It’s official: the Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire movie will be rated PG-13. It’s a shame that Warner Brothers couldn’t tone it down a bit, because now a lot of younger Harry Potter fans won’t be able to see it. But, to be fair to Warner Brothers, the source material is pretty graphic. I mean, there’s not much you can do to tone down Wormtail cutting off his hand.
The larger problem, or course, is that the last three Harry Potter books are much more intense than the first three. As much as I love the Harry Potter books, I think that this was a mistake on JKR’s part. A lot of younger kids are getting interested in the series, especially since the wonderful Jim Dale audiobooks enable kids who are too young to read them to enjoy them. But, kids who can handle books 1 through 3 may not be able to handle books 4 and up, and parents are faced with a choice of denying their kids the books until they get older, or allowing them to read material that may disturb them.
I know that J.K. Rowling didn’t intend this, and probably couldn’t have foreseen the problem. But in retrospect it’s obvious that the first books are kids books that can be enjoyed by adults and teens; the later books seem much more appropriate for a teen or adult audience. As Harry grows up, so are the books.
The release date for the movie in the U.S. is November 18th.