All Articles Tagged "DOC McStuffins"
We Are Doc McStuffins: Real Life African-American Physcians Team Up With The Hit Disney Series To Inspire Future Doctors
Disney is celebrating Black History Month with “We Are Doc McStuffins.” African-American doctors have partnered with the network to inspire children to pursue careers in medicine. Disney Junior’s animated Doc McStuffins debuted last year — and has become almost an overnight success. Targeted at kids ages two through seven, viewers get to see a portrayal of a little African-American girl dreaming of becoming a doctor.
Not only has the show inspired kids, but it has inspired a group of female African-American physicians to begin a “movement” they coined, “We Are Doc McStuffins,” reports Ebony. The group have since developed Artemis Medical Society, an organization of over 2,500 female African-American physicians and medical students representing 39 states and six countries. Its mission is to serve, nurture and celebrate a global sisterhood of women physicians of color through mentoring, networking and advocacy, according to the magazine.
Now the group has teamed up with Disney Junior, which will air “We Are Doc McStuffins” shorts, featuring Doc McStuffins alongside three real-life female African-American physicians and founding members of the Artemis Medical Society. They are Dr. Myiesha Taylor, Dr. Aletha Maybank, and Dr. Naeemah Ghafur.
“Doc McStuffins is important to me because I am that little girl. And it’s not just me. My female friends who are physicians have all been talking about Doc. We love what she represents… We didn’t have Doc or anything close to her on television when we were growing up. Many of the cartoons we watched contained stereotypes regarding minorities that would never be aired today,” Dr. Taylor told Ebony. “In 20 years we should see the first group of medical school graduates who will say their dream of becoming a doctor began when they saw their first telecast of Doc McStuffins…Won’t that be amazing?”
Every Christmas season there is a scramble — fights in the store aisles even — as parents try to grab the latest toy for their child’s Christmas present. Other parents also struggle with finding a toy representative of their child. Well, this year the Doc McStuffins doll falls into both categories for African-American children. Not only is the toy, based on the star of this year’s breakout children’s TV show, a great gift for parents looking for Afrocentric toys, it is also this year’s best-selling doll.
“The new doll has even unseated Elmo as this year’s must-have holiday toy,” reports The Grio. The Disney series has been a TV hit since it premiered in March—it has even topped the mega popular Dora the Explorer as the top-rated cable TV show for kids, says the New York Daily News.
Created by Chris Nee, the character, Doc McStuffins, is a six-year-old African-American girl who treats sick toys. Nee reportedly developed the show for her son.
It has become popular beyond Nee’s dreams. And the product spinoff (the Doc McStuffins doll comes with her doctor’s bag and her friend Lambie) has been just as popular. Frenzied parents who are finding stores sold out of Doc McStuffins are “turning to online sites such as eBay to cop the doll. Online prices are reaching up the four times the $34.99 retail value,” reports The Grio.
Did you grab your Doc McStuffins before it sold out?
Unsure of what the special toddler in your life wants most for Christmas? Chances it may be the Doc McStuffins “Time For Your Check Up” doll, which is a doll based off of the main character of Disney television show “Doc McStuffins”, a six-year-old African-American doctor who cares for her sick toys. According to the New York Daily News, the adorable toy is being sold at a “record pace” this holiday season and parents have been in a complete frenzy as they scour toy store shelves for one of this season’s most sought after items.
“You can’t find that anywhere… We were at Toys ‘R’ Us asking them to look in the back,” said Amber, wife of New York Yankee’s pitcher CC Sabathia.
“McStuffins products are selling quickly,” says Toy ‘R’ Us spokeswoman Adrienne O’Hara. She also recommended that parents looking to snag one before December 25th should “visit stores early” in effort to catch incoming shipments.
It seems that Just Play, the company that produces the doll did not anticipate such a high demand for it and “didn’t have a lot of production lined up for the first-year run.” Analyst at BMO Capital, Gerrick Johnson predicts that availability will improve next year.
