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Fairy Tales

In 2015 the IZI undertook various studies on the theme of fairy tales and children, as well as on ARD’s and ZDF’s film adaptations of fairy tales.

Representative Study on the Theme “Children and Fairy Tales”

Germany is experiencing a boom in film adaptations of fairy tales – but which fairy tales do children like best, and do they prefer these in book form or on television? Which fairy tales are the most popular among girls, and which ones among boys? Thus far there has been, for example, no representative study addressing the question of which fairy tales children know, which they prefer, and whether they can recall film adaptations they really enjoyed. In autumn 2015, therefore, the IZI interviewed a representative sample of n=1,210 3 to 13 year-olds in Germany on precisely these questions.   

Cinderella from the Child’s Perspective; A Reception Study on Three Film Adaptations

As part of a qualitative study by the IZI, 130 children were filmed watching the current ARD or ZDF film adaptation of Cinderella or the DEFA classic Drei Haselnüsse für Aschenbrödel (Three Nuts for Cinderella), and then they were asked in detail about their impressions of these. What is the focus of the children’s attention – i.e. what interests them in particular – in the respective fairy tales? Children want content they can relate to in terms of their own issues, content which helps them with their identity development. The possibility of comparing three different versions of the fairy tale Cinderella offers the opportunity to explore what is specific to the respective adaptations from children’s view.

Different Forms of Representation of Fairy Tale Characters: A Test

130 children were presented with variants of witches and wolves from the FFT fairy tales test. They were asked which character they were afraid of and which they would like to see in their own fairy tale book or film.

The Challenge of Adapting Fairy Tales for Film – Expert Interviews with the Editors Responsible

Film adaptations of fairy tales on ARD and ZDF successfully bring families together in front of the television. In expert interviews, the editors responsible for these adaptations explained how fairy tale material can be updated and implemented within film, and where the opportunities and challenges lie. 10 of the editors responsible for these adaptations talked about the concerns and approaches behind the current film adaptations of fairy tales, the challenges, opportunities and limitations, initially in individual interviews on site at the broadcasting organisations and then at the IZI annual conference in 2015.