Cartoons Stereotype | Teen Ink

Cartoons Stereotype

November 10, 2009
By Mystery_Girl SILVER, Lake, Michigan
Mystery_Girl SILVER, Lake, Michigan
8 articles 6 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love me or Hate me"......"Me Vs. The World and the World is Winning"......"When the going gets tough the tough get going".

I believe that cartoons teach kids and some adults many different stereotypes. Some of the one’s that I would like to address are: People of color are portrayed as bad (stealers, lazy, poor, dumb, mean, etc.). Men are often hero’s (Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wolverine, etc.). Women are normally showed as weak (need saving, not in charge, gullible, etc.).
First of all I am going to give some examples of People of color being stereotyped. In Bugs Bunny there is a man named Husan. Husan is clearly a man of different color. The cartoonists of Bugs Bunny make Husan seem dumb, gullible, and slow. Which is okay. But why does Husan have to be a person of color?
Second of all in Speedy Gonzalez a Bugs Bunny cartoon. Speedy and Slowpoke were people of color. They were always stealing from people.
Third of all the witch doctor in Bugs Bunny always fell for tricks. He was gullible. Again he was people of color.
Next I would like to address that men are always the heroes. In my first example that I will be sharing. I’m going to tell you about Superman.
Superman is a famous hero. But why did he have to be a guy? Why couldn’t he have become a girl? Guys don’t always have to be the heroes.
Second of all. I would like to bring in Spiderman. Spiderman, as some of you may know is my favorite hero. But I don’t like how the producers made him a guy. He could have been a girl. A girl could have been the photographer. A girl could have been looking at a guy just as easily as vise-versa.
Thirdly I’m going to talk about Popeye. Popeye is always saving Olive Oil. From Ghosts, robbers, Kings, etc. But why does Popeye have to be the one to eat Spinach I love Spinach and I’m a girl.
Lastly I would to talk about how cartoons stereotype girls. How all cartoons make girls look weak, helpless, and need to be saved.
My first example is Sleeping Beauty. Sleeping Beauty had to be awakened by a kiss. Men can be beautiful. And girls can kiss them. Guys like kisses just as much as girls.
My second example is Cinderella. Cinderella was bossed around by her stepsisters. She was poor. And again she needs to be saved. And as we see over and over Prince Charming was the one to save her, from her dreadful life.
My last and final example is Mary Jane. Mary Jane was often captured by the “bad guys”. She wasn’t that weak. Nor dumb. Neither are most girls, are we? No. But do people care? No. They still make it so that we have to be saved.
Stereotypes are all over the place. Especially in cartoons. A lot of the time in cartoons people of color are portrayed as bad. Often in cartoons the men are heroes and are strong. In cartoons where some one is being saved I always see that to be a girl.

The author's comments:
I had to write this article for school one day and I realized just how true it was.

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This article has 8 comments.

on Jul. 25 2013 at 7:20 pm
Confused_scheherazade ELITE, Brooklyn, New York, New York
132 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
I know nothing, but of miracles.

First of all, i do agree with the problems in animation. However, these problems have occured as a result of the environment in which they were created, and secondly do occur in all types of media representation, sometimes today. stereotypes are created from the lack of diverse and strong depictions of what is known as minority league: women, African American, etc. However in this age the minority is becoming the majority and children who watch cartoons need role models who show that it is possible to be strong, smart, and imperfect. Static shock is a show from 2000 about a young african american superhero. Juniper Lee and American Dragon Jake Long both show protagonists of Asian descent, Avatar the last airbender (one of the best shows ever created) shows the best diverse and complex cast of characters who are often Asian and women, and the Legend of Korra had a female action protagonist who is a young woman of color. I research media myself. Send a reply

on Dec. 7 2011 at 8:19 pm
RealisticWoman BRONZE, Nowhere Land, Alabama
2 articles 0 photos 16 comments

I agree with you that cartoons stereotype. But the reason was, that this was the 1930’s. People accepted the common beliefs of blacks and Mexicans back then because they were true. Examples were that the blacks were not given education so they were slow in some areas. Also during that time Mexicans were indeed trying to cross the boarder and trying to take what they needed to survive. Hollywood just used it as a form of entertainment.


Men are heroes because, let’s just face it ladies, they are physically stronger than women. I am a woman myself, but I admit that men are naturally stronger than women. Men know when to set priorities and are the natural protectors of the family, check out Animal Planet sometime. They are better stress managers. Men do not back down. Face it women, they are stronger and are able to handle the responsibly better than we are.


And you are taking the whole Man saving the world thing out of proportion. Remember that Superman was created in the 1940’s for entertainment. And in the 1940’s, women were housewives. Spiderman was created in 1962 for entertainment, still in the time where women were housewives. Popeye was created in 1929, way back before Superman and Spiderman where women were still housewives. And Popeye was created for encouraging children to eat their spinach in a fun, entertaining way.


Yes, I hate the fact that we women have to be saved sometimes, but your examples are off. First of all, Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella were fairy tales. Fairy tales back before Medieval times that were used to scare children into listening to their parents, although the versions you know are grossly “fluffed up”. Mary Jane is from the 1960’s. Women from that time period have a different thinking pattern and were still weak as most women are today.


I know what you are thinking. Yes, I do agree there are many stereotypes that go around today. But these cartoons were not made to be stereotypical. They were made BASED on the REAL WORLD of that TIME PERIOD. Women are significantly weaker than men and still are. It’s not our faults we are built this way. Men were naturally made to protect us for this reason! Yes, the stereotypes of blacks and Mexicans still roam around, but just because a cartoon from a different time period with different thinking and different reasons for making it that way seems to portray that, doesn’t mean you should blame it as the prime factor.


Yes we hate these stereotypes, but next time research some more on your points.

alexxxxxxxxx said...
on Oct. 15 2010 at 2:23 pm
I believe these are all just coinsidenses. Most of the cartoons listed above were before the cival rights movement. So cartoon makers from present day aren't whose to blame. You justt can't help but love these cartoons. I mean, I'm mexican and I love Speedy Gonzalez. So is Jerry from Tom and Jerry. Its in almost every cartoon.

on Jun. 27 2010 at 11:14 pm
ShakingChandeliers SILVER, N.Highlands, California
9 articles 0 photos 32 comments

Favorite Quote:
"A thin layer of trust had formed in my mind, like a scab."

"I preferred albums to the more modern eight tracks. Albums came with sleeves which reminded me of clean underwear."
-Augusten Burroughs

There is also a character who is Japanese. He is portrayed with giant teeth squinty eyes, and he talks very unclearly. Not cool.

on Apr. 22 2010 at 2:31 pm
theblazingstar101 GOLD, Foley, Alabama
10 articles 1 photo 21 comments

Now I do agree that cartoons use stereotypes, but your article just isn't very convincing. Firstly, you only use a few sources, and some of your statements are incorrect.

Firstly, you mention the producers could've made Spider-man and Superman since they're guys in the comics...? This has nothing to do with stereotypes in cartoons; he's a comic character. And if you're discussing comic characters, where on Earth did you get the idea that men are always heroes? What about WonderWoman? Jean Grey? Valkyrie? Black Canary? Storm? Starfire? Emma Frost? Bat-girl? Elektra? Women are heroes, too! And what about Supergirl? There are plenty of female heroes. I also am not really sure about your Mary Jane example, as she varies from movie to movie, comic to comic, and show to show.

As for all the damsels in distress, well, that's not really the cartoons fault. Fairy tales were around when women weren't treated as well as they are now, and not all shows are about such. Most Nicklodeon shows portray women as being very smart and rarely in need of rescue (Sandy from Spongebob, Maddie from Danny Phantom, and Wanda from The Fairly Oddparents). And before you knock Disney, I'd like to point out the movies The Frog Princess and Enchanted.

So while you may be right about stereotypes, you don't even acknowledge the full picture, AND the examples you use come from periods in history where women really were treated and thought of as inferior. Because of that, your article falls flat, and while there may be truth in what you say, you're just not saying it.

LunaAvril said...
on Apr. 21 2010 at 3:56 am
LunaAvril, Aarhus, Other
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
"Courage isn't the lack of fears. Courage is when you can face your fears."

I'm very agree! The only cartoon I've ever liked are W.I.T.C.H.(a comic magazine/cartoon about five teenagers who have magical powers, and use them to save the world)The main characters are 5 girls with superpowers. One of the girls are Asian, another is black. How cool is that?

on Dec. 23 2009 at 4:48 pm
Mystery_Girl SILVER, Lake, Michigan
8 articles 6 photos 86 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Love me or Hate me"......"Me Vs. The World and the World is Winning"......"When the going gets tough the tough get going".

I am in agreence.

Wheat_Wheat said...
on Dec. 20 2009 at 9:23 pm
It's sad to know that they are and always will be putting these things into their movies. Why must the different colored people always be portrayed as stupid or incompitent? Why are women always weak, wrong and always need a man. Why can't they make a movie where a women needs to wake the man with a kiss or a women and a women. It's sad becasue kids watch these movies and grow up beliveing that man is meant to save women always and man is with woman always. Or that colored people are stupid and incapiable of doing simple things. This world is pathetic, and these things should be fixed. We are breeding a country of impunity and ignorance. It must be fixed for I fear this country will be getting much worse.