Stereotypes In Disney Animated Films

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Media plays a very fundamental role in the psychosocial development of children. Books and playing dress-up have become obsolete, being replaced with televisions and other electronics. According to the Urban Child Institute (2016), a heavy diet of television provides only empty calories for a child’s growing brain. Active, hands-on play and warm, responsive parenting nourish children’s early development. Because more time in front of the screen means less time for play and shared activities, TV’s increasing presence in the daily lives of young children has dire implications. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued its recommendation that children under age two do not watch television and that older children watch only one or two hours per …show more content…

From the choices provided, I chose to read, “The Portrayal of Older Disney Characters in Disney Animated Films,” which shed light on the stereotypes that arise in children’s lives from direct experiences and the media. In this article, researchers examined the representation of older people in Disney films in terms of their their gender, race, role, personality, and physical characteristics. According to the article, by the time children are in elementary school, they have already formed negative perceptions of older people. (Tom Robinson et al., 2006) The results from the study, helped to explain why children direct negative feelings toward older people. Researchers discovered that 25% of older characters are depicted as grumpy, angry or stern and 12% are portrayed as evil or sinister. Overall, the study revealed that 42% of older characters could be described as negative characters. When the characters are separated by gender it only 29% of older men are portrayed negatively in comparison to 54% of older women – a staggering discrepancy. (2006) Yet, I was not really surprised. This trope of an evil older female continues to exists across many cultures. For example, in most African folk tales, the figure of an old witch who destroys people’s soul is very common. However, it is important to note that these “social behaviors” were more likely in children who …show more content…

Social learning theory, developed by Alburt Bandura (1994), suggests that human learning is influenced by people and events presented in the media. Cultivation theory proposes that the more time spent watching television, the more the viewer will come to see the real world in terms of the values, portrayals, and ideologies delivered by television (Gerbner et al., 1976). Though the experiment was not testing these theories, they essentially point to the fact that repeated exposure to negative depictions of older characters through Disney films is likely to lead children to distrust and dislike

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