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Children's "hero" cartoons with non-male leads

Sacrosanct

Slayer of Keraptis
Had a discussion a couple days ago with my partner, as her 4 year old was talking about his favorite cartoons (which happen to be PJ Masks and Ninjago-- the latter which we limited because it's too mature for him, even if his dad lets him watch it). She made an observation. While media for older kids and adults is getting out of the "every hero is a male with one token girl on the team", shows for younger kids have not. Her son even made the comment that girls aren't as strong as boys, and can't be heroes like boys. Naturally that got our attention.

So what shows out there that are designed for younger than 7 have heroes that are primarily girl leads? My partner mentioned Powder Puff girls, but how that doesn't really count because they seem to make it a point to stress how great they are for making girls the lead, rather than a show where girls are the leaders but the show doesn't make a big deal about it. Also, that show is for older kids.

My research has resulted in Hilda (on Netflix) and Steven's World (on Hulu) that are both really good for showing how girls are the heroes and primary characters. However, in both cases, those shows seem to be for older kids.

so I'm asking for feedback if there are any shows that this community might be aware of. Are there any (like PJ Masks) with the characters being mostly female or gender neutral? For younger kids?
 

Parmandur

Adventurer
Had a discussion a couple days ago with my partner, as her 4 year old was talking about his favorite cartoons (which happen to be PJ Masks and Ninjago-- the latter which we limited because it's too mature for him, even if his dad lets him watch it). She made an observation. While media for older kids and adults is getting out of the "every hero is a male with one token girl on the team", shows for younger kids have not. Her son even made the comment that girls aren't as strong as boys, and can't be heroes like boys. Naturally that got our attention.

So what shows out there that are designed for younger than 7 have heroes that are primarily girl leads? My partner mentioned Powder Puff girls, but how that doesn't really count because they seem to make it a point to stress how great they are for making girls the lead, rather than a show where girls are the leaders but the show doesn't make a big deal about it. Also, that show is for older kids.

My research has resulted in Hilda (on Netflix) and Steven's World (on Hulu) that are both really good for showing how girls are the heroes and primary characters. However, in both cases, those shows seem to be for older kids.

so I'm asking for feedback if there are any shows that this community might be aware of. Are there any (like PJ Masks) with the characters being mostly female or gender neutral? For younger kids?
My four year old son and two year old daughter love Hilda, for what it is worth. They can follow it, and it is appropriate.
 
True and the Rainbow Kingdom. Or Shimmer and Shine, which is basically the same premise but (IMNSHO) not as good.

Paw Patrol and Transformers: Rescue Bots follow the "token Pink Ranger" model, and are good for younger kids.

Super Monsters has multiple female leads, who are occasionally stronger than the boys.

If you're willing to look outside of the superhero genre, "Sarah and Duck" and "Stella and Sam" are two great shows for younger kids with strong female protagonists.

3Below: Tales of Acadia and Star vs the Forces of Evil would fit, but if Ninjago is too "old", these probably are too.

There's also literally a show called Super Hero Girls on Netflix, but I've never seen it.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
My girls are a older, when they were that age we had Kim Possible and the like. (If you can find it, Kim Possible is still great, and will directly address your concern.) The Netflix She-Ra is quite good. Too mature for 4 y.o as the main characters are 13, but Miraculous: Tales of Ladybug & Cat Noir, also found on Netflix, is quality as well as a female protagonist.

There's a lot of anime that can be legally and freely watched on services like Crunchyroll that has female leads or even primarily/all female teams. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with what's out there for that age range. Perhaps others can offer suggestions.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Netflix's Voltron has 2 girls on the main team and they kick some serious butt. Allura is the physically strongest member of the team even.
 

doctorbadwolf

Explorer
Isn't there a disney cartoon where the princess goes on adventures and learns about leadership and family and stuff? I think Sam Riegal voices the king?
 

Tonguez

Adventurer
Dora the Explorer
Pippa Pig
My Little Pony
Doc McStuffins
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Winx
Blues Clues
Bratz
Jojos Circus
DC Hero Girls
 

Zardnaar

Explorer
Older stuff from 80s

Original She Ra, liked it as a kid idk how well it's aged though

Rainbow Bright

Gem and the Holograms. I liked it back in the day, wife rewatched it recently and enjoyed it.
 

Lylandra

Explorer
Old one, but I loved Tonde Burin aka Super-Pig as a kid.

My Little Pony is a really great show as well, and especially watchable as an adult with all of its humor and pop culture references. More magic and slice of life though.

For movies, you may consider Momo (old one and a great book on top of that) or Pippi Longstocking.

For anything that goes deeper into magical girl or live-action he's too young I fear. Same with Avatar, my most beloved animated series.
 

GreyLord

Adventurer
Dora the Explorer
Pippa Pig
My Little Pony
Doc McStuffins
Clifford the Big Red Dog
Winx
Blues Clues
Bratz
Jojos Circus
DC Hero Girls
Good list

Add

Odd Squad
Sesame Street has a good balance of girls and boys

For a little older

Fast Layne
KC Undercover
Wizards of Waverly Place

(and several other Disney TV shows and Such).
 

Greatwyrm

Been here a while...
Relying on my memory is dangerous, but I think Buena Girl from Mucha Lucha was a good character.

And I realize this is basically that Token Female Character, but I don't think The Baroness from GI Joe gets enough credit. Any plan she was working always went better than whatever crap Cobra Commander had cooked up that episode.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad day
Came across Super Hero Girls on Netflix, it's teenaged Batgirl and a bunch. But it's written to be accessable much younger. While still being cool for actual teenagers to watch.

Oh, and not for a 4 y.o., but eventually Avatar the Last Airbender. Mixed gender team but the team lead is female, and later they add another kick-butt female to the team, plus plenty along the way. Includes dealing with one boy on the team who thinks only boys can be heroes, showing that anyone can.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Came across Super Hero Girls on Netflix, it's teenaged Batgirl and a bunch. But it's written to be accessable much younger. While still being cool for actual teenagers to watch.

Oh, and not for a 4 y.o., but eventually Avatar the Last Airbender. Mixed gender team but the team lead is female, and later they add another kick-butt female to the team, plus plenty along the way. Includes dealing with one boy on the team who thinks only boys can be heroes, showing that anyone can.
Avatar was an amazing cartoon.

And I say that having been raised on late 80s early 90s cartoons, so no nostalgia for me there, just great TV.
 

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