“I’m not sure I realized how much she would inspire kids,” expressed Chris Nee who is the show’s creator and is said to have created the show in an effort to demystify her son’s perception of doctors. Since the airing of its first episode back in March of this year, “Doc McStuffins” has been praised for its positivity and deemed as great show for young Black children because of its portrayal of a minority child in a role that we rarely see. That positivity has led Doc to become ”the top-rated cable TV show for tots,” and according to the Daily News, the girl at the center of it all ”has also unseated Elmo as this year’s must-have (and hard-to-find) holiday toy.”
The doll’s suggested retail price is $34.99, but of course opportunistic eBay and Craigslist sellers have hiked their prices up to $130 due to the toy’s limited availability. Can you really blame them though?
Have you heard about this adorable little doll? Was this on any of your children’s Christmas lists?
The American Medical Association’s “Physician Characteristics and Distribution in the U.S., 2012 Edition,’’ states that black female physicians made up less than 2% of nearly 1 million US doctors in 2010. That seems extraordinarily low, but think about it, how many black female physicians do you know? (Melanie from “The Game” doesn’t count!)
Could a Disney cartoon starring a young, black, female doctor improve those dismal statistics and encourage more young women to aspire to be doctors?
We soon shall see.
Disney is definitely taking a step in the right direction with “Doc McStuffins.” The show’s Wikipedia page describes Doc as a a six-year-old girl who, one day, wants to become a doctor like her mother. As a kid, she “pretends” to be a doctor by fixing up toys and dolls. A twist of Disney’s Toy Story franchise, when Doc puts on her stethoscope, toys, dolls and stuffed animals come to life and she can communicate with them. With a little help from her stuffed animal friends, Stuffy, Hallie, Lambie and Chilly, Doc helps toys “feel better” by giving them check-ups. Each 11-minute episode includes original songs and the “Time for your Check-up” song, and during ending credits, Doc gives advice to viewers about staying healthy. The show is described as a sophisticated, CG-animated series that doesn’t talk down to its young audience.
The series was created by Chris Nee. who isn’t black (or an Asian male as her name may lead you to believe), but the show stars several black actors including young black actress Kiara Muhammad and seasoned black actress Loretta Devine.
Nee says she created the series to demystify doctors for little kids after a particularly scary trip to the hospital with her son as she detailed in her interview with AfterEllen.com. However, Nee is credited for creating a show that is doing much more than that. The show is also portraying a young black girl in a role that we don’t often see. Boston.com reported that Nee said Disney encouraged her to create Doc as a minority character from the beginning and she hopes the series resonates with all of the kids who watch it, especially girls who tend to develop a negative view of science at a young age.
That’s a lot of pressure for a cartoon, but not far-fetched considering how powerful television can be in creating role models for young children. The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry says American children spend an average of three to four hours every day watching television and children of color spend the most time viewing television, so this is definitely a show that Black families should consider actively supporting.
Last week, the show sent out a press release saying Doc McStuffins is a hit for kids age 2-7 and has been ordered for a second season on both the Disney Channel and Disney Junior. Disney will also introduce “Doc McStuffins” books, apparel, party goods and role play toys, dolls and accessories.
This is great news for a company that was once rightfully accused of ignoring the black children that watch their network and movies. And it’s even better news for the kids who are watching.
As Dr. Myiesha Taylor points out on her site Coily Embrace that sure young kids can aspire to be Beyonce, Lebron or even NeNe Leakes but kids need to know there’s more than entertainment, sports or fashion industry success, and instead pursue careers in higher education, medicine, or as CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
Here’s hoping that Doc McStuffins is only the beginning of a new trend.
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Disney Junior premieres new animated television series, “DOC McStuffins,” for kids ages 2 – 7 on March 23, 2012 starring the voices of Kiara Muhammad as DOC; Loretta Devine as Hallie (stuffed hippopotamus); Lara Jill Miller as Lambie (the stuffed lamb); Jess Harnell as Chilly (the stuffed snowman); Robert Rist as Stuffy (the stuffed dragon); Jaden Betts as Donny McStuffins; Kim Brooks as Mom McStuffins, and Gary Anthony Williams as Dad McStuffins. The series features heartwarming stories that teach kids great lessons on self care, caring for others and chasing away any worries for kids over visiting the doctor.
“I was nervous at first,” Kiara said about her character having to also sing. “It was about six people listening. This is my first voice over and I’m really happy it’s a series.”
Learn more about the new series at Eurweb.com.
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