Vietnamese film for children: a question for filmmakers

June 13, 2006



In the film 'U14-Dream Team'.

In recent years, Vietnamese films for children are almost cartoons because no feature film on children purely has been made after ‘Chiec Hop Gia Bao’ (Box of Heirloom) produced by the Vietnam Film Company in 1999.

There’s no feature film for children because firstly there’s no scripts. Scriptwriters often say that it’s difficult to write for children as it must be impressive, innocent and unexpected like children’s character. Even when there’s a script, not many directors are interested with the theme as it’s hard to make film with children. They have to ask for permission from children’s teachers, parents and care everything for them. As all children are amateur actors and actress so film makers have to shoot film many times and therefore, it’s costly. And finally films for children can not bring about big sale revenue so they are normally denied by distributors. Because of such difficulties, from 1996 – 1999, there’s only one film produced each year such as ‘Bo Tron’ (Run Away) in 1996, ‘Nuoc Mat Muon Mang’ (Late Tears) in 1997, ‘Dung Sai Gon’ and Box of Heirloom in 1999.

A scene in the film 'Wasp's Adventure'.

Although film makers have tried to make films for children but, if their films bear idea of adult, they fail to attract children. In fact, two film ‘U14 – Dreaming Team’ and 9X which were produced in 2004 and 2005, attracted not many children.

Meanwhile, many films on children which were produced in 70s and 80s of the last century were highly appreciated. They are named as ‘Khi Vang Ba’ (When Grandmother’s Out’, ‘Ngon Den Trong Mo’ (Dreaming Light), ‘Dan Chim Tro Ve’ (Flock of Birds Come Back), ‘Trang Ram’ (Full Moon) etc. This is because these films feature portraits of children themselves in simple and truthful way.

Though playing a key role in Vietnamese films for children (as there’s just a few feature films on the theme), animated films are just sometimes screened on the TV. They are mostly very short and many of them have been shown many times. Every year, the State has provided money for Vietnam Cartoon Company to make around ten films for children but this is just a small number over the children’s demand and sinks deep amidst thousands of animated films screened in cable TV and from VCDs. Furthermore, the publication of Vietnamese cartoons is not regular. Normally, the Vietnam Cartoon Company co-ordinates with the National Cinematography Centre to organise film week for children in special events such as International Children’s Day or Full Moon Festival.

In the film 'Tit and Mit'.

Not only few in number, Vietnamese cartoons are not attractive as they are not much entertaining but always educational. Recently, the film ‘Wasp’s Adventure’ produced by the Vietnam Cartoon Company impresses the audience as it’s more interesting and less dry. However, most of Vietnamese cartoons have not yet taken the advantage of cartoon: high-falutin, exaggeration, and utmost imagination.

It’s hoped that film makers should make more efforts, though there’re still a lot of difficulties, to produce interesting animated films for children so that they can have chances to watch films from Vietnamese stories, Vietnamese characters and from they themselves.

2 Responses to “Vietnamese film for children: a question for filmmakers”

  1. anne-marie li Says:

    i would like to purchase vietnamese cartoons. please tell me how?

  2. Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I was
    wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one?
    Thanks a lot!

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