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Characteristics of Caregivers in Disney Animations
Psychoanal 2019;30:25-31
Published online April 30, 2019;
© 2019 Korean Association of Psychoanalysis.

Geon Ho Bahn,1 Seung Yup Lee,2 Minha Hong,3 and Yeon Jung Lee4

1Department of Psychiatry, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, 2Department of Psychiatry, Graduate School, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea, 3Department of Psychiatry, Myongji Hospital, Hanyang University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, 4Department of Psychiatry, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Geon Ho Bahn, MD, PhD, Department of Psychiatry, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, 23 Kyungheedae-ro, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul 02447, Korea, Tel: +82-2-958-8556, Fax: +82-2-957-1997, E-mail:
Received March 5, 2019; Revised March 20, 2019; Accepted March 22, 2019.
cc This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Objectives: To assess Disney’s animated films regarding development of the conception of family for children, we examined types and roles of caregivers in films. Methods: The subjects were 54 Disney animations, from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) to Moana (2016). The authors found one main character and one person (or animal) as a caregiver, who (which) takes care of a main character in each film. We analyzed the caregivers’ type, and assessed the role as a caregiver was given to a main character, especially in the case where parents are living. Results: In classifying the type of caregivers, 24 (44.5%) cases have both parents (adoptive or biologic) living in the films, no comments about parents in 21 (38.9%) cases, and orphaned main characters in 9 (16.6%) cases. Among the 24 animations in which parent(s) can be identified, caregivers in 9 animations fulfilled full functions fit for the criteria as caregivers. Conclusion: From the perspective of family, Disney animations have an atypical family structure, and reveal an insufficient caregiver role. This perspective must be considered in the short and long term, as to how the character of caregivers in these animations may influence development of the conception of a family in youth.
Keywords : Disney · Animation · Media · Family · Parenting · Development.

April 2019, 30 (2)
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Funding Information
  • Daeho Bae Dae Kyun’s Ethnic Psychiatry Research Fund
  • Korean Foundation of Neuropsychiatric Research