Film: Dangerous Fairy Tale: The Golden Compass

Source: FSSPX News


Released early December, The Golden Compass seems harmless enough. The poster in front of the movie theater shows a polar bear wearing a breast-plate with a little innocent-looking girl who may just have come straight from Alice in Wonderland. Advertisements tell you that if you liked “Narnia,” “Lord of the Rings” or “Harry Potter,” you will love this film. Probably some Catholic parents will be deterred by the mention of “Harry Potter,” yet the mention of “Narnia” and the innocent-looking girl might well lead them to think that the reference to Harry Potter was only meant to suggest a world of fairies and good witches.

What is really The Golden Compass? The movie is a screen-adaptation of the first book of a trilogy written between 1995 and 2000 by Philip Pullman. The books are probably as unknown as their author to most people, even though they have received many awards. Philip Pullman is a rabid atheist who made no bones about his objective: “My books are about killing God.” (2003 interview with The Sydney Morning Herald) As Archbishop Sheen pointed out, atheists are most unreasonable since they spend all their energy fighting against someone who, so they say, does not exist.

The movie is supposed to have sanitized the book of some of its anti-Christianity. Even if this were true (and it may be true), letting your children watch the movie, will only give them a desire to read the book. Now, the book is very bad, and it gets worse with the following volumes of the set. To let children watch the movie, but to forbid them to read the book would be inconsistent and lacking in logic. And, children are terribly logical, so they will not understand, nor admit your position. If they want to read the book after seeing the movie, they will find ways to do so, with or without your permission, and in all self-righteousness since your refusal could be dismissed as illogical, and thus arbitrary and tyrannical.

This is just a little warning before the Christmas Season begins and Catholic parents may be tricked into taking their children to a very bad movie. We will give a more detailed analysis of the Golden Compass in the January/February issue of Christendom.