Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 15–23 | Cite as

Demonizing in Children’s Television Cartoons and Disney Animated Films

  • Gregory FoutsEmail author
  • Mitchell Callan
  • Kelly Piasentin
  • Andrea Lawson
Original Paper


The purpose of this study was to assess the prevalence of demonizing in the two major media that young children use (television and movies). Two content analyses were conducted using the animated feature films (n = 34) of the Walt Disney Company and after-school cartoons (n = 41). Each was coded for the modeling of the use of “evil” words when referring to a person, e.g., monster, devil, demon, wicked. Seventy-four percent of the Disney films contained “evil” references, with an average of 5.6 references per film. Forty-four percent of the after-school cartoons contained “evil” references, with an average of one per cartoon. The results are discussed within the context of children’s repeated exposure to popular animated movies and cartoons and their learning to demonize people who engage in perceived “bad” behaviors.


Demonizing TV cartoons Disney animated films 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gregory Fouts
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mitchell Callan
    • 1
  • Kelly Piasentin
    • 1
  • Andrea Lawson
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Psychology University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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