Do they all pass the Bechdel Test? The answer is no. To pass the test the movie has to meet these three simple criteria:
Every movie should pass this test but it does not. In movies about a female lead, you would think every single movie would pass but it does not. Here is a break down of the movies and whether or not they pass.
1. Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs released in 1937. It does pass. When Snow White meets the Old Hag when she comes to visit the OH asks if she is alone and what she is cooking. Part of their conversation does not involve men. It is a brief scene but it is the only time in the movie when Snow White talks to another woman.
2. Cinderella released in 1950. The movie does pass. Cinderella interacts with her step mother and sisters throughout the movie. The step sisters interact and talk to their mom throughout the movie and they talk with each other. The movie passes with flying colors since the men in the movie are background characters or animals.
3. Sleeping Beauty released in 1959. The movie also passes with flying colors. Aurora talks with the fairy godmothers. The fairies talk to Maleficent and talk to each other. The fairy godmothers and Aurora only speak about Phillip near the middle and end of the movie. Aurora’s mother does talk to Maleficent but the mother is not given a name in the movie.
4. The Little Mermaid released in 1989. The movie actually does pass, kind of. Ariel also talks to Ursula about whether or not she can turn her into a human. However, the whole scene is about her becoming a human and meeting Eric. Ariels sisters do talk in the movie but they are either singing, talking to Triton, or trying to talk to Ariel.
5. Beauty & the Beast released in 1991. The movie does pass, just barely. Mrs. Potts does have a conversation with Belle that is not about the Beast. The conversation Belle has with the wardrobe involves a conversation about the Beast. The Wardrobe is trying to convince Belle the Beast isn’t all bad.
6. Aladdin released in 1992. The movie does not pass. Jasmine is the only woman in the movie with a name. Her pet tiger is even a dude. The movie also is guilty of the Smurfette Principle because Jasmine is the only woman with a name.
7. Pocahontas released in 1995. The movie does pass. Pocahontas has many conversations with Grandmother Willow that are not about either John Smith or Kocoum. She also has conversations with Nakoma that are not about men, but they are more brief than the conversations with Grandmother Willow.
8. Mulan released in 1998. The movie also passes but just barely. Mulan has conversations with her mom and the Match Maker that does not involve men. Throughout the majority of the movie Mulan is the only woman in the movie.
9. Princess and the Frog released in 2009. The movie passes. Tiana has conversations with her mom and Charlotte that do not involve men. She talks to both women about her restaurant. She also talks to Mama Odie about her gumbo.
10. Tangled released in 2010. The movie does pass because Rapunzel talks to Gothel about the outside world, seeing the lanterns, and being the lost princess, at the end. However, Gothel is the only woman Rapunzel talks to throughout the entire movie. She does not talk to her mom at the end of the movie.
11. Brave released in 2012. The movie passes with flying colors. Merida and her mom communicate throughout the movie about many topics that do not involve the suitors.
So over all, all the movies but Aladdin pass. Some pass on really brief interactions with other women. Usually the lead female character is one of the few women in the movie with names. Snow White, Little Mermaid, Beauty & the Beast, and Mulan are the only movies that just barely pass. Even when Disney movies are about women, that doesn’t mean there will be a huge female presence in the movie.