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Children's Films - Aesthetics of Identification (Christian Stewen)


One of the most common aesthetic characteristics of children’s media is identification, which is not understood as a psychological process but as a semiotic process of identifying individuals, creatures, and objects. Basically, these strategies of producing identicalness, consistence or congruence between signifier and signified, between word/image and ‘its’ object can be described as performative acts of producing meaning. Being not only relevant in regards to diegesis but also in regards to the medial conditions of children’s media, spoken and written language, pictures, and animated cinematic images are reflectively questioned as producers of identities and conveyers of meaning. The article tries to illustrate these textual operations by analysing emblematic scenes from classic children’s films like Alice in Wonderland (USA 1951), The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (USA 1977), and The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (USA/UK 2005).

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