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JAMA. 2000 May 24-31;283(20):2716-20.

Violence in G-rated animated films.

Author information

Harvard School of Public Health, Center for Risk Analysis, 718 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Erratum in

  • JAMA 2000 Aug 2;284(5):567.



Children's exposure to violence in the media is a possible source of public health concern; however, violence in children's animated films has not been quantified.


To quantify and characterize violence in G-rated animated feature films.


Violence content was reviewed for all 74 G-rated animated feature films released in theaters between 1937 and 1999, recorded in English, and available for review on videocassette in the United States before September 1999.


Duration of violent scenes, type of characters participating in violent acts (good, neutral, or bad), number of injuries/fatalities, and types of weapons used for each film.


All 74 films reviewed contained at least 1 act of violence (mean duration, 9.5 minutes per film; range, 6 seconds-24 minutes). Analysis of time trends showed a statistically significant increase in the duration of violence in the films with time (P=.001). The study found a total of 125 injuries (including 62 fatal injuries) in 46 (62%) of the films. Characters portrayed as "bad" were much more likely to die of an injury than other characters (odds ratio, 23.2; 95% confidence interval, 8.5-63.4). A majority of the violence (55%) was associated with good or neutral characters dueling with bad characters (ie, using violence as a means of reaching resolution of conflict), and characters used a wide range of weapons in violent acts.


Our content analysis suggests that a significant amount of violence exists in animated G-rated feature films. Physicians and parents should not overlook videocassettes as a source of exposure to violence for children. JAMA. 2000;283:2716-2720.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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