Family and Children Film

Created on : October 24, 2023 12:46 | Last updated on : January 18, 2024 12:11


A children's film, or family film, is a film genre that contains children or relates to them in the context of home and family. Children's films are made specifically for children and not necessarily for a general audience, while family films are made for a wider appeal with a general audience in mind.


A Children's film or a Family film, is a type of film that features children or deals with them in the setting of the family and the home. Family movies are created with a broader audience in mind, whereas children's movies are developed especially for children and may not be intended for a public audience. Numerous popular genres, including realism, fantasy, adventure, war, musicals, humor, and literary adaptations, are represented in children's movies.

Family Films versus Children’s Films:

The 1930s saw a relative rise in the popularity of children's movies in both Europe and the United States. Bazalgette and Staples assert that although "children's film" is seen as a European word, the term "family film" is an American one. However, the casting techniques used in American and European films, respectively, demonstrate the distinction between the two words. When searching for a child protagonist in American family films, casting directors look for kids that physically fit a certain mold. On the other hand, children who seem "ordinary" are cast in European children's films. Similar to this, adult casts in American family films—which tell stories from the viewpoint of adults or parents—often use well-known actors or actresses in an attempt to appeal to a larger audience. This is demonstrated via the editing, mise-en-scène, casting, and storyline material. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) is a great example of a family movie, according to Bazalgette and Staples. If this movie had a similar plot in Europe, its title would be Sis, Dad Shrunk Us, as it illustrates how stories in that continent are told from the viewpoint of the child, expressing a range of emotions and experiences. Due to these distinctions, European children's films are more well-liked locally but have less attraction for foreign viewers, whereas American family films are easier to sell to both home and foreign film audiences.

Children or Family Films from United States

Before World War II, the Walt Disney Company produced animated versions of the Grimm fairy tales, starting with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937. In the years leading up to and during World War II, three noteworthy family films were released in the United States. These were Fleischer Studios' Gulliver's Travels, Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Disney's Pinocchio (1940). These were all only alterations of literary works.

Throughout the 1960s, films like Carol Reed's To Kill a Mockingbird (1962) and Oliver! (1968) presented kids as inherently naive. Other 1960s kid-focused movies include Robert Wise's The Sound of Music (1965) and The Miracle Worker (1962). These were family-friendly musical movies with great commercial success. The Sound of Music, One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961), The Jungle Book (1967), and Mary Poppins(1964) were four of the ten highest-grossing movies of the decade. Hollywood has also produced films with kid actors, even though these were literary adaptations and not very successful commercially.

Popeye (1980), The Fox and the Hound (1981), Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Great Mouse Detective (1986), and The Little Mermaid (1989) are a few United States family and children's movies from the 1980s. Spielberg shows kids dealing with problems genuinely. This is seen in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, when the kids deal with fatherlessness, divorce, and being apart from their father. Additionally, Jim Graham, the main character in the 1987 film Empire of the Sun, suffers from years of parental separation to the point where he can no longer even recall the appearance of his mother.

The decade saw the release of Edward Scissorhands (1990), a modern fairy tale picture about an isolated, artificially manufactured young man with human emotions and infantile traits who is eventually discarded by society while the female lead clings to his memories. More live-action family movies were released in the 1990s, including Jurassic Park (1993), Steve Zaillian's Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Home Alone (1990) and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Hook (1991), Alan & Naomi (1992), and Back to the Future Part III (1990), which launched the Back to the Future franchise into this decade.

Children or Family Film from Europe

Moscow established a children's film studio in the thirties and forties. This company sent several movies to the UK, such as The Magic Fish, The Land of Toys, and The Humpbacked Horse. Bicycle Thieves, directed by Vittorio De Sica in 1948, is an Italian neorealist picture that is among the post-World War II children's films. Goldstein and Zornow claim that Clement depicts the divide between children and adults in his 1952 French film Forbidden Games, which places kids in a warlike environment. Karel Zeman's 1955 children's picture Journey to the Beginning of Time is also included in this time frame.

Romeo and Juliet, a British-Italian romantic drama from 1968, and L'Enfant sauvage, a French film from 1969, are two notable European children's films from the 1960s. François Truffaut and Louis Malle, two French filmmakers, made important contributions to children's movies.

The following are some examples of European children's movies from the 1970s and 1980s: the Danish film The Conqueror (1987); the German director Wolfgang Petersen's The NeverEnding Story (1984); the German film Alice in den Städten (1974); the Spanish film The Spirit of the Beehive (1973); the Hungarian film Love, Mother (1987); and the German film Fanny & Alexander (1974).

The Finnish film Mother of Mine (2005), the Italian short film Il supplente ("The Substitute") (2007), and the Polish Animated Movie Peter and the Wolf (2006) are among the notable European children's films of the 2000s. One notable children's movie from the 2010s is The Kid with a Bike (2011), a Belgian-French Film.

Children or Family Film from Britain

The UK produced children's films in the 1960s that are now considered classics. The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (1962), Born Free (1966), Lord of the Flies (1963), To Sir, with Love (1967) (based on the genuine experiences of E. R. Braithwaite), and if.... (1968) are some of these films. The 1969 movie Kes is also on the list. Certain children's movies fall within the avant-garde film genre due to their unusual and frequently contentious handling of the subject. A notable example of an avant-garde children's movie, according to cinema academics, is Pink Floyd's 1982 British picture The Wall. Pink Floyd A disturbing and potent nightmare of an alienated childhood, boarding school separation, mother deprivation, separation anxiety, war, and consumerist greed that impacts a child and further impacts his relationships and experiences in adulthood can be found in the unusual and contentious film The Wall.


Children or Family Film from Asia

Notable Japanese children's movies from the 1960s include Boy (1969) and Bad Boys (1960), which are based on the life of kids in a juvenile delinquent treatment school. Among the notable Asian children's movies of the 1960s is Satyajit Ray's Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne (1969). The 1988 children's picture Daisy, which shows kids in a boarding school and their feelings of desire and isolation, came from South India. Some more kid-friendly movies from this area are Abhayam (1991), which is also referred to as Shelter by Sivan.

Notable Indian kid-friendly movies also include Shekhar Kapoor's Masoom (1983) and Mr. India (1987) from Bollywood. Additional noteworthy children's movies include the Israeli film studios Golan Globus and Cannon Films' adaptation of the Grimm brothers' German fairy tales in their Cannon Movie Tales series, which features the following films: Beauty and the Beast (1987), starring John Savage; Puss in Boots (1988), starring Christopher Walken; and The Frog Prince (1986), starring Aileen Quinn, Helen Hunt, and John Paragon.


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