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Children's adaptations: A consideration of children's adaptations from popular written texts into stage, filmic and televisual formats. Examined are the features that determine their popularity and the pertinent questions that surround the role of adaptation, and its future possibilities.

Martin, Helen Mary (1996) Children's adaptations: A consideration of children's adaptations from popular written texts into stage, filmic and televisual formats. Examined are the features that determine their popularity and the pertinent questions that surround the role of adaptation, and its future possibilities. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

This dissertation considers selected children's popular texts in print form as they have been adapted for stage, film and television. Examined are the features that determine their popularity, in their written mode and adapted form, and the apparent similarities and differences found in both. There are also questions answered surrounding the 'why' and 'how' of adaptation, its role and future possibilities.

The 'why' of adaptation looks at the reason to turn a successful story into a film or play, while the 'how' question looks at the transformation processes necessary to transpose a story from one genre into another. As well, the adaptation itself is considered.

A semiotic approach is used in looking at the texts, predominantly of Australian origin, although some classical examples are used. These are included to differentiate between the identified strands of children's adaptation, that is, those texts from classical origins; those texts from the bestsellers' lists and awarded shelves; those texts deemed to be popular and finally those texts perceived as generators of additional financial gains for their producers. Discussions look at the dramatic world; the film auteur theory; television’s function and notions surrounding its benefits.

Primary source materials of texts and films combine with interviews viewed and attended with children’s authors, and notes of a conference from a recent Children's Television Foundation's discussion on television for children. Secondary sources are from published journals and newspaper articles. Theoretical texts cover stage, film and television theory and several sources on text and performance.

Conclusions reached proffer the view that children's adaptations, from a mainly written module in this study, have a credibility and relevance in their own right, within a framework of highly refined reception indicators. There is a plea to establish additional sign systems to cope with the newer more technologically based emerging forms in children's genres and to reconsider adult input regarding what children want.

At the same time the importance of children's adaptations as an on-going art form owes much to their originating source which provides the vital seed from which these adapted works grow. It is suggested that this vital seed not be forgotten, in any comprehensive analysis of popular children's texts in all their diverse forms.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Humanities
Notes: Note to the author: If you would like to make your thesis openly available on Murdoch University Library's Research Repository, please contact: repository@murdoch.edu.au. Thank you.
Supervisor(s): Moody, David
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/52859
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