Transmedia Critical| Limitations of Transmedia Storytelling for Children: A Cognitive Developmental Analysis

Daniel Pietschmann, Sabine Völkel, Peter Ohler


Transmedia storytelling involves unfolding narratives across multiple media platforms, with each text making a distinctive and valuable contribution to the whole. Transmedia narratives for children have several limitations, as they require advanced media-literacy skills and appropriate cognitive, emotional, and moral development. Transmedia consumers are more involved in the story than single-medium consumers, resulting in more engagement, intrinsic motivation, and media enjoyment. Many modern entertainment franchises have been created for cross-generational appeal, with media extensions specifically targeting child audiences. This article discusses children’s cognitive limitations and their relevance for transmedia narratives. These limitations are illustrated using an analysis of Disney’s Cars transmedia franchise.


transmedia storytelling, developmental psychology, child audiences, limitations

Full Text: