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These past exciting months I have been exploring, with the help of Into Film, a library of children's films from a past era. I have watched a conglomeration of films, released between the 70s up to the late 80s, something our younger generation isn't very interested in, due to our modern, lavish cinemas and updated Netflix.
Also between my screening marathons I have been reviewing the many films with mixed opinions. From a confusing haze of Dick Van Dyke's quirkiness to the joyful, musical springs of Julie Andrews, all these films are different to the range of children's films in our present day.
Throughout watching all these movies I have most enjoyed the personalities of the characters in the stories. Unlike films today, in the 70s and 80s you didn't have a high-tech and wide-range of special effects, which makes it harder to create a magic story that kids want to see. Therefore the characters personalities have to be exaggerated in order to make it come alive. This makes them so enjoyable to watch compared with modern films, where everyone lives in the same big city, wears the same clothes and reacts the same way to all the same things.
Another thing I found interesting, for most of the films I watched, was that they were a mixture of live-action and animation. This was fascinatingly more magical because it pushes you into a world different to our own. On top of this, making some characters in the film cartoons means more mature themes can be exercised but can still remain suitable. What I mean by this is that a physical fight between two cartoon characters is more comical than if it was between two actors. This makes the films more suitable to their age groups: children.
However, although I have enjoyed this project, I have found some of the films extravagant and, in places, too quirky. Consequently they could get confusing, therefore you lose interest, which isn't good for a children's film.
Having said that, one of my particular favourites from this project was Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This was quirky in places, had very exaggerated characters, and was a mixture of live action and cartoon, which did make the dark, cynical part of the plot funny to watch, altogether making an amazing children's film.
To conclude, films from this time were definitely not as high tech as children's films today, yet the characters were more fluorescent and interesting to watch on their own. In my opinion, this was an experimental era of film, trying out new effects and mixing some together, which may be why some were too quirky, because they didn't always work. I think without this experimental period of film, films today wouldn't be as well produced. I definitely recommend watching older films to the younger generation, as they are fun to watch, a different sort of comedy that makes you respect the films made today.
London Evening Standard's Film and TV journalist Ellen E Jones gives her top tips and advice on writing top notch film reviews.
Reading time 3 mins
Danny Leigh, film critic for the Guardian newspaper and BBC's Film 2016 series, offers his top tips for crafting effective film reviews.
Viewing time 2 mins
Introduce primary film club members to the art of reviewing and develop their critical thinking and literacy skills.
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