A senior Chinese film writer and critic has voiced concern over a short supply of indigenous, quality movies for China's 300 million young children, a trend that he says weakens the building of this next generation's cultural identities.
Zhao Baohua gave the comments in an opinion article carried by the People's Daily on Friday, saying a number of Chinese kids are suffering "malnutrition" because of addiction to foreign films or harm from easily accessible shoddy productions by local filmmakers.
China has produced an annual average of 50 children's movies, including around 15 cartoons, over the past few years, though fewer than 10 of them have ended up hitting big screens, according to the analyst.
Meanwhile, compared to foreign blockbusters, like Kung Fu Panda and The Croods, which swept China's major theaters and ran for up to one month, locally made children's films were mostly shown only for one day or even one time, he said.
Zhao attributes the "awkward situation" firstly to theater managers going after profit and arranging shows based on films' popularity, ignoring their social responsibility in promoting local creations and their values.
Secondly and more importantly, he blames Chinese film producers' inability to invest more in producing children's movies and explore their imagination and creativity.
Addressing the problems, Zhao says Chinese kids' films should be more creative in cultivating upright values in their target audience and get away from being too shallow and childish in their spiritual essence.
He also called for government regulation to help outstanding domestic children's films get more of a showing in theaters.