Prix Jeunesse picks the best kids shows of the last 50 years

To mark its upcoming 50th anniversary, children's and youth TV festival Prix Jeunesse International is set to honor the most outstanding, influential and daring TV programs of the last 50 years at its upcoming gala on June 4 in Munich, Germany.
April 4, 2014

To mark its upcoming 50th anniversary, children’s and youth TV festival Prix Jeunesse International is set to honor the most outstanding, influential and daring TV programs of the last 50 years at its upcoming gala on June 4 in Munich, Germany.

Among the finalists, which include 25 fiction and 25 non-fiction shows, the UK tops the countries with the most nominees with 17 finalists, followed by Germany with 15, and The Netherlands with 13.

Sesame Street from the United States, which won at Prix Jeunesse International in 1970, made the Best of the Best list year, along with fellow American series Reading Rainbow.

Some programs have multiple episodes represented in the 50 finalists: Germany’s longest-running children’s TV series, The Show with the Mouse, and Polish drama series The Magic Tree also make the list. They will compete against recent stand-outs like ZDF/Germany’s The Little Boy and the Beast, The Gruffalo from the UK, and CBBC’s sketch series Horrible Histories.
A panel of 100 international children’s TV experts will serve as final-round judges, reviewing and voting on the 50 nominated shows. The Best of the Best will be unveiled on June 4 as part of the week-long Prix Jeunesse festival, which attracts more than 500 executives, producers, writers, researchers, educators and child development experts.

The full list of finalists includes:

Best Fiction Program of the Last 50 Years

1966: Patrik and Putrik
Sveriges Radio TV (SR), Sweden

1968: Do Not Adjust Your Set
Independent Television Authority – Rediffusion Television (ITV), UK

1968: Mauritius
Belgische Radio en Televisie (BRT), Belgium

1970: The House-Mouse and the Forest-Mouse
Norsk Rikskringkasting  (NRK), Norway

1972: Matt and his Parents
Oy. Yleisradio Ab.  (YLE), Finland

1974: Fire in the Wing
USSR State Committee for Television and Radio Broadcasting, Soviet Union

1974: Mother Gets Married
Oy. Yleisradio Ab.  (YLE), Finland

1976: Charlie’s Climbing-Tree
Sveriges Radio TV (SR), Sweden

1980: Oh, How Nice Panama Is!
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR), Germany

1980: How the Hedgehod Became Larger
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR), Germany

1986: Booker
PBS/ Wonderworks, USA

1988: The French Kiss
Norsk Rikskringkasting  (NRK), Norway

1990: Pinga is Lost
DRS, Switzerland

1992: Children of Waterland – A Dormouse
NOS / AVRO,  Netherlands

1992: Hasse’s Diary
Sveriges Radio TV (SR), Sweden

1994: Pirates of the Gutter
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Germany

1996: Class Dismissed – An Honest Find
NOS / AVRO, Netherlands

2000: Microsoap

2000: The Daltons
VPRO Television/ NOS, Netherlands

2002: Secret Thoughts
VPRO Television/ NOS, Netherlands

2004: The Wooden Dog (The Magic Tree Series)
TVP SA, Poland

2006: The Scepter (The Magic Tree Series)
TVP SA, Poland

2008: Devourers of Books (The Magic Tree Series)
TVP SA, Poland

2010: The Little Boy and the Beast
Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen (ZDF), Germany

2010: The Gruffalo
Magic Light Pictures, UK
Best Non-Fiction Program of the Last 50 Years:

1964: Girl of Ainu
Nippon Television Network Co. (NTN), Japan

1966: The Land of the Great Storyteller
Ceskoslovenska Televize, Czechoslovakia

1970: Sesame Street
National Educational Television (NET), USA

1972: Vision On- Light
British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), UK

1972: The War Games
Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), Netherlands

1974: The End of a Love Story
Norsk Rikskringkasting  (NRK), Norway

1976: Has the Rain a Father – Blind
Nederlandse Omroep Stichting (NOS), Netherlands

1976: Yesterday When I Was Young
DRS, Switzerland

1978: What’s Making That Sound? The Kitchen
Sveriges Radio TV  (SR), Sweden

1980: The Book Tower
Independent Television Authority – Yorkshire Television Ltd.  (ITV), UK

1988: Children in South-Africa
VPRO Television/ NOS, Netherlands

1988: Mosquito – First Love
ARD – Sender Freies Berlin (SFB), Germany

1992: The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush
Nebraska Educational Television (WNED-TV), USA

1992: Next Stop Europe – Copenhagen
Danmarks Radio TV (DR), Denmark

1992: Beat That
Channel Four Television (C4TV), UK

1994: Close Up – A Tragedy with a Happy Ending
Danmarks Radio TV (DR), Denmark

1998: Sonar: The Girl Behind the Veil
Danmarks Radio/TV (DR), Denmark

2002: Can Pigs Swim?
Westdeutscher Rundfunk Köln (WDR), Germany

2002: The Other Way
Danmarks Radio TV (DR), Denmark

2002: The Day I Decided to be Nina
VPRO Television/ NOS, Netherlands

2004: Pythagora Switch
NHK, Japan

2010: Bookaboo
Children’s Independent Television (CITV), UK

2010: Horrible Histories

2012: 2Brothers
KRO / RKK, Netherlands

2012: Ene Mene Bu
KiKA – Der Kinderkanal von ARD und ZDF, Germany


About The Author
Wendy is Kidscreen’s Associate Editor. When she’s not sourcing material for the brand's daily email newsletter, she’s researching, writing and connecting with others about the newest trends in digital media. Contact Wendy at


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