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Harry Potter, the children's fiction

Posted by: Leaky
March 19, 2002, 11:41 PM

Harry Potter, the children's fiction hero, and Bob the Builder, the cartoon character, on Tuesday shared top billing for helping Lego, a Danish toymaker, rebound into profitability in 2001 from the heavy losses it suffered the previous year.

A workman was rescued by emergency crews yesterday after becoming trapped under a JCB in an accident in the garden of the writer JK Rowling's Edinburgh home.

Fairy tales and magic triumphed in The Dallas Morning News' fourth annual Kids Movie Awards, as 1,004 kids crowned Shrek their favorite animated movie and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone their favorite live-action film of 2001. (Registration is required to view the whole article, so here's some relevant quotage):

[One] element that kids responded to is the pervasive joy in this crop of films. Last year ... children's films bubbled over with imaginative premises about other worlds. Harry Potter creates a place where wizards and witches have their own schools, shops, newspapers and customs, creating an almost Clark Kent-ish double life for Harry - a nobody in the muggle world and a hero in the magical one.

"Shrek, Monsters, Inc., Jimmy Neutron and Harry Potter thrive on the imagination, and I think that's been missing from kids films for a long time," Dr. Shepherd-Look [professor of psychology at California State University, Northridge] says. And that's increasingly important in a world where a lot of kids are dealing with trauma or learning difficulties, she notes. "Imagination is useful for comprehension or retention or for a place to escape when you need to soothe yourself. It's a valuable thing for the human spirit, and it can be lots of fun."

Mark Lee, 8, of Plano liked what Harry Potter had to say about family. Sure, he loved the magic, the excitement and the special effects. But what really got to him was the message about the love Harry's parents had for him and how it continued to protect their son even after their death. "I learned that it's love that is the most important thing," he says.

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