NEWSFLASH: The newest Disney princess (Anna from Frozen) has eyes bigger than her wrists.
Yep — thanks to work by sociologist Philip N. Cohen — we can now chew on that fact for a while.
While cartoons certainly aren’t the number one source for realistic portrayals of the human form, Cohen’s work finds surprising patterns in the way Disney films portray male and female characters‘ bodies. Male characters boast hands that dwarf female counterparts, and female leads have eyes sometimes twice the size of their male partner — trends that romanticize wide-eyed innocence for girls and strength and dominance for boys.
Mr. Cohen isn’t the only person disrupting our ideas on popular kids’ movies. Last year, TEDxBeaconStreet’s own Colin Stokes gave this fascinating talk on how movies teach manhood, which totally challenged how we look at gender in kids’ movies. 
Over at the TED Blog, Colin unpacks the messages he sees in more movies that are favorites for kids — and recommends some great picks for enlightened watching. Here’s a sampling:

Movie formula: The QuestTypical Version: A boy’s world is threatened by an evil male force. He must train and mobilize other boys to defeat the enemy in a violent conflict. There is essentially one female, who is granted to the hero as a prize.Examples: Star Wars, The Hobbit, The Lion King—-Enlightened version: A boy or girl (or team) seeks to heal an injustice in the world. They must make friends who share their goal to change the culture of an older generation, by modeling a better way.Examples: The Wizard of Oz, The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, Castle in the Sky (Japan), Spy Kids 1 & 2, Tangled

Read his whole guide here» 
(Photo: Flickr user Dollyclaire)

NEWSFLASH: The newest Disney princess (Anna from Frozen) has eyes bigger than her wrists.

Yep — thanks to work by sociologist Philip N. Cohen — we can now chew on that fact for a while.

While cartoons certainly aren’t the number one source for realistic portrayals of the human form, Cohen’s work finds surprising patterns in the way Disney films portray male and female characters‘ bodies. Male characters boast hands that dwarf female counterparts, and female leads have eyes sometimes twice the size of their male partner — trends that romanticize wide-eyed innocence for girls and strength and dominance for boys.

Mr. Cohen isn’t the only person disrupting our ideas on popular kids’ movies. Last year, TEDxBeaconStreet’s own Colin Stokes gave this fascinating talk on how movies teach manhood, which totally challenged how we look at gender in kids’ movies.

Over at the TED Blog, Colin unpacks the messages he sees in more movies that are favorites for kids — and recommends some great picks for enlightened watching. Here’s a sampling:

Movie formula: The Quest
Typical Version:
A boy’s world is threatened by an evil male force. He must train and mobilize other boys to defeat the enemy in a violent conflict. There is essentially one female, who is granted to the hero as a prize.
ExamplesStar Wars, The Hobbit, The Lion King
—-
Enlightened version: A boy or girl (or team) seeks to heal an injustice in the world. They must make friends who share their goal to change the culture of an older generation, by modeling a better way.
Examples:
The Wizard of Oz, The Muppet Movie, The Dark Crystal, Castle in the Sky (Japan), Spy Kids 1 & 2, Tangled

Read his whole guide here»

(Photo: Flickr user Dollyclaire)

Moments from filmmaker Catherine Chalmers beautiful short — We Rule — which delves into the mesmerizing lives of leafcutter ants.

Leafcutter ants live in complex colonies and use their sharp, knife-like jaws to cut leaves from plants and bring these clippings (which can sometimes be almost ten times their own weight!) to feed the fungus garden that serves as their food.

In a talk at TEDxIndianapolis, Catherine provides an inside look at collaborating with these fascinating fungus farmers (say that three times fast).

Watch the whole talk here»

A love letter to Denver, Colorado from TEDxMileHigh

"Breathless (not to be confused with the 1960 Jean-Luc Godard film) isa short film about the people, the places, and the heart and soul of Denver, Colorado.”

A project of Air Ball Creative for TEDxMileHigh in Denver, “Breathless” digs deep into the heart of the city, jumping from beautiful location to beautiful location, set to a poem by award-winning Denver slam poet Ken Arkind, which is read by fellow poet Theo “Lucifury” Wilson and paired with a score composed by Dexter Britain.

HuffPost Denver praised the film for its “sheer inspiring beauty,” and the resourcefulness of its producers on a shoestring budget ($0) and super-quick filming schedule.

Even if you’ve never been to Denver, or don’t even know where Denver is, “Breathless” is worth a watch. See the entire film above and try not to get inspired.