“100 titles every child should have seen“. With this rather compelling slogan, Cinekid and broadcaster VPRO recently published their list of favourite films. A fun, but – by nature – arbitrary initiative. What a child “must” see, depends on where you live and under what circumstances you grow up. But as a guide through children’s film archives, such a list is great fun and a useful tool.
Even though the Netherlands is currently market leader in children’s film, with 29 films (ranging from the recent MISS SING SONG SURINAM to the classic LONG LIVE THE QUEEN, from MY GIRAFFE to KAUWBOY), the country is slightly over-represented. Directors Mischa Kamp and Ben Sombogaart are both in the list with no less than three titles. Other countries must give way to Dutch predominance. Norway has three titles (TWIGSON, OPERATION ARCTIC and SOLAN & LUDWIG), just like Denmark (WE SHALL OVERCOME, ANTBOY and LITTLE BIG GIRL), Sweden has to settle with LABAN THE LITTLE GHOAST and PIPPI IN THE SOUTH SEAS. Even classic adaptations like THE BROTHERS LIONHEART and RONJA THE ROBBER’S DAUGHTER remain absent.
From the 80s mainly blockbusters such as E.T., ANNIE and BABE are still standing. With 24 films over 20 years old, the oldest survivors are the true classics, such as THE SOUND OF MUSIC, KES, THE WIZARD OF OZ, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, Disney’s SNOW WHITE, and the iconic THE RED BALLOON. The oldest one is Chaplin’s THE KID from 1921. In general this top 100 is rather western-focussed. Japan is represented with three titles (ARRIETY, SPIRITED AWAY, PONYO), all born more or less in the same cradle, FELIX (South Africa) is the only African ambassador, with THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (Mongolia) and THE WHITE BALLOON (Iran) as other non-Western titles remaining.
The list was compiled by a committee of experts, with representatives from Cinekid, Dutch broadcasters and the Dutch Film Fund. Is your favourite movie on the list? Which titles are missing according to you? Check the list and send us your favourites and concerns by mail.