on 1 December 1998
O'Brien has issued a wake-up call to conscientious parents in his latest book. We cannot take it for granted anymore that the entertainment aimed at our children is worthy of their attention. In fact, it may be harmful. The classic stories which teach us about good and evil (fairy tales, myths, classical literature) are being replaced or modified. The Dragon, the symbol of evil or chaos, is being tamed, leaving our children's souls in danger. O'Brien cites many examples of this in popular books and movies. I found his take on Disney movies very insightful and a little scary. Disney invariably belittles authority and religion, especially Catholicism. Yet this company is the world leader in feeding our children their steady diet of movies and videos. One only has to watch the Esmeralda dance in "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" to question Disney's idea of 'family entertainment.' O'Brien doesn't leave you in the lurch, however, as he helps us discern what is good entertainment for our children. He also provides a comprehensive list of good literature -- and, thankfully, there's a lot of it out there. I hope every parent and educator reads this book. It is too important to be missed.
on 20 November 1998
This book has wise guidance for parents who suspect that something has gone very wrong in what our culture serves up for consumption by children, but are not quite sure what it is or what to do about it. O'Brien reveals the pagan themes that are increasingly dominant in children's literature and films, discusses why they are destructive, and offers constructive alternatives. Especially illuminating (and entertaining!) are his analyses of the Disney films of the last 25 years. Included at the end is a very extensive list of recommended books for children of all ages. My only complaint is that his analyis is largely limited to the fantasy/science fiction genre of children's literature which is, admittedly, the most popular. But I would have been interested in his analysis of other genres, say historical fiction or (non-fantasy) adventure stories. This complaint is not decisive because O'Brien not only gives examples of dangerous literature, but educates parents to analyze literature for themselves.
on 14 December 1998
I found this book to be an eye-opening study on the effect and presence of neo-paganism found in pop culture and children's literature. Especially noteworthy is the section on Disney's animated films, in which O'Brien calmly and rationally analyzes and exposes certain trends in these films. This book will be particularly appreciated by parents, but it is also a fascinating read for students such as myself, and all those interested in culture and media.
on 15 July 2013
If you are in the habit of flagellating yourself, wearing a hair shirt, and being offended by Monty Python's Life of Brian this is just the book for you, An unmitigated diet of prejudice based on a belief in a religion in which many people have lost faith, particularly since the revelations about Catholic priests' abuse of children and the church's attempts to keep that under wraps. I am offended by this book.