The Ivy and Bean film series is a series of film adaptations based on the children’s books of the same name with the title characters. The films were released in 2022 on Netflix. This article will go in-depth about the films in the series and their strong representation of women and people of color.
Ivy and Bean (Ivy + Bean)
The first movie in the film series is where the title characters’ friendship begins. The two girls start out as strangers who eventually become friends and discover that opposite personalities attract. This article goes further in detail on how Ivy and Bean form a new friendship. The setting takes place at Pancake Court, a dead-end street in a suburban town, where lots of neighboring kids like to play. It is also home to the mean neighbor, Mrs. Noble. Viewers first see a strong representation of women and people of color by looking at Bean’s family. In the end, Ivy and Bean become best friends; they couldn’t wait to see each other again. But, this is only the beginning, as their story had only just begun.
The Ghost That Had To Go
The title characters return in the sequel, The Ghost That Had to Go. Ivy and Bean go to elementary school together and are in the same class. They get into trouble for being too chatty thanks to Mrs. Noble, the mean neighbor from the first movie who is now serving as a monitor for the students. On the playground during recess, Ivy notices a white mist coming out from the air vent miles away. She first felt that mist when she and Bean enter the lonely bathroom for the first time. These serve as foreshadowing elements. Ivy tells Bean that there is a ghost in the bathroom, as she concludes from what she heard and felt that the bathroom is haunted.
The others don’t believe the two girls as they believe they are seeing and imagining things. Ivy gets into trouble two times in a row, something that she never expected to happen. The magical book that Ivy has from the first movie returns in the sequel.
During an evening school assembly, Ivy wears her witch costume and creates a magical spell to banish the ghosts in the bathroom. The bathroom becomes flooded and the girls get caught. The scene where Ivy and Bean get into trouble mirrors the same scene from the first movie when only Bean gets into trouble. In the end, viewers can infer that there are no ghosts in the bathroom; it’s only the girls’ imaginations. Another adventure ends, and a new adventure awaits.
Doomed To Dance
The third movie in the Ivy and Bean film series shows viewers the title characters doing ballet. Bean surprises her entire family when she says she wants to do ballet; her mother informs her about the activities she has quit previously. The title of this movie, Doomed To Dance, foreshadows the two girls struggling to do ballet, as they are considered outcasts. Bean’s mother refuses to let Bean quit ballet, as she has pointed out the activities Bean already quit. So, Bean has to struggle to keep up with the rest of the class.
A surprise twist is when Ivy and Bean have to perform the squid dance at the recital by themselves. The two girls don’t know how to get out of the sticky situation until Bean discovers the field trip to the aquarium is on the same day as the recital. Once again, the girls get into trouble during the field trip, a running gag that occurs in the film series. The other kids don’t believe them as the girls explain what they saw.
The ending shows how Ivy and Bean are able to overcome their fears of performing in front of a big crowd during the evening recital. The girls turn from outcasts into big stars. Nancy finally gets to have her ears pierced; a running gag in the film series is how she always wants to have her ears pierced. This movie serves as the conclusion to the film series.
Overall, the Ivy and Bean film series serves as a strong representation of women and people of color through the adventures of the title characters. Though the girls get caught every now and then, the viewers will like the tale of two friends with opposite personalities. Furthermore, we see that the cast members reprise their roles in the two sequels The Ghost That Had To Go and Doomed to Dance; the sequels are directed by the same female director. The stereotyping of young girls is subverted in the film series and makes the films memorable for young girls.
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