Thursday, August 11, 2005

Goblet of Fire to be rated PG-13

It's official: the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie will be rated PG-13. It's a shame that Warner Brothers couldn't tone it down a bit, because now a lot of younger Harry Potter fans won't be able to see it. But, to be fair to Warner Brothers, the source material is pretty graphic. I mean, there's not much you can do to tone down Wormtail cutting off his hand.

The larger problem, or course, is that the last three Harry Potter books are much more intense than the first three. As much as I love the Harry Potter books, I think that this was a mistake on JKR's part. A lot of younger kids are getting interested in the series, especially since the wonderful Jim Dale audiobooks enable kids who are too young to read them to enjoy them. But, kids who can handle books 1 through 3 may not be able to handle books 4 and up, and parents are faced with a choice of denying their kids the books until they get older, or allowing them to read material that may disturb them.

I know that J.K. Rowling didn't intend this, and probably couldn't have foreseen the problem. But in retrospect it's obvious that the first books are kids books that can be enjoyed by adults and teens; the later books seem much more appropriate for a teen or adult audience. As Harry grows up, so are the books.

The release date for the movie in the U.S. is November 18th.


Anonymous said...

I personally, absolutely agree with Sheila on this topic. It is perfectly understandable that the story content has to take on a rather mature level as Harry Potter advances in years but i don't envy those parents whose children are as yet pre-teens; as it is simply not possible that those kids, who were being encouraged before to read Harry Potter books 1-3, will now suddenly be told to curb their curiosity for a few years before they can read the other books and actually be expected to respond well to such news and not throw quite a few tantrums(among other things) along the way as well. I personally would have been extremely furious and outraged as the recent books have taken a rather adult level and obviously, the movies too, shall be declared as being too 'graphic' for younger viewers. But then again, i am i'm sure, quite right in believing that no kid is going to let a few protests on his/her parents part stop them from grabbing a copy of the latest book and pursuing it with their nose in the book till the very end if - of course- they are a true Potterhead.ADIOS.

Unknown said...

Yes, it's a difficult situation for a parent. We started reading the Harry Potter books to our son a few years ago, and when we got to Goblet of Fire, we skipped the chapter "Flesh, Blood, and Bone" and gave him a quick summary of the important points, because we thought it was too intense (and he thought so, too - just the chapter title scared him). Now, at 10, he reads all the books in their entirety, and is ok with them. Although I do wish there was a bit less "snogging" in HBP.

And you're right, of course, that if a child really wants to read it, they will find a way regardless of the parent. But I figure if a child is that determined to read it, then he or she is probably ready for the book, anyway.