Anxiety and Fear in Children's Films

By Sentürk, Ridvan | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, Summer 2011 | Go to article overview

Anxiety and Fear in Children's Films


Sentürk, Ridvan, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

Children's movies bear so many significant features that it should be studied from many aspects. In fact, one of the issues very often encountered in researches and analyses done so far, is the element of terror exposed in children's movies. Nevertheless, first how the basic feelings such as fear and anxiety are produced and formed in children's movies should be discussed so that the concept of terror can be fully perceived and evaluated. In this context, the production and formation of terror and anxiety in children's movies cause much more serious, shocking and permanent influences than terror from the aspect of the psychology and education of children. As a matter of fact, the feelings of fear and anxiety are not only the psychical influences caused by the applied violence but also an essential reference nourished and expressed. In this respect, the issue how the feelings of fear and anxiety are produced should be carefully analyzed and evaluated so that the scenes of violence in children's movies can be elaborated upon in depth. For this reason, in this study the concepts of fear and anxiety are defined and again the historical traces of current culture of horror in movies are pursued, first to prepare the platform for discussion. Moreover, the research includes the study of a children's film, Harry Potter, which was chosen as an example in light of the conceptual definitions mentioned here, whereby the techniques of expression used in the production and formation of the feelings of fear and anxiety are revealed and expatiated upon. In the last section of the research, we present suggestions on forming and sharing the conscience of responsibility as well as on the realization of possible measures required for the protection of children against the potential dangers pointed at in the field of movies and media.

Key Words

Fairy Tales, Children's Stories, Fear, Drama, Subliminal.

Today, when the consequences of transition from the culture of written texts to the visual culture are experienced, we should discuss the nature of this transition and the ethical, aesthetic, psychological and socio-cultural consequences of the means and forms of expression for the aforesaid transition influences, both qualitatively and quantitatively, respectively of objects, the perceptive logic, the perception of reality of the individuals and the society as well as the forms of relations in their entirety. One of the fields that are influenced by the process of the visualization of reality and the perception of it, which is actually as important as the perception of reality itself, without any doubt the psychology of the individual and the society. As a matter of fact, the process of the visualization of reality not only influences the psychology of the individual and the society but transforms the abilities and forms of perception, memory, thought and imagination as well. On the other hand, the fact that the visual culture becomes dominant almost in every field of life impacts not only the youth's and the adults' but also, the children's psychology, their perception of the reality and their relationships.

Needless to mention, the cinema has been one of the most significant pioneers of the transition from textual culture to visual culture and the accompanying transition in the transformation of reality. In truth, the issue how movies, which continue to play an effective role along with the other modern means of communication such as the television and the Internet, affect children's psychology, their perception of reality and the process of their education definitely needs to be researched and discussed in light of the ultimate scientific results. One of the essential subjects that will contribute to the discussion of the issue within this frame is the ways the feelings of fear and anxiety exhibited in children's movies are edited and produced. From the aspects of both leading to reactive violence and terror and expressing the psychical impression aimed at the spectators, the research of how the feelings of fear and anxiety are worked in children's movies will contribute to the evaluation of the impacts of such films on children's psychology and the process of their education.

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