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Better books than movies for kids probably a good thing

posted by Jason Kottke   Jan 22, 2003

Some talented authors have been turning their attention lately to writing books for the younger set. Michael Chabon, recent Pulitzer recipient for The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, penned Summerland, Neil Gaiman (American Gods) wrote Coraline, and Dave Eggers helped compile The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2002, a book aimed at the high school & college aged. Add the Harry Potter and Lemony Snicket books to the mix, and there’s a lot of good reading out there for young folks.

Contrast that with movies. Movies for kids are about one thing: marketing. Disney and Nickelodeon movies are vehicles for CD, DVD, toy, and clothing sales. Independent films are little help; most of them are aimed toward adults. I’d love to see some talented directors like P.T. Anderson, Steven Soderbergh, or Spike Jonze do some high-calibre films for young people. Unfortunately, anyone who tried would face problems finding distribution and studio support (Brad Bird’s Iron Giant had some difficulty with that).