8 Animated Characters That Shattered Society's Norms

Many animated characters and cartoons have come and gone, but few have made a lasting impression on society's norms and ways of thinking. These heroic characters have all broken down barriers and ended stigmas in ways that translate far beyond the screen.

MORE: 16 Latinos Who Have Played Animated Characters

1. Elena of Avalor

If you haven't already heard, Disney's new Latina princess is Elena of Avalor, and she's here to represent all Latinas. The series, which premiered last week, stars Young & Hungry's Aimee Carrero as Elena, and Jane the Virgin's Jenna Ortega as Elena's sister, Isabel.


2. Rosaline

In all of animated history, no one has ever questioned the sexual orientation of female characters.

A new animated short, however, is ending the assumption that all are the same in that respect. Rosaline tells the story of a young girl on a journey to find her “sweetheart” who, in turn, winds up being another young lady. This LGBT-friendly series will dive into many issues not yet spoken on children’s television.


3. Moana

Blonde-haired, blue-eyed princesses are certainly no longer the norm. Disney’s newest Polynesian princess, Moana, is a “feisty” 16-year-old on a quest to save her people on a lost island. We can't wait for her to dominate, come November 2016


4. Gazelle

Even cartoons should made to come in all shapes and sizes. Zootopia’s Gazelle was originally created with an ordinary, thin frame — until the character’s voice, Sharkira, stepped in. The singer demanded that the female’s shape be fuller and more realistic of all women.


5. Carmen Sandiego

Carmen Sandiego, voiced by Rita Moreno, proved her tough-girl nature on screen as a criminal mastermind. Though beautiful, Sandiego proved herself as much more than a pretty face in the industry.


6. Invisible Woman

Fantastic Four’s Invisible Woman was one of Marvel’s first female superheroes. Throughout the comic’s evolution, Invisible Woman became more and more active, leaving her “damsel in distress” quality in the dust.


7. Jem & the Holograms

Badass girl group Jem and the Holograms was one of the first cartoon depictions of young girls following their dreams as singers. These ladies broke down the barrier that females are only meant to be mothers, housewives and other societal roles that were deemed appropriate for women.


8. Mulan

Mulan was supposed to be a proper Chinese girl, abiding to the rules of her society. The character, however, goes on to serve in the military by bravely posing as a man.