Gender Stereotypes: Anti-Fairytale
UCL Millennium Cohort Study
Gender Stereotypes: Anti-Fairytale is an animation for 11-14-year-olds
Research from the Millennium Cohort study considering the career aspirations of 9-14-year-old children highlighted a significant gender bias in the types of jobs boys and girls wanted to in later life.
Our challenge with ‘gender stereotypes: anti-fairytale’ was to bring the research to life through animation and create something both educational and engaging to our audience.
The project was aimed at two audiences; ages 7-11 and ages 11-14. The focus of this case study is on the latter.
We based our content in a fictional fairytale setting that challenged and poked fun at the stereotypical tropes commonly associated with this genre. We combined bold, familiar characters with subtle humor that played off of the audience’s preconceptions of the characters.
We extended the impact of the animation by creating a suite of learning content that could be easily deployed in schools and homes across the country.
The animation and learning content will be released to schools nationally throughout 2019.
Building a World
Everything in gender stereotypes: anti-fairytale was constructed with the fairytale theme in mind. From the shop names to the ‘Ye Olde Tube’ video titles, to the characters themselves; everything had to fit within the world we were building. This allowed us to place some very tongue in cheek-references throughout to reward the keen-eyed viewers.
Using well-established characters and props that kids have grown up with meant that we could challenge their expectations quickly, without having to build our own expectations for these characters. So Frankenstein’s monster could be a caring nurse, a burly executioner could cut hair or we could have a fully qualified witch-doctor. This ensured the pace of the animation was punchy and allowed us to show many career examples regardless of gender.
Implementing a vlogger as the narrator of the story meant that the intro and outro to the video required lip syncing.
Ensuring that the character’s movements complemented the words being said and timed correctly was essential in creating a believable narrator.
To ensure that the children engaged with the project and thought about what they had watched, we produced a Gender Stereotypes: Anti-Fairytale themed toolkit of activities that could be implemented in the classroom or at home. These ranged from quiz cards, to posters, to ‘create your own anti-fairytale’ frameworks.