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Pet Sins December 1999

Titan A.E.

This Summer 2000 release is a science fiction animated feature directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman. The hero is Cale, a blond 18 year old white boy voiced by Matt Damon. Two words about what's cliched about this movie: "Oriental girlfriend". Cale falls in love with fellow crew member Akima, a black haired, ultra-slanty-eyed, yellow-skinned girl voiced by Drew Barrymore.

Todd Anthony, Sun-Sentinel Film Writer comments: "Somebody should have told her that in space no one can hear you scream; she shrieks Cale's name each time some dire fate appears about to befall him, which is often."

This choice of romantic partners follow a widespread trend in American fiction - the coupling of a White male and a yellow female. (But almost never the converse) The disturbing thing about having this sort of portrayal in a major animated release is that the target audience is pre-teen boys, presumably primary white boys. Children tend to identify with the cartoon character that looks most like them. Are we teaching children at an early age that white-boy-Oriental-girl romances are to be specially sought out just because media portrayal makes that particular racial combination look 'cool'? While there is nothing wrong with interracial romances, it is disturbing that American media promotes certain racial combinations as being more desirable than others. There are far fewer portrayals of Asian-male-white-female couples on screen.

animation fan