Many of Disney movies have been criticized for perpetuating traditional gender stereotypes which constrain opportunities for children at large. Its recent characters have also incurred heated discussions on gender portrayal. Moreover, stereotypes of gender roles, developed early on, can exert an immediate impact on individuals’ behaviors and utterances and a long-term impact on individuals’ perceived options academically, professionally, personally, and socially. Recognizing the significance of this matter, this paper employed a meta-narrative review to collect and conceptually and empirically synthesize previous literature on the impact of Disney movies on young children’s gender awareness. Through an academic database search, 49 articles were collected using combinations of the keywords Disney character, Disney movie, young children, early childhood education, classroom practices, and gender. Furthermore, this review, in the pedagogical implication section, highlights the authors’ call for teachers to develop critical mindfulness of gender and shares hands-on activities for children to play with Disney characters in a reconstructive and agentic way.


critical feminist lens, counter gender stereotypes, Disney characters, hands-on activities



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