In this paper I will be analyzing cartoons that are specific to gender, both boys and girls. I will include things that are used to generalize how a boy or girl should or is expected to behave, dress and or speak. I will also include why these cartoons would be considered a gender specific show by pinpointing what the writers used in the series to display femininity and masculinity and how that helps parents to better choose the types of cartoons they allow both their sons or daughters to watch which also provides some clarity of what is expected of these young children as they grow up. The cartoons that I chose to analyze are Sofia the First which is geared toward girls and Dexter's Laboratory which is geared toward boys.
As required, I watched three episodes of each cartoon and analyzed them. I chose to use YouTube as my method of research because it was easier to watch the shows multiple times so that I could better analyze them, but I also used a bit of information from other websites. I selected these cartoons specifically because my niece watches them quite often and I felt it would be interesting to see what the stories actually taught her as a 3 year old. To analyze these shows, I watched each episode more than once and took note of anything that stood out to me or that I thought sent a message of importance.
Just by the title of the first show I will be explaining, Sofia the First, one cannot completely anticipate what it is about, but shows with princesses which is what Sofia is, usually focuses on what our little ones should be like in order to be considered princesses as well. Sofia is a little girl with a commoner's background until her mother marries the king and suddenly she is royalty. With the help of the three fairies in charge of the Royal Training Academy, Sofia learns that looking like a princess is not that hard but behaving like one must come from the heart.