Animation: Beyond Entertainment and Accompanying Growth

  Guangming Daily reporter Yang Sa

  Animation is an important part of most people’s childhood memory and growth.

  Cartoons are a way for some parents to "kill time" for their children.

  Cartoons will inadvertently shape children’s value orientation and behavior, and the importance of children’s growth is self-evident. This "June 1st", let’s talk about how to make children watch cartoons better and see better cartoons — —

  Recently, Jiangsu Consumer Protection Committee (hereinafter referred to as "Consumer Protection Committee") conducted a survey on the consumption safety of minors in the animation field, and found that 1,465 problems were sorted out in the 21 cartoons surveyed, mainly focusing on terms, scenes, plots and so on. For a time, it caused a heated discussion among netizens. Some people think that some cartoons do have a lot of content that is not suitable for children to watch, and it is urgent to find out. Others think that cartoons have little influence on children and should not be made a fuss.

  Why do cartoons have these "problems"? According to Song Lei, director of the development research department of China Animation Group, the so-called "young" cartoons for children are the most difficult to do. "It needs to be supported by a strong theoretical basis of chromatics, acoustics and psychology, and our domestic ‘ Younger children ’ Many cartoons are written by writers simply according to their own preferences, and the directors simply shoot according to their own ideas, so there will be various inappropriate languages, actions and plots investigated. "

  In the museum, children participated in the activities of learning "archaeology" to welcome "June 1". Photo by Sun Zhongyu/Bright Picture

  The young pioneers’ joining ceremony. Xinhua news agency

  1. The plot is green and healthy, which can cultivate aesthetic sentiment and see the world with imaginative eyes — —

  Children’s cartoons should meet three levels of needs.

  When his son was four or five years old, He Li (a pseudonym) found that he especially loved watching fighting cartoons, and usually used toys to imitate the scenes in cartoons. Referring to the impact of these fighting scenes on her son, He Li is "not very worried". She is more worried that the simple setting of cartoons will make her son "stupid". "Many cartoons have presuppositions, assuming that the world should be like this, but it is not. There are many possibilities in the world. And this kind of cartoons are all the same routine, and I feel that my cognition of children is not very good. " He Li said.

  Zhong Xiaolin, an associate professor at the School of Primary Education of Capital Normal University, often watches cartoons with children in kindergarten. In her view, cartoons are related to aesthetic education, moral education, and education of life experience and common sense. Zhong Xiaolin is very concerned about the sense of lines in cartoons. "For example, in the 1960s, Shanghai Fine Arts Studio’s" Make a scene in Heaven ",its overall color matching is very particular, and the lines of characters are also very soft, all with radian lines, which are very aesthetic. If some characters in cartoons have sharp lines, the message that may be conveyed to children is not so harmonious. "

  "Moral education in cartoons not only refers to the value orientation of the overall content, but also is reflected in the speech acts of animated characters in many cases. For children before the age of 5, black and white characters are more conducive to their acceptance. What is wrong is wrong, and what is good is good. If the role is designed to be too complicated and vague, it is not conducive to children of this age to distinguish right from wrong. " Zhong Xiaolin said.

  However, Zhong Xiaolin also said that sometimes it is difficult to judge that an animation is bad from individual bad pictures. "Maybe there is a plot in which a child bullies another child. What is important is what kind of influence this behavior has brought to the bullying child. If children who bully others find that they have no friends, they can educate children who watch cartoons and let them know that bullying has bad consequences. However, if there is no positive value guidance after bullying, such cartoons are definitely not good. "

  Different parents will pay attention to the different characteristics of cartoons. How can it be regarded as cartoons suitable for children? In this regard, Song Lei pointed out that children’s cartoons should meet three requirements: "The first level is safety. The plot should be green and healthy, the action should not have imaginary violence elements that can be easily imitated, the sound should not be big and small, and the light color should not flash too fast. The second level is beauty. This kind of beauty should meet the psychological needs of children, and it has aesthetic feeling in character design, prop design, scene design, sound design and so on, which can cultivate children’s aesthetic sentiment. The third level is creativity. Animation is an art of imagination, which should be fully creative in plot structure and world outlook structure. Look at the world with imaginative eyes. The screenwriter of children’s animation needs to make the plot develop beyond expectations but reasonably from the perspective that children can accept. I heard many primary school students complain that some cartoons are too ‘ Naive ’ Yes. This kind of ‘ Naive ’ In fact, there is no creativity and no imagination. "

  2. Social cognition can’t keep up, creative consciousness can’t keep up, and grading won’t have a good implementation effect — —

  The animation grading system needs to be gradual.

  In the investigation of Jiangsu Consumer Protection Committee, 828 parents, accounting for 80.7%, asked whether the screening scale of cartoons in the market needed to be further strictly controlled. For the introduction of the animation grading system, 562 parents expressed great support, accounting for 54.8%; 389 parents expressed their support, accounting for 37.9%.

  Animation grading system refers to the classification of different audiences of animation works according to their age groups, and stipulates the corresponding broadcast range, broadcast time and audience for different levels of animation works.

