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Spoilers and "No Buzz, I am your father"

I've been reading the Harry Potter books to my older boys since Christmas time and, now, we're speeding through the Prisoner of Azkaban, hoping to finish in time to catch the movie at the IMAX theater. The other day, the boys were drooling over the Harry Potter goodies in the Lego catalog and reading the blurbs next to each of the Potter Lego sets. Each set is based on some event in the book and the blurbs reveal all sorts of spoilers, plot-points like... uh... well, I guess I shouldn't say. Alas, my boys have been spoilered.

One of the things that makes kids movies fun is the two-level appeal. The movie makers try to throw in some adult humor that passes right over the kids heads or they make some pop-culture reference that, generally speaking, only adults will catch. The problem here is that kids can become "pre-referenced." That is, they get exposed to a pop culture reference before they experience the actual pop culture being referered to. For example, in Toy Story 2, Buzz Lightyear learns that the evil Zurg is his father, which, of course, is a reference to Star Wars. Now, when my boys see Empire Strikes Back, they are going to think "what a lame rip off of Toy Story 2."

Yep, that's what Dads worry about. Thanks for reading. I think that fulfils my quota for random nonsense this week.


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