We were all five once — that age when we were transfixed by beloved Disney characters.

The funny thing is that back then, we probably never realized how these children’s movies perpetuate the privileged status of heterosexuality.

“Heterosexuality is constructed through hetero-romantic love relationships as exceptional, powerful, magical, and transformative,” said Karin A. Martin and Emily Kazyak, the authors of “Hetero-Romantic Love and Heterosexiness in Children’s G-Rated Films.”

The researchers explained that by the time children enter elementary school, they have a general heteronormative understanding of the world.

“Heteronormativity structures social life so that heterosexuality is always assumed, expected, ordinary and privileged,” Martin and Kazyak said. “Its pervasiveness makes it difficult for people to imagine other ways of life.”

Many people claim they support their children in whatever relationship choice they make, but it’s important to note that these same people also show their children Disney movies, thereby reinforcing a heteronormative worldview.

Parents and guardians are often unaware of the heteronormative effect of the media. They view these movies as nothing more than entertainment. They fail to see that these very media are helping to shape their children’s identities at an early age.

So how do these movies influence identity?

Disney movies are popular for their touching plots and colorful graphics. For the most part, these movies target both boy and girls. If you look closely, however, you realize that movies such as “Cars” utilize typically masculine colors and concepts, whereas the princess movies abound with more feminine pastel colors, flowers and sparkly settings.

The problem is not the colors or the settings per se, but what these elements represent. Consider “Pocahontas,” “Tangled,” “Cinderella” or any other princess movie. Do you notice how something as normal as a kiss generates fireworks out of thin air?

How the setting in such a scene reacts to manifestations of heterosexual relationships reinforces the idea that this type of relationship is transformative and can change the world.

What about love between two men or two women? Why can’t Disney movies portray how their love can change the world as well? After all, Disney enjoys a reputation for producing quality children’s entertainment. Wouldn’t it make sense to teach children about the other side of the relationship spectrum?

The sad truth is that in Disney films, anything other than heterosexual relationships are considered unusual and unexpected, and as something in need of an explanation.

So here parents are with 5-year-olds who expect to be entertained. The parents are hoping to get a moment to themselves, so they pop in a G-rated Disney movie, thinking that it is perfect for children’s eyes.

Perfect because it creates a guideline for a supposedly normal life. Perfect because it has the ability to make kids who feel a little different or who may have a developing idea of their sexual identity feel isolated. Perfect because in 90-minute increments, Disney is defining the “normal” path for these children to follow in life.