  In order to allow people of all ages to watch suitable cartoons, there was also public opinion that the cartoon grading system should be adopted. At the National People’s Congress in 2018, Wang Jiajuan, a deputy to the National People’s Congress and a teacher of Liaoyang No.1 High School in Liaoning Province, pointed out that in order to attract more people of all ages to watch, some cartoons were mixed with some violence and vulgarity, but they could attract high-age audiences. She called for the implementation of a grading system for domestic cartoons, so that children can learn real knowledge in the process of watching cartoons, develop a correct outlook on life and values, and give children a happy and healthy good work, not just satisfying temporary entertainment.

  In this regard, Zhong Xiaolin believes that cartoons need to have a bottom line, and those that violate socialist core values, laws and basic family ethics must not be included. If the cartoons are graded, the objects should also be considered. For example, the cartoons watched by children of different ages, such as preschool, lower primary school and middle and high primary school, should also be differentiated. From the content, value guidance, music, picture color and other aspects, we need to have certain indicators to measure.

  "It is an international practice to implement hierarchical management of cultural content products, which is the general trend in the long run. Establishing a grading system will not only help us to protect children in the domestic cultural market, but also help our products to connect with the international market and make children’s animation works that are more in line with international needs and can go overseas. " Song Lei said.

  However, Song Lei maintains a cautious attitude towards the grading system. "The establishment of a grading system will not happen overnight. First, its policy cost is relatively large. The upgrading of hardware and software related to classification and the popularization of knowledge all require huge investment. Second, its implementation effect depends on the overall level of China audience’s cultural quality. Parents call for grading, but a few parents really know what grading is and how many grades it is divided into. How to guide children to recognize grading? From the enterprise level, do you understand the characteristics of works of different levels and have the ability to create works of various levels? I’m afraid it’s difficult. It is very likely that the government has promoted it, but the social cognition can’t keep up, and the awareness of creation can’t keep up, so it won’t have a good implementation effect. "

  In the absence of grading system, how to ensure that cartoons can have a positive impact on children? "The grading system should be gradual. First, popularize the knowledge of classification and classification, encourage and guide enterprises to create classified works without classification, and the audience will watch them in classification. When the overall social cognition reaches the requirements of the grading system, the creative ability of enterprises reaches the level required for grading, and then it is fully rolled out, perhaps the effect will be better. " Song Lei thinks, first of all, we should work hard on the theme. Create more works on the themes of Chinese excellent traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture, and subtly sort out the cultural identity and cultural self-confidence of children by the theme content. Secondly, we should consciously implant the value orientation. Let children experience truth, goodness and beauty by watching animation. Finally, let the animated characters play the role of behavior demonstration. Children can easily imitate the language and actions of characters in animation, so we should give full play to the behavior demonstration function of animated characters. Sometimes, if animated characters say two more words of "thank you" and "sorry", it may make children develop the habit of being polite to others. On the contrary, if animated characters have impure language and rude behavior, it is easy for children to be adversely affected.

  3. The "hands-off education" of "shaking the phone" can make parents save effort, but it cannot guarantee the efficiency of children’s information reception — —

  Parents need to deal with the relationship between customs control and children’s independent choice.

  "Under what circumstances will children be allowed to watch cartoons?" According to the survey results given by Jiangsu Consumer Protection Committee, more than half (50.9%) parents checked the rewards for their children who have other things to attend to and spare time after school, and 45.6% parents allowed them to distract their children when they were noisy. This kind of "mobile phone-throwing" "hands-off education" undoubtedly saves parents energy, but it cannot guarantee the efficiency of children’s information reception.

  This phenomenon has also been confirmed by Zhong Xiaolin. She found that in most families, if cartoons are used as a family learning method, it is a spontaneous, observation-based and infiltration learning method. "So this kind of daily learning method basically fails to see parents’ purposeful and conscious educational design. In the playful learning, the child is in the stage of relaxation, and absorbs the information conveyed by cartoons with the interest accumulated slowly in his own life. "

  What Zhong Xiaolin doesn’t quite agree with is that parents make too many purposeful, planned and lead-in designs and settings for their children to watch cartoons. "Cartoons can be used as children’s free time, positioning cartoons in the family’s entertainment life, and children can also learn during such entertainment time." Zhong Xiaolin said. "And as children learn and grow from infancy to primary school, they will gradually form their own appreciation. From this perspective, children should have more autonomy in what kind of cartoons they watch."

  "But what parents really need to do is to check the periphery of cartoons." Zhong Xiaolin believes that in the scene where parents and children watch cartoons, it is better to take a more compromise approach. It is necessary to respect the children’s choices and give positive guidance. What Zhong Xiaolin often takes is to watch with the children. For example, the characters in cartoons have violent words and behaviors, and Zhong Xiaolin will patiently say to the children, "Is this yelling very noisy? Is it uncomfortable to listen?" That means this behavior is wrong. " "Fade the bad influence to children in time" is what Zhong Xiaolin called "participatory intervention".

  "Parents need to deal with the relationship between the control and the children’s independent choice, and properly guide the children so that they can re-recognize and re-learn the behavior scenes presented in cartoons. This is how the most natural family education happens. " Zhong Xiaolin said.

  Guangming Daily (13th edition, June 1, 2021)