nakedsasquatch it’s ya man
Okay but seriously folks - as often as I joke about this movie stirs my loins and as weirdly popular as this text post got a while back, I wanna rap with you all about why the George of the Jungle remake is a pretty important piece of cinema.
It’s literally the only movie I can think of that is based completely around the unheard of “FEMALE gaze.” Granted, while I’m a huge movie buff I’ve not seen every movie ever made. But even so, even if there’s another example of the “female gaze” in cinema that has escaped me it’s still damn impressive that a kids movie from 1997 based on a Jay Ward cartoon from the 60’s managed to turn gender representation in media on it’s fucking ass!
First things first, let’s look at our leading lady and love interest - Ursula, played by Leslie Mann.
Let me just say that while Leslie Mann is adorable and a talented actress, she does look a little less conventional and a little more plain compared to the bombshells that Hollywood likes to churn out. Leslie, in comparison, looks much more like a real women you’d meet on the street. She dresses pretty conservatively and plain throughout the film ; Wearing outfits that are more functional than fashionable for trekking through the jungle, pulling her hair back and so forth. Not that if she was dolled up and more scantily clad it would give her character any less integrity, but can we appreciate how RARE that is in the male dominated industry of film? Just think about all the roads a film about a woman in the jungle COULD have taken but didn’t - no scenes with her clothes strategically ripped or anything! You can say this is a kids movie, intended for children and that’s why the sensuality of the female lead is so downplayed but there are PLENTY of kids movies that handle women in a very objectifying and sexualized manner despite the target audience is pre-pubescent. Like, a disgusting amount. So I don’t think “it’s a kids movie” is why the film doesn’t take ANY, let alone EVERY, opportunity to showcase the main female character’s sex appeal…
…especially considering the sex appeal of the film rests squarely on the well defined shoulders of our male lead, George of the Jungle played by Brendan Fraser in the best god damn shape of his life!
*Homer Simpson Drooling Noises*
Whenever members of the reddit community try to compare the sexualization of women in fiction to the design of characters such as Batman and Superman, I always want to just sit them down and show them this movie. Because THIS is what the female sexual fantasy looks like, and Batman and Superman are male power-fantasies. Look at him - his big blue eyes, his soft hair, his lean, chiseled physique built for dexterity rather than power. He’s wild and free, but gentle. It’s like he fell right out of that steamy romance novel your mom tried to hide from you growing up.
Hell, the whole plot seems to be designed around how damn hot he is! First, for the majority of the film, he wears only a small strip of cloth to cover the dick balls and ass. Everything else is FAIR GAME to drool over for 40 minutes. Then, after he meets Ursula she takes him with her to San Francisco just so we can enjoy him in a well-tailored suit (as seen in the gif set), running around in an open and billowy shirt along side horses while Ursula and all of her friends literally crowd around and make sexual comments about him, and my personal favorite, ditch the loincloth entirely and have him walk around naked while covering his man-bits with various objects while one of Ursula’s very lucky friends oogles him and makes a joke along the lines of “So THAT’S why they call him the ‘KING of the Jungle’…”
And yes, it’s also a very cute and funny little movie. Out of all the movies based on Jay Ward cartoons, it was the most faithful to the fast-paced humor and wit of the original source material (yes even the new Peabody and Sherman movie which honestly I thought was too cutesy-poo.) But that’s not why this movie is popular with the gay community or why we all became women in 1997. It’s just really cool that there’s a film out there where the sensuality of the female form takes a back seat for the oiled up, chiseled, physique of Brendan Fraser (in his prime that is)
One thing to add: in the scene mentioned above where the ladies are watching him in the billowy shirt running with the horses, it pans back to about 50 feet away to two guys in suits at this party looking at the women and one of the guys says, “Man, what is it with women and horses?” So not only does this movie highlight the female gaze, but it blatantly points out that western male sensibilities don’t have a clue what actually appeals to women.