Ivy + Bean
is a 2022 Netflix movie that revolves around two girls: one who is a girly girl, and the other who is a tomboy. The title characters never expected to be friends. Ivy is described as quiet, thoughtful, and observant, while Bean is more playful, exuberant, and fearless. However, viewers will find that sometimes adventure reveals that opposites can become the best of friends.
Viewers see a strong representation of women and people of color in this beloved children's film. Bean (Madison Skye Validum), Nancy (Lidya Jewett), Bean's mother (Marci T. House), and Bean's father (Garfield Wilson) are portrayed by actors of African descent. This film is also directed by Elissa Down, a female director.
The movie clearly distinguishes the opposites attract motif. Ivy is a shy girl and an only child living with her mother. Bean is an energetic tomboy who has a mother, a father, and an older sister named Nancy. Ivy is quiet; Bean is loud. Ivy wears a dress and a pink headband; Bean wears jeans and overalls. Bean and Nancy do not get along. In fact, the rivalry between the two sisters is caused by their opposite personalities. Nancy likes shopping and reading magazines, while Bean likes getting dirty. Bean's tomboyish personality is favorable among viewers, as her character traits symbolize that girls can do anything that boys can do and that one should not be deceived by the stereotyping of young girls. Her tricks often get her into trouble with her mother, Nancy, and her neighbors.
The opening scenes focus mostly on Bean because of her rivalries with Nancy and her mother. Ivy's quiet personality doesn't play a big role until the climax when the two girls unexpectedly become friends. The dolls Ivy holds in her room resemble the title characters themselves since they look similar to the characters' appearances and foreshadow the beginning of a new friendship.
Ivy and Bean don't like each other at first due to their opposite personalities, but the main spark between the two girls that turns them into friends is when Bean is about to get into major trouble. Ivy helps her new friend Bean escape the consequences Bean is about to face through a secret passageway, and they find out that they have much more in common than they realize. Bean becomes excited when Ivy explains her potions and magic.
The clips from Ivy and Bean have a lot of imaginative scenes, symbolizing the two girls' imaginations. One scene is the ogre's lair where she eats children, another resembles cutting through the jungle, and another is the no man's land resembling a World War II battlefield. This shows viewers that with imagination, adventure awaits.
The setting of Ivy and Bean takes place at Pancake Court, a dead-end street in the real world. Pancake Court resembles a dead-end street where lots of kids live and like to play; the ending shows the sunset at Pancake Court where the kids ride their bikes in circles.
Overall, Ivy and Bean features a strong representation of women and people of color and is a beloved story, especially for young girls.