popular love interests. With Finding Dory in theatres now, we thought we’d list some of the most interesting women and girls from Pixar films who should get their own story to tell. Here’s 15 Female Pixar Characters Who Deserve a Feature Film.
15. EVE (WALL-E)
Everybody loves EVE, even though she’s technically a supporting character in WALL-E. Wouldn’t it be cool to see her in her young botanist days when she was learning how to be the best darn Extraterrestrial Vegetation Evaluator she could be? Maybe she didn’t want to work with plants at all? Perhaps teenage EVE was a goth kid who thought everything sucked. She might have wanted to raise farm animals and then set them free. What if she wanted to nurture young robots and help them find happiness while still getting the job done? EVE can do all sorts of things, like shoot ions and fly really fast. She could even be some sort of racing droid. We won’t know what skills she’s abandoned until EVE gets her own solo feature. Regardless of what humans turn into in the years to come, it seems unlikely that we’ll devolve to the point where we no longer love EVE.
14. Queen Elinor (Brave)
It may seem obvious that Merida is the “brave” character in the aptly named film Brave. Merida is brave, but she’s hardly the only brave woman in the film. When we meet Queen Elinor, she’s frowning with disapproval at the idea of her daughter with a bow and quiver full of arrows. We could make a strong case that upholding traditional values like those shown require a fair amount of courage, as would standing up to her husband. The real bravery of Queen Elinor isn’t shown until the fate-changing cake is eaten, and she turns into a bear. She doesn’t punish her daughter for this, nor does bear Elinor leave Merida to her own devices. She’s fierce. A movie strictly about Elinor’s life as a bear would be great. But one about her ongoing ferociousness in defense of her loved ones would be even better. Who knows, maybe with Elinor on the case, Fergus could get his leg back.
13. Holley Shiftwell (Cars 2)
What’s not to love about Holly Shiftwell? She’s purple, she’s got a ton of cool features, and she’s voiced by Emily Mortimer. This sexy spymobile is fully equipped with covert weaponry, a slick holographic display, and a go-go-gadget arm that turns out to be highly versatile. So why wouldn’t this exotic spy-in-training get her own feature? Can’t you just picture her in a high speech chase à la Mission Impossible, or at the center of a cool heist caper like The Italian Job, only more British? Holley eventually becomes Mater’s girlfriend, but we’d probably all prefer to see her single and free from emotional constraints. After all, this sweet purple Jaguar has a name like a Bond girl. The more street smart she gets, the cooler it will be. A movie featuring Ms Shiftwell rocking her gadgets and saving the world is something we’d all pay good money for – especially if she’s still got that taser thingy.
12. Dr. Abigail Hardscrabble (Monsters University)
It’s a little confounding that the Dean of the School of Scaring at Monsters University hasn’t had her own film yet. A life of frightening children as a job? How awesome would that be? Dean Hardscrabble was originally envisioned and designed as a male character, and a blustery one at that. When it was determined that the Dean would be a woman, Helen Mirren signed on to give her a chilling vocal quality and an outlook that made students scramble to please her. Her origin story and time as a pupil at Monsters U would make a fascinating feature. Then again, so would a movie that follows her home and shows us what kind of a person she is when away from the students and relieved of the responsibility of teaching scares. If it’s an origin story, Ms Hardscrabble would absolutely have to come in contact with Waternoose. Maybe they could even date? No… that would end horribly.
11. Princess Atta (A Bug’s Life)
You could certainly make the case that Atta is the real hero of A Bug’s Life. First of all, she’s about to inherit the throne as the movie opens. That’s a big deal, even among ants. It’s worth noting too that Princess Atta is the first princess in the Pixar universe, probably because Disney relied on attractive royalty for so many years. While Atta is apprehensive about her new responsibilities, she makes decisions that are quick, fair, and for the good of her people – um, insects. In fact, Atta makes choices that are good for the entire ecosystem. Why watch a movie about some random ant who can’t tell the difference between warriors and circus performers when you can watch the new ant Queen doing Queenly stuff? I’d love to see Atta leading an army, developing sustainable agriculture, or opening a performing arts center. Princess Atta could easily carry off any of these.
