Aug 20 2007
The surprise British sensation, The Dangerous Book for Boys, achieved a new pinnacle when the rights for the book were sold to Disney and producer Scott Rudin (“The Queen” and “School of Rock”). The problem is that there is no story in The Dangerous Book for Boys. It’s a how to manual of reclaiming some past idea of manhood which includes camping, riding bicycles, and skipping rocks. There are chapters on grammar and a list of useful Latin terms and Shakespeare quotes. What there is not is a plot, central characters, a climax or the accompanying denouement.
The script will be made out of whole cloth and the only thing that will resemble the book? Possibly the font that is used to advertise the movie. Disney and Rudin apparently want to capitalize on the sense of nostalgia (where everything that happened 50 years ago must be better than today) and hope to drive the millions who bought the book to the theatre in an attempt to recapture lost youth. One of the authors, Conn Iggulden, says that the response is from people who are tired of the “health and safety culture”.
I particularly hate the “health and safety culture” that drives things like lead paint toy recalls. My father taught me how to pitch a tent, skip rocks, tie on my own lure, trim my own arrows, and shoot a gun. But he also taught me that the “health and safety culture” attendant to those activities were just as important as the activity themselves.