In the same way that medieval painters took a very long time figuring out how to make babies and children not look creepy, it seems that movie directors took a while in understanding how to naturally portray children. Kids are notoriously hard to direct, but it seems that they have improved in recent years. Many children in classic movie are cloyingly annoying to the point where they distract from otherwise quality films. Here are a few of the worst offenders.
1. Winthrop Paroo in The Music ManRon Howard did some fine child acting, but his part in The Music Man was schmaltzy and painful.
2. Arliss in Old YellerKevin Corcoran had many an annoying turn from this whiny role to The Swiss Family Robinson to Polyanna.
3. Bonnie Blue Butler in Gone With The WindBonnie was so annoying and non-childlike that it isn't even that sad when (SPOILER ALERT) she dies.
4. Sylvia in DimplesThough a very talented performer in many ways, Shirley Temple often acted like no child I have ever seen.
5. Junior in Problem ChildThough newer than the other films, this performance is too bad not to mention.
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