Big Eyes, Big Minds
International Children's Film Festival

The Saint Louis Zoo will host the Big Eyes, Big Minds - International Children's Film Festival showcasing award-winning films made for kids, about kids and sometimes by kids. The festival features international animated short films tailored to children age 2 to 18 years. However, adults will find the films equally appealing. 

Saturday Mornings 

January 28, February 4
February 18, February 25, 2017
  • 9:30-10:15 a.m. — Films for ages 2-7
  • 10:30-11:30 a.m. — Films for ages 5 and up 

Anheuser-Busch Theater
in The Living World/North Entrance

Please note, there is no film screening on February 11.


Tickets are available at the door on the morning of the event. Advance online tickets will be available soon.

  • Each screening: $10 per person for ages 2+
  • Children under 2 are free
  • Children under 12 years old must be accompanied by at least one adult.

Festival Schedule

Each program includes a series of 8-11 short films from different countries, ranging from award-winning animated films to child-produced films. Each film is between 2 and 27 minutes long. Click on the programs below to see a list of films and descriptions. See trailer.

Little Big Adventures

January 28
February 18

9:30-10:15 a.m.

For ages 2 to 7

My Furry Friends

February 4
February 25

9:30-10:15 a.m.

For ages 2 to 7

Deer Me!

January 28
February 18

10:30-11:30 a.m.

For ages 5 and up

Superhero Surprise

February 4
February 25

10:30-11:30 a.m.

For ages 5 and up

Kids' Activities

After each screening, Zoo Education Department staff will offer a range of crafts and activities related to the animals featured in the films. 

Guest Appearances by Animator Jacob Frey

Animator Spotlight

Friday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Jacob Frey is a young, award-winning animator at Walt Disney Animation Studios, where he works on films such as Moana and Zootopia. In this very special event, Jacob will share his inspring story about how as a young boy growing up in Germany, he became interested in animation and followed his dreams all the way to Disney.

Come and catch Jacob's award-winning student films from Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, and find out how Jacob made them. Jacob's thesis film, The Present, has screened in over 250 film festivals and garnered over 75 awards. It has gone viral on the internet with more than 150 million views on social media.

Jacob will also show early sketches as well as clips and breakdowns from his work, which includes the Oscar-nominated film, Room On The Broom.

Post-screening Q&A

Saturday, February 25 at 11:30 a.m.
Free with admission to screening

After the last screening, stick around for Q&A with Jacob Frey. 

About The Films & Director

The festival will showcase a selection of the best new children's films from around the world. Its programs include culturally diverse and value-affirming films that kids can connect with. The goal is to expand perspectives and stimulate critical thinking. The organization also works to cultivate film appreciation, increase knowledge of the craft of filmmaking and provide a platform for kids to screen their own films. 

An experienced writer, director and producer of television films, Festival Director Mabel Gan also produces the highly respected Singapore International Children's Film Festival, which reaches 3,000 children each year.