Kids Movies are Period Pieces ----> Kids Movies Take Place in Modern Times

This is The Dope, so if anyone wants to demonstrate that my own selective memory is guilty of cherry-picking, if anyone wants to throw out examples that counter my claims, your contribution will be appreciated.

However, the contributions that I will most enjoy will be those that say, “Oh my God! You are SO RIGHT! I feel the same way! Here are my own examples that totally match up with your premise! Thank you for starting this Thread! I SO GET THIS!”

When, why, and how was there a shift between “All Children’s Movies are Period Pieces” to “All Children’s Movies are in Modern Times”???

As a child, all I watched were period films. Prominent examples:[ul]
[li]Bedknobs and Broomsticks[/li][li]Mary Poppins[/li][li]Pete’s Dragon[/li][li]The Apple Dumpling Gang[/li][li]The Incredible Mr. Limpet[/ul][/li]
Lot’s of horse drawn carriages and buckle shoes.

Now the Smurfs need to be in Times Square for some reason. The Smurfs cartoon was a period piece wasn’t it? Gargamel lives in a castle, I distinctly remember horse drawn carriages. Shouldn’t the Smurfs be set in the 1500s or so? No! It is a modern kids movie, therefore must take place in modern times! Smurfs need iPhones!!!

Does this match with anyone else’s take on the matter?

How would you classify something like the Narnia movies? They’re set in the same time as the books, which is “period” now, but which was close to contemporary at the time they were written. Or, for that matter, what about stories set entirely in a different world, such that they can’t be matched by any period of our history? And what of movies set in the future?

Escape to Witch Mountain was Modern Times at the time, right?

The Smurfs is an “alternative universe” story. They transport themselves from pseudo-mediaeval parallel world to modern day NY. Which is an awful hackneyed premise, but whatever. The point is, it’s not a good example.

I think the reason Disney liked period pieces so much was due to Walt himself preferring the golden era that appealed to him, but also from a story point of view was a primitive time where technology didn’t serve as a deus ex machina and kids had to overcome adversity on their wits.

Having said that, there was The Shaggy Dog, The Cat from Outer Space, The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes, etc. which were all set in modern day.

Of course you SDMB people are gonna get all SDMB on me.

IvoryTowerDenizen, escape to which mountain???


GuanoLad, thanks for this. This is a pretty good observation. I never thought at all of Walt’s personal preference (or his own advancing age while entertaining children).

Escape to Witch Mountain? Live action movie from the mid '70s. Recentish remake. Will go hunt down the link.

Here you go:

Escape to Whoosh Mountain?

Oh. Nevermind.

Quietly tiptoes away.

Since they weren’t made into movies until relatively recently, I think they count as “period” for a modern audience. After all, “Pride and Prejudice” is definitely “period” even though it was contemporary for Jane Austen.

Perhaps it was your parents who had a preference for historical settings. The Parent Trap (1961) and That Darn Cat! (1965) and The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit (1968) and The Love Bug (1969) are from the same decade as Mary Poppins (1964) and had contemporary settings.