Sunday evening I went to experience the latest installment of the Harry Potter movies. As I attended the second to last show on Sunday evening (I don't work Mondays) the theater was quite comfy and I shared it with only a few folks. My seat was middle center, slightly raised.
Going to the movies is one of the few occasions that I break my diet. If in a theater I MUST have popcorn. There would be something karmicly wrong if one did not have popcorn and a soda with a movie.
Having read the books I find that this movie was more in tune than the last one. It was dark, and did not deviate significantly from the book. However, none of the Harry Potter movies have truly grasped the dark and brooding nature of the books.
I don't believe that if these books were written in the United States today they would receive the same support that they currently enjoy originating from Great Britain. If you haven't read any of the books I would suggest starting with the first to take my meaning. It is a good short book that can be devoured most efficiently and without much fuss. In it you would find that in America the Dursley's would be guilty of child abuse. SEVERE child abuse!!! This does not come through in the movies at all. The movies show the Dursley's as generally unkind but nothing like the books.
This has caused me to further wonder as to whether any of the great literary childrens stories could be written in our modern, politically correct, sanitized, see/hear/speak no evil society???
Published today would Hansel and Gretel shove the wicked witch into the oven OR would the neighborly social worker come by at the last moment and save them? Would the manly woodman wielding the vicious axe slice into the wolf saving Little Red Riding Hood OR would Red spot some abnormality and call 911? Would Alice face the drug addled Mad Hatter OR would she interact with a more stable character?
These children's stories were all written in a day and age when children were dying on the streets, orphanages were horrible but far better than the alternatives and EVERYONE KNEW IT!
Through Harry Potter JK Rolling brings back the dark and allows the heroes to truly shine a light in the dark places. By so doing they have real accomplishments, not the banal inane trivialities of Americas sanitized childrens literature.
I remember on Saturday mornings(decades ago) I used to watch Johnny Quest. Johnny had his bodyguard Rick. On Saturday mornings RICK KILLED THE BAD GUY! There wasn't any gore but no mistake was made: Rick pulled trigger, gun went off, bad guy died. Rick also used a variety of tools available as well. Neither I nor millions of other children turned out traumatized by Rick. What do our children learn from today? A purple dinosaur...? Smurfs...?
I am afraid that if they tried to air Johnny Quest today as it was then dozens, nay, hundreds, of child psychologists would emerge from their offices much as ants at a picnic. Too violent, they would say. Too graphic, they would expound. I am certain the word "traumatized" would be repeated until all Americans would think it were so, irregardless of the truth.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that in our world with all of its marvels and wonders it can also be a terrible and violent place, populated by evil people. If we continue to shield our children from this reality they will NOT be prepared nor capable of responding well when they are confronted by it.
Thank goodness that for a time there is Harry Potter and his crew to show them that sometimes you must get your hands dirty in order to take out the garbage.
PS - I really do miss Johnny Quest :(