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A Moviekid, sometimes known as a family film, is a type of film that features or is about children in the context of the home and family. Children’s films are made primarily for children and not always for a general audience, whereas family films are created with a wider appeal and a general audience in mind.

Children’s films are classified into several genres, including realism, fantasy, adventure, war, musicals, humor, and literary adaptations.

Aspects of psychology

Children are born with certain inherent biological dispositions as a result of a long evolutionary history. This provides a biological context for what may fascinate a child while also establishing restrictions. These can be seen in a variety of universal elements seen in children’s films.

According to Grodal, films like Finding Nemo (2003), Bambi (1942), and Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away (2001) are constructed on strong emotions like fear, which trigger what Boyer and Lienard term the hazard-precaution system.

This enables the brain to take protective measures in the event of a threat. These kids’ movies cover a wide range of subjects, including:

  1. Attachment to parental authority;
  2. establishment of friendships;
  3. Individual interactions that are mutual;
  4. dealing with children’s and adolescents’ desire to explore and engage in play.

As a result, these films address concerns that are more than just social constructs, but rather feelings that are universal to all children, giving them a wider worldwide appeal.

While cultural considerations influence how films are made, certain films relate to innate and biological universal features.

Timothy Laurie, a University of Melbourne scholar, criticizes the emphasis on children’s innate psychic tendencies, stating that “pedagogical norms have been relentlessly heaped onto children’s media” and that “the quality of childhood is more likely shaped by social policy, political opportunism, pedagogical institutions, and youth-specific market segmentation” rather than hardwired biology.


Family movies vs. moviekid

The concept of the moviekid became popular in both the United States and Europe in the 1930s. According to Bazalgette and Staples, “family film” is predominantly an American idiom, whereas “children’s film” is primarily a European one.

However, there is a distinction between the two titles in the casting processes employed by American and European films, respectively.


The search for a child protagonist in American family films entails casting children that meet a specific physical appearance criterion or standard. European children’s films, on the other hand, prefer to cast “ordinary” children.

Similarly, in American family films, the adult cast may consist of well-known actors or actresses in order to appeal to a wider audience, with themes presented from an adult or parental perspective. This can be seen in the casting, plot content, editing, and even the set design.


According to Bazalgette and Staples, a good example of a family film is Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989), which would be called Sis, movie kid Dad Shrunk Us if it were a European children’s film with a similar plot, explaining that European children’s films are told from the child’s point of view, portraying the story through the child’s various emotions and experiences.


As a result of these disparities, American family films are more easily marketable to both home and international audiences, whereas European children’s films are well received domestically but have less appeal to international audiences.

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