The