Minorities in cartoons: “Doc McStuffins”

Doc McStuffins

This week’s minorities in cartoons entry is “Doc McStuffins,” the lead character of an eponymous series on Disney Junior (in the US). Disney Junior is a cable channel aimed at preschoolers.

Background

The show centers around a six-year-old girl named Dottie McStuffins (nicknamed “Doc” by everyone). Like other little kids, Doc likes to play doctor, with her “patients” being┬áher stuffed animals. Unlike other kids, Doc has a magic stethoscope that (when others aren’t around) brings toys to life, akin to “Toy Story.”

Episodes usually involve Doc and the toys learning simple life lessons. Doc’s also shown diagnosing various toys’ “medical” problems (such as a lack of Velcro on a toy opossum). The latter is meant to help kids not feel nervous about doctor visits.

The show is one of Disney Junior’s biggest hits. “Doc McStuffins” has also gotten much praise for featuring an African-American female lead character. It’s also one of the few preschool shows these days that doesn’t talk down to its target audience via obnoxious “Dora the Explorer“-style “questioning” of the viewer.

Here’s an interview with the show’s creator.

Voice actors

Actress Kiara Muhammad voices Doc.

Jess Harnell voices Chilly, a stuffed snowman. Harnell voiced Wakko Warner on the 90s series “Animaniacs.”

(Updated 11/17/16)

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