Manusya, Journal of Humanities

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This paper studies Thai children's films produced in the appropriately five decades since the decade of B.E. 2510 (1967). The study reveals that, in this time, there have been more than fifty Thai films in rich diversity both produced "for" children and "about" them, and that of these two groups, the first is more likely to be intended primarily for a young audience. Thai children's films can be divided into five periods from a historical point of view, and categorized into three groups, namely, children and their inner lives, children and the family and, children and society. Despite this variety of children's films, there are some similarities in terms of the art of children's films, especially among those in the category of children and society. These films present children as protagonists and adults as villains and feature children's struggles with the support of certain adult characters, including by means of weapons. Most take place outside the children's home. The films are presented through the eyes of the children with some implicit adult worldview. The storytelling is simple and the use of film language helps inspire children's imagination. There are also the use of vivid colors, children's songs or music as well as the use of intertextuality associating the films with children's literature and a social context. Ultimately, children's films have contributed to the construction of childhood representations, which can be classified as positive, negative and ambiguous. As for the positive representation, children are presented as decent, grateful, friendly and having a fighting spirit. As for the negative one, children are portrayed as child ghosts, sinful children, problem children and victims. In ambiguous representations, children see ghosts. These images are constructed under conflicting ideologies of children, namely, children as activepassive agents, an innocent-an evil, and hybrids between good and bad. Moreover, the ideologies of gender, class, friendship, family, the triad Nation-Religion- Monarchy as well as anti-capitalism have also contributed to the diversity in children's representations.

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