As this video discusses, one major source of stereotypes for young children, particularly young girls, today is Disney and the Disney Princesses. Most American children grew up watching Disney movies, dressing up as their favorite Disney character, and for girls, being asked who their favorite Disney princess is. Looking back as an adult, the issues of class, sexism, racism, etc. are very evident; however, children do not understand these deeper issues and only take away the superficial messages. In this day and age, most parents want their children to go to college so that they can get a good job. I do not think that there are many parents who would tell their daughter that all she was good for was cleaning the house and that she shouldn't try to do anything else. But these same parents have no problem putting Cinderella on for their kids.
Disney is starting to realize that their portrayal of women and classes and races needs to change and adapt to the world we are now living in. Movies such as Brave and Tangled present more independent, strong young women.
It is very evident that young children idolize these characters, so it is important that we present them with characters who portray positive images and send appropriate messages.