We dislike today's kids because, first of all, we're adults now and they constantly step in front of us when we're walking fast, stare at us at restaurants and burst our eardrums by screaming while we're trying to talk on our cell phone at Target. Sure, they look cute, but we know what evil can lurk inside. Kids are like clowns. The cute façade can hide so much. The other reason is that we're convinced they're more literate than we. Not now, of course, because what 5-year-old has read Tolstoy and Molière? But this generation of kids is more literate than our generation was as kids. They have Wishbone; we had Pound Puppies. They have Between the Lions; we had Thundercats.
Don't believe us? Then check out the lineup for the USA Film Festival's 20th KidFilm Festival. It's all, like, smart and stuff. There's Three Cheers for Catherine the Great, Shrinking Violet and three other movies based on books during the tribute to Weston Woods Studios' Cari Best, who will be in attendance. Sneak previews will be offered of new adaptations of A Wrinkle in Time, which will be screened for free, and I am David, a Danish book about a child who survives a World War II labor camp. There's the father-son baseball film Mickey starring Harry Connick Jr. and directed by author and movie producer John Grisham, who will speak at the screening, and When Zachary Beaver Came to Town, which is based on the National Book Award-winning novel by Kimberly Willis Holt, who will appear along with actors Jonathan Lipnicki and Cody Linley. But our favorites--and maybe that's not a good endorsement since we also loved The Get-Along Gang--are the ones that remind us most of our childhood: the salute to Benji's 30th anniversary featuring creator Joe Camp and Benji the dog and Teacher's Pet, the story of a talking dog that wants to be a boy (it's a new one, but those dog-in-clothes stories are timeless). So, if you go to KidFilm, we promise you'll feel smarter--as long as you avoid the showing of brand-new episodes of Barney and The Wiggles. Those are kid-tested, but not adult-approved.
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