The impulse to protect children from these kinds of stories is understandable. Like adults, they experience plenty of hard feelings in their daily lives — at home, on the playground, in the classroom, in their dreams — and they may want, as we do, to use movies and books as a form of escape. Bright colors, easy lessons and thrilling rides that end safely and predictably on terra firma have their place. But so, surely, do representations of the grimmer, thornier thickets of experience. That's what art is, and surely our children deserve some of that too. Which includes movies that elicit displeasure and argument along with rapture.
Sometimes we make too much of the division between generations, which is after all not a gap but a continuum. Every adult is a former child, just as every child is an incipient adult, and at their best, children's film and literature (which of course are almost never made by children themselves) is an attempt to communicate across this distance. Young viewers may see a premonition of what lies ahead as well as a sympathetic rendering of what they already know, whereas adults may find pleasure in recalling old hurts and relief that they are not at the mercy of them.
Via Sara Zarr.
I'm deep in the revision-finishing cave, but will emerge soon. I think. I hope.