Other research projects

>> Overview children's television classics


Comparison of Various Different Aesthetic Forms of Implementation of Classics

Classics such as Pippi Longstocking have been implemented in various different ways in terms of media and their aesthetic. They have mostly been implemented as books, audio plays and in various aesthetic variants for television. The study addresses the question of how the classic material in the different formats appeals to children, and how the children relate to it as media. This study compared the adaptation of a similar story from Vicky the Viking into book, 2D animation and 3D animation. Along with media analyses of the individual forms of implementation, the IZI carried out reception analyses and interviewed 120 children between the ages of four and seven in individual interviews. The participating children watched a selected episode from the programme or listened to the story being read out.
All the reception situations were video-recorded. Using the picture-in-picture technique, the programme watched by the children was inserted into the video recording and analysed in terms of the children’s attention to and interaction with the storyline.

Results: Irrespective of the form of implementation, children enjoyed whichever story they were given to watch or read. There were likewise no differences when it came to the question of “How funny did you find the story?” The children thought the story was significantly more exciting in the 2D version. Although the stories are structured differently, there were also more similarities than differences when it came to evaluating the character of Vicky: in the different versions the children see her as being almost equally courageous, helpful and astute, and almost the same number of children said they would like to have Vicky as a friend. There was, however, a clear difference in response to the general question “In which version do you like Vicky most?”: children who watched Vicky in the 3D version preferred Vicky in this version, and those watched the 2D version said they preferred the character in this version. The children who listened to the reading tended to choose the 3D version because they were familiar with this one and it is this version that is currently on television.   
Despite the different dramaturgy, aesthetics and, to a certain extent, content of the stories, the study shows that children like what they have seen.
This is a particular quality of this classic: irrespective of the format the material takes, the essence of the story offers children symbolic material they can use for themselves and their development. In the case of Vicky, the character symbolises how though you may be small, you are still valuable.