Children’s films in the course of time

The story of the children’s film

Between 1900 and 1920 the first children’s films were produced in Germany . Already during the silent film period, these more and more children and young people were attracted to the cinemas, as well as books, the only accessible medium for this age class.

This fact was soon followed by teachers and politicians. More and more films were being produced that were not only for pure entertainment, but had a pedagogical intention by encouraging children to internalize moral values.
Later, the National Socialists also used these manipulative possibilities in their numerous propaganda films.

Particularly serious: there were no age restrictions, even very young children were confronted with political and ideological content.

In the 1950s, children’s film production continued to grow and headed towards the end of the decade. Numerous films, which today are regarded as a classic of the children’s film, emerged during this time, for example many fairy tales or the Erich Kästner film adaptation “Pünktchen and Anton” . In 1955 alone, 11 children’s films were produced, which accounted for almost 10 per cent of the total number of productions.
Since then, children have become increasingly important as a target group, a trend that is also continuing on television.

Traditional and always popular children’s films.

Some children’s films, predominantly cartoon films, have been popular for decades and are almost traditionally a compulsory program for the adolescents.

These films, such as “The Jungle Book” or “Heidi”, has already had a lasting impact on the generation of parents and is associated with positive childhood memories when television and cinema for children were something special. For this reason, these films are almost automatically recognized as educational in today’s parents, without any conscious reflection on the quality and content of these films. They have simply become a nostalgic piece of childhood culture, which is to be passed on to their own children.

Modern children’s film culture

For several years, a new trend has been taking place in the field of children’s films.

More and more films in the animation area are produced not only for children, but for adults as well. The action of these films is understandable to younger viewers, the dialogues speak by targeted word wit, numerous allusions and striking situation comics rather adults.
The target group of these modern children’s films , which include the Ice Age films or Shrek , is considerably larger. Family films are easier to market and are therefore often very successful commercially.


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