Even More Great Minority Movie Heroes

It’s Black History Month once again and in honor of the occasion I continue the series of “Great Minority Movie Heroes” which we have been running over and over for years, now. What better occasion than Black History Month than to continue listing movie heroes that are people of color? Be sure to check out the past editions of the series and let us know what some of your favorite minority movie heroes are.

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Brave (2012)

It’s shocking how well animated “Brave” is. Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrew’s action drama is filled with an immense scale packed with Scotland terrains as far as the eye can see. “Brave is also packed with great animation featuring our hero Merida’s hair which was intricately narrated for her specific character. All of the ballyhoo about the wonderful animation is all for a narrative that’s—fine. It’s a fine movie. It’s a perfectly mediocre, often confusing movie packed with such a wonderful and brilliant animation style.

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Soul (2020)

In Limited Re-Release on January 12th, preceded by the Sparkshort “Burrow.” Check Local Listings.

Also Streaming on Disney Plus, and Available in Stores.

While watching “Soul,” two things came to mind. It’s amazing how much the movie reminded me of Chuck Jones’ “The High Note,” and Norton Juster’s “The Dot and the Line.” Both films perfectly articulate the power of music, and sound and the joy and pain that can come with it. Down to its basest, “Soul” is very much a movie about the power of music and the passion that can arise from it that transcends life and death. It’s probably one of the most unusual animated films from “Soul” in that animation style is so different from anything we’ve seen before or will see after.

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Toy Story 4 (2019)

After the perfect ending that was “Toy Story 3,” Disney and Pixar decide to keep the story going because well—merch. Merchandise. Money. Moolah. There’s really no other reason beyond why such a perfect three chapter tale like “Toy Story” would drag on. And I say that since Josh Cooley’s “Toy Story 4” is sadly about as lackluster a sequel as you can get. For a series do centered on awe, wonder, and love, the movie is shockingly dark and bereft of so much of what made the first three movies so special.

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Elemental (2023)

People gave “Wish” a lot of guff for feeling like an AI generated movie, but I think when it comes down to it, “Elemental” is so much more guilty of this claim. “Elemental” is one of the laziest and more lethargic Disney films ever produced from Pixar and Disney. It’s such a dull concept that’s overcome by social commentary that literally clubs us over the head every chance it gets. “Elemental” is about immigration and the immigrant experience. Element city is America, or The Land of opportunity. We’re told that a least thirty times over the span of ninety minutes.

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Encanto (2021)

I am elated that Disney and Piax have begun finding the value in and delving in to tales that revolve around people of color. There’s so much rich heritage in the latinx community involving spirituality, honor, love, and the power of family. There’s so much amazing folklore that could really stand to be passed on to a new generation of movie lovers with great respect as presented in “Encanto.” Although it’s primarily about a Latinx family, it’s deep down about generational trauma, and the burdens that our elders can place on the youth, whether they realize it or not

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The Incredibles 2 (2018)

“You can’t count on anyone, especially your heroes.”  – Syndrome

Leave it to Disney and Pixar. They have the stable of Marvel superheroes at their disposal and they approach “The Incredibles 2” not as a cash grab but a sincere look at the idea of superheroes in the modern era. Sure superheroes seem like a great idea in theory, but “The Incredibles 2” uses its concept as a means of exploring the world with superheroes and how it can have its definite upsides and crushing downsides. The first film had the concept of the idea of the meaning of being exceptional, our natural advantages, and how mediocrity has become the norm for society that only accepted stellar, once upon a time. “The Incredibles 2” takes it a bit further dissecting the need for heroes and whether self-reliance is the only thing we have in this world.

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