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This content is taken from the University of York's online course, Pictures of Youth: An Introduction to Children’s Visual Culture. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 3 secondsWelcome to our third session on pictures of youth. Here, we will explore, and explode, our assumptions about the term ‘children’s film’. We will consider what the term includes and what it excludes. To help us do this, we will zoom in on the work of Japanese anime makers, Studio Ghibli, to see how it fits the bill. This will involve watching, and re-watching, a short film - so make sure you have your popcorn to hand!

Welcome to week 3

Week 3 is dedicated to exploring how we define children’s film, using the example of Studio Ghibli.

In this week, we will think about what the term ‘children’s film’ means to us: what sort of films fit into it, and which don’t. We’ll compare and contrast that with other people’s definitions of the phrase. We’ll have a go at applying these definitions to the work of a company of Japanese anime makers. Let Sarah Olive give you a more detailed overview.

To whet your appetite, here are some of the top results defining children’s film that turned up in a Google search of the phrase (you might try using a different search engine and see if you get different results, or see whether Google gives you the same results in your location):

  • Not necessarily made for the general audience
  • Primarily marketed to children
  • Great animation
  • Popularly endured across several decades
  • Imaginative spaces
  • Help our children grow into resilient, self-aware, inclusive adults
  • Dedicated to children and their families

These are some popular results, but how do they fit your preconceptions about what children’s film are and what they do?

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This video is from the free online course:

Pictures of Youth: An Introduction to Children’s Visual Culture

University of York