10. Deb/Flo (Finding Nemo)
Usually, when you’ve got a movie about one real sibling and one imaginary one, it’s a horror flick. That might be a fun possibility if Pixar ever decides to delve into psychological thrillers or tragedies about mentally imbalanced fish. Psychotic fish could probably cause some serious havoc in the open seas. Deb from Finding Nemo is a lovely, if confused, damselfish who is convinced that her reflection in the aquarium is her identical twin sister, Flo. Is it? We’re not entirely sure. Since Deb (and presumably Flo) wind up free in the ocean at the end of the first film, the adventures they could have are downright limitless. Could they join a troupe of performing fish, à la Fantasia? Might they decide to run a whale wash like those scamps from Shark Tale? Do Deb and Flo turn up in Finding Dory? I guess we’ll have to see it to find out.
9. Helen Parr (The Incredibles)
We mainly know Helen Parr, AKA Mrs. Incredible, as a wife and mom. But c’mon: she must have been far more than that before she decided to get married and settle down. As the mother of Violet, Dashiell, and Jack-Jack (what the heck kind of name is Jack-Jack anyway?), Helen Parr does her best to encourage her children to stay under the radar and to blend in with non-supes. Young Helen Truax, AKA Elastigirl, blossomed during the golden age of superheroes. She didn’t have to blend, but was allowed to flourish in her ultra-flexible super identity. Elastigirl isn’t all about stretching. She’s smart, savvy, a quick thinker, and an outstanding problem solver. She’s also introspective and demonstrative – all the things we look for in a leading character. An Elastigirl prequel would be most welcome, and certainly wouldn’t dampen our enthusiasm for the impending sequel. Does anybody else think a teenage Helen would be really into the Go-Go’s?
8. Trixie (Toy Story 3)
It’s well established that Toy Story fans love Trixie. She’s a blue triceratops, so she’s inherently likable. Trixie is also helpful, smart, kind, and welcoming. This makes her a wonderful addition to any toy chest, and a great friend to have whether you’re a toy or even a human child. Trixie can already be seen in a few Pixar shorts, like Toy Story that Time Forgot, and Toy Story of Terror. The next logical step would be Trixie in her own feature. Fans have no doubt that Kristen Schaal is up to the task of bringing this glorious dinosaur into a leading role. We’re told that Trixie will be back in Toy Story 4, which we have to wait all the way until 2018 for. That hardly seems fair. Who wouldn’t love to see Trixie helping to run a dinosaur theme park, or maybe using her horns to carve out finger holes in bowling balls?
7. Mary Gibbs (Monsters Inc.)
Sully’s little human pal in Monsters Inc is almost too cute. Though her given name is Mary Gibbs, pretty much everyone in this universe calls her Boo. In her first film appearance, young Ms Gibbs is a would-be victim of the kidnapping monster Randall. Saved by Sully and Mike (who are extra brave since they believe children to be full of deadly germs), Boo doesn’t say much. But everyone gets super attached to her anyway. That’s what happens when you name things, right? While Boo goes back to her room near the end of the film, we definitely want to see her reunited with her monster friends. Just imagine the adventures they could have with this clever young lady in the lead. A simple day at the park could easily give us 90 minutes of adorable 3D shenanigans. Maybe Boo could take up the xylophone, or perhaps get into karate lessons. Who knows—she could even start a laughter business that puts the local energy concern to shame.
6. Joy & Sadness (Inside Out)
Is there anyone who thinks this isn’t a buddy comedy waiting to happen? These two totally need to be cops, or driving instructors, or swimming coaches, or something else equally people-driven and technical. The interplay between Joy and Sadness in Inside Out is surprisingly poignant for a kid’s movie. But that’s what Pixar does best. These two are opposites in some ways, but not in the ones we might think. Joy is inflexible, confident that staying positive is the only correct reaction to anything. Sadness wants to prepare for the worst at all times, so that’s what she focuses on. I would love to see Joy and Sadness in situations that require them to have a genuine appreciation for the other, and for that to make a difference in each of them when moving forward. Can they sustain an entire film? Maybe the other emotions would need to pop in for a visit.
5. Flo (Cars)
When focusing on female characters in family movies, it’s important to look at more than appearance. Women are always, always judged first and foremost on what they look like. Still, Flo is one fine looking automobile. It’s undeniable. She’s a custom job, so there’s no one else anywhere like Flo. This pale aqua masterpiece of a ride is referred to as a 1957 GM Motorama show car—the only one of her kind. In real-life, there were no Motorama shows in 1957, which makes Flo even more remarkable. A solo Flo feature could include her decision to open the V8 café, or detail how she came to serve the finest fuel around. We’d probably all like to witness her career as a show girl, or find out what she was like as a very young car. In addition to Cars and Cars 2, Flo has appeared in a handful of Pixar shorts—so it’s time for her to carry her own feature.
4. Jessie the Yodeling Cowgirl (Toy Story 2)
A movie about a yodeling cowgirl already sounds amazing – but when it’s the spunky, flaming-haired cowgirl from Toy Story 2, how can anyone resist? Jessie is part of a playset, which means she’s supposed to love hanging out with Woody, Bullseye, and the unfortunately named Stinky Pete the Prospector. But as we know, Jessie scraps with Woody, is jealous of human boy Andy, and is nervous about pretty much everything. With the constant threat of donation hanging over her head, who can blame her? It would be great to see Jessie in her own feature that would allow her to be genuinely confident (as opposed to her largely exaggerated bravado), and happily yodeling as she helps out in the local animal shelter, gives horseback riding lessons to other dolls, or maybe opens a cowboy music studio. Jessie could do anything she wanted, and I think many of us are curious as to what that might be. Yee-Haw!
3. Edna Mode (The Incredibles)
Edna Mode – named for Pixar graphics software EMODE, was the prime costumer during the golden age of superheroes. Like the supes themselves, Edna was put out of work by strict government regulations and forced registration. In The Incredibles, E tells us that she used to design “for the gods.” If she meant that in the literal sense, that’s a movie right there. Edna designing fireproof clothing for Hades, a fashionable SCUBA outfit for Poseidon, and maybe some sort of contraceptive clothing for Zeus. We’d also love to see Edna during fashion school, or even as a highly tasteful middle school student who isn’t yet sure what to do with her incredible passion and talent. Of course, Edna could also be the leader of a new generation of designers and fabric developers that would take super hero garments into infinity and beyond. There are so many things Pixar could do with Edna, she might be worthy of a trilogy.
2. Roz (Monsters Inc.)
Is there anyone in Monsters Inc that’s more surprisingly awesome than Roz? The big snailish body, the hair, the glasses – everything about Roz is amazing. That alone is reason to give her a film of her own. We know almost nothing about her though. What’s the secret behind that omnipresent frown? Was she cursed as a child and now she can never show happiness? Is she physically incapable of experiencing joy? Or is frowning what makes Roz the happiest? We do eventually learn that Roz is far from the paper pushing frowner we see her as. Wouldn’t it be awesome to see the full story of how she became Agent #000001 in the first place? We know Roz is hilarious – we’ve seen all the outtakes. If nothing else, many viewers probably wish they had Roz’s ability to shutter their office away from the rest of the world. Nice work if you can get it!
1. Ellie Fredricksen (Up)
It might be hard to fathom a feature film starring someone we’ve already seen die. But anyone who has watched (or sobbed through) the first few minutes of the feature Up already knows how easy it is to fall in love with Ellie. We’d love to see more of what she was like before she met Carl. Fans want to see long fantasy sequences of Ellie in South America, or building her dream home in Paradise Falls. We know she longed to explore the world, flying her own airplane, and meeting her hero. She shouldn’t really meet Charles Muntz, though, because as we learned in Up, he’s a horrible excuse for a human being. The fact that fans already love Ellie make her an excellent choice for a stand-alone prequel feature. It would be fun to watch a movie about Ellie that doesn’t make everyone cry as they realize their own mortality in between bites of popcorn.
Did we forget your favorite Pixar gal? Let us know in the comments!