So I went with mom and nephew this weekend to see The Golden Compass. As with most fantasy, I don't think the movie is as good as the books it is based on.
But for me, there was a bigger problem. This fantasy series by Pullman has some not-so-hidden-agenda to it, but done in a way to apparently attempt to sugar-coat and influence the minds of children who read the books.
Snopes.com verifies my perceptions.
Pullman is an atheist who cannot understand or believe in God and has problems with organized religion.
So, his whole book series is a fantasy about a universe in which organized religion is evil, witches and demons are good, and religion is against reason and free-will. The culmination of the series is when the children destroy the fake God created by the church to control people. In this installment, the church (called the Magisterium) is kidnapping children and torturing them, trying to separate them from their animal-soul-demons so they can be good adults, free from the influences of dust, which connects all the universe together.
I wouldn't mind so much if this were just a genuine fantasy without an agenda. But as blue as Daniel Craig's eyes are and as cool as computer-generated warrior polar bears are, I find myself totally turned off by the veiled promotion of personal anti-religious agendas to the youth through fiction literature.