The Portrayal of Gender and Race in Cars Trilogy

Nurhadianty Rahayu(1*)

(1) Perguruan Tinggi La Tansa Mashiro
(*) Corresponding Author


As the most commercially successful animated film, Cars trilogy, produced by Pixar Animation Studios, are opted to be analysed due to its impact on formulating perception of gender and race. Considering that intolerance and gender-based injustice still happens within our society, any discussion about gender and race portrayal, particularly through films, becomes urgent. The study aims at investigating how gender and race are portrayed in Cars trilogy. Gender portrayal is analysed through Beauvoir’s concept of immanence and transcendence and Finklea’s themes about masculinities. The portrayal of race is investigated using McLaren’s critical multiculturalism. The study uses the descriptive analytical interpretative method. The data analyzed are the characters, dialogue, and plot. The result shows that men and women are portrayed as equal but the stereotypes are still visible. Men are portrayed not only brave but also confident. Males’ romantic interest is manifested in heterosexual desire and male bosses are driven by profit. Women can be successful in racing if she dares to intervene the bureaucracy or is given opportunity by men. Different accent of English is seen as less capable and white characters are not always portrayed unproblematic.


gender, race, immanence, transcendence, critical multiculturalism

Full Text:



Beauvoir, S. (1961). A History of Sex... Translated... and Edited by HM Parshley.
Retrieved January 16, 2019 from https:// com/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0,5&q=De+Beauvoir,+Simone.+(1961).+A+History+of+Sex.+(H.+M.+Parshley,+translation)

Decker, J. (2010). The portrayal of gender in the feature-length films of Pixar animation studios: A content analysis.
Retrieved January 1, 2019 from

DeFife, J. (2009). Hey Pixar, what’s up? Try Finding an Incredible Story about a Girl’s Life. Retrieved January 15, 2019 from http://www.psycho

Finklea, B. (2014). Examining Masculini ties in Pixar’s Feature Films: What it Means to be a Boy, Whether Human, Fish, Car, or Toy. Retrieved January 17, 2019 from handle/ 123456789/1977

Giroux, H. A. (2011). Breaking into the Movies: Public Pedagogy and the Politics of Film. Policy Futures in Education, 9(6), 686–695 (doi: 10.2304/pfie.2011.9.6.686)

Heryanto, A. (2012). Budaya Populer di Indonesia: Mencairnya Identitas Pasca Orde Baru Translated by Eka S. Saputra. Yogyakarta: Jalasutra.

Jeffords, S. (1994). Hard Bodies: Holly wood Masculinity in the Reagan Era.
Retrieved January 16, 2019 from https://books. =en&lr=&id=7nERHha7TZUC&oi=fnd&pg=PA1&dq=Jeffords,+S.+(1994).+Hard+bodies:+Hollywood+masculinity+in+the+Reagan+era&ots=t2yaJBPBf2&sig=x7QzjeS91_-1IgJSUOvFxHdxJpc

Lang, R. (2002). Masculine Interests: Homoerotics in Hollywood Films.
Retrieved January 15, 2019 from https://scholar. google. com/ scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=Lang%2C+R.+%282002%29.+Masculine+interests%3A+Homoerotics+in+Hollywood+film&btnG=

Lasseter, J. (2006). Cars. United States: Pixar Animation Studios.

Lasseter, J. (2011). Cars 2. United States: Pixar Animation Studios.

Lasseter, J. (2017). Cars 3. United States: Pixar Animation Studios.

Lugo-Lugo, C. R., & Bloodsworth-Lugo, M. K. (2009). “Look Out New World, Here We Come”? Cultural Studies ↔ Critical Methodologies, 9(2), 166–178 (doi: 10.1177/153 2708608325937)

Malin, B. (2005). American Masculinity Under Clinton: Popular Media and the Nineties" Crisis of Masculini ty&quot.
Retrieved January 17, 2019 from https:// books?hl=en&lr=&id=Ue4N9NnHkDgC&oi=fnd&pg=PR7&dq=Malin,+B.+J.+(2005).+American+masculinity+under+Clinton:+Popular+media+and+the+nineties+“crisis+of+masculinity.&ots=BXNo14-lW9&sig= xIvq0aX9YAjPTOYoC7JhMBV45Yw

Matyas, V. (2010). Tale as Old as Time: A Textual Analysis of Race and Gender in Disney Princess Films. Retrieved January 17, 2019 from https://

Mclaren, P. (1995). Chapter III: White Terror and Oppositional Agency: Towards a Critical Multiculturalism. Source: Counterpoints.

Nylund, D. (2006). Critical Multicultural-ism, Whiteness, and Social Work. Journal of Progressive Human Services,
17(2), 27–42 (doi: 10.1300/ J059v17n02_03).

Strate, L. (1992). Beer commercials: A ma nual on masculinity.
Retrieved January 17, 2019 from https://psycnet.

Towbin, M. A., Haddock, S. A., Zimmerman, T. S., Lund, L. K., & Tanner, L. R. (2004). Images of Gender, Race, Age, and
Sexual Orien-tation in Disney Feature-Length Animated Films. Journal of Feminist Family Therapy, 15 (4), 1944
(doi: 10.1300/J086 v15n04_02).

Trice, A., & Holland, S. (2001). Heroes, Antiheroes and Dolts: Portrayals of Masculinity in American Popular Films,
. Retrieved January 16, 2019 from com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=jCu1CgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&ots=Fb2fjGD2Kf&sig=I8W_eEj1E04lnLOMW1697ssYuIM

Waugh, P. (2006). Literary Theory and Criticism: An Oxford Guide.
Retrieved January 10, 2019 from https:// books?hl=en&lr =&id=7LXMA_7Ko9YC&oi=fnd&pg=PR19&dq=patricia+waugh+literary+theory+and+criticism:+an+oxford+guide&
ots=fdIeKNnOeZ&sig=--Jg0Jd3eWSdnmOK54E7 bUMQyp8


Article metrics

Abstract views : 4931 | views : 595


  • There are currently no refbacks.



ATAVISME is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Visit Number:

View My Stats