Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Doc McStuffins Teaches Kids About Being Healthy on Disney

posted by Nell Minow

Disney’s delightful animated series, “Doc McStuffins,” is about a little girl who is inspired by her doctor mother to open up a “clinic” for her stuffed animals and toys. That gives the show a chance to talk to kids about making healthy choices.  Kids can interact with the show and learn more with online activities and coloring sheets.

YouTube Preview Image

What makes this series especially welcome is the race of the lead character — she is African-American.  The New York Times noted:

Despite a surge in multicultural cartoons, like Nickelodeon’s “Ni Hao, Kai-Lan,” designed to introduce Mandarin vocabulary words to preschoolers, and 40 years after Bill Cosby’s “Fat Albert,” black cartoon characters in leading roles are still rare. It’s considered an on-screen risk to make your main character a member of a minority, even in this post-“Dora the Explorer” age. Networks want to attract the broadest possible audience, but the real peril is in the toy aisle. From a business perspective, Disney and its rivals ultimately make most of these shows in the hope that they spawn mass-appeal toy lines. White dolls are the proven formula.

Encouraged by the reaction to multicultural casting in its live-action shows (“A.N.T. Farm”), Disney figured it was a risk worth taking. The company also spotted a hole in the market. The last major preschool cartoon to have a black focus was Mr. Cosby’s “Little Bill,” which ended five years ago on Nickelodeon. Race may have factored into Disney’s thinking in other ways. “Doc McStuffins” is mostly designed to entertain, a minus for parents of preschoolers, who typically want educational components (like the way Dora teaches Spanish and problem solving). A positive message about racial diversity helps fix that problem, as do messages about health and hygiene.

YouTube Preview Image

 

 



Previous Posts

Christopher Orr on the Coen Brothers' "Miller's Crossing"
One of my favorite critics writes about one of his favorite movies in The Atlantic: the highlight of Christopher Orr's outstanding series on the Coen Brothers' films is his essay on Miller's Crossing. Whether you're a fan of the Coens or of this film or not, Orr's essay is a pleasure to read for it

posted 3:53:09pm Sep. 23, 2014 | read full post »

New on ABC: Black-ish
One of the best new shows of the year is Anthony Anderson's "Black-ish."  Anderson plays Andre "Dre" Johnson has a great job, a beautiful mixed-race doctor wife, Rainbow (Tracee Ellis Ross), four kids, and a colonial home in the mostly-white suburbs.  But now that he has given his children a bett

posted 10:20:50pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

The Real Story: Tracks and Robyn Davidson's Long Walk Across Australia
Mia Wasikowska plays real-life adventurer Robyn Davidson in "Tracks," based on the 1980 international best-seller about her 1700-mile walk across Australia with four camels. A thoughtful interview with Davidson in The Australian describes her: Davidson is an enigma. With her patrician air, prim

posted 3:51:08pm Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

Smile of the Week: The Dancing Traffic Light
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SB_0vRnkeOk[/youtube]

posted 8:00:15am Sep. 22, 2014 | read full post »

TrueSpark: Teaching Children and Teens About Character With Quality Films
I am honored to serve on the advisory committee for TrueSpark, which provides quality films and curricula for schools at no cost to use in teaching character. [iframe width="420" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/akEWIRfjnxk?rel=0" frameborder="0"] Parents and teachers who want to lear

posted 8:22:33pm Sep. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.