The poster: four main characters – three male, one female. There’s also a mole, also male.
Penelope Cruz voices the female guinea pig and her character appears in the same way as the ‘sexy’ female character in so many films: in slow motion, flicking her hair. A male guinea pig immediately comes on to her and she says she’s interested in someone else. And she’s interested in him because he’s not interested in her.
She’s bought from a pet shop by a young girl, who says she wants to put bows in her hair and “I’m gonna put nail polish and lipstick on her… and a dress!” When she does, she shows the guinea pig her reflection and says, “Don’t you look pretty?”
The pet shop is run by an attractive young man and an older woman with a shrill, nagging voice. “Wow. This woman’s really abrasive,” comments one of the guinea pigs.
There is one further woman in the main cast and whenever I was in the room, she was just standing next to Zach Galifianakis’s character and nodding.
Yes, I know most of the above relates to guinea pigs, but research has found (no, really, it has – it was in Delusions of Gender) that children don’t differentiate between animal and human characters, so the lack of female roles (and the stereotypical nature of the roles) matters just as much with animal characters as it does with human.