Date on Senior Honors Thesis


Document Type

Senior Honors Thesis



Degree Program

College of Arts and Sciences

Author's Keywords

Animation disability; Mental illness; Physical disability; Children; Social cognitive; Theory; Stereotype


The objective of this study was to evaluate the presence of mental and physical disability in children's animation, and to understand image of mental or physical disability the animation portrayed. Three animated movies and one 61 episode animated series were coded for verbal references to mental illness and physical disability. Visual images and thematic elements portraying disability were also examined. All of the animations contained verbal as well as visual references to disability. Verbal references appeared with an average of 13.2 references per hour of animation. The connotations of these references often went against negative stereotypes of disability. These findings have implications for the viewers of these animations in terms of possible learned attitudes and stereotypes toward disability that these references may facilitate over time.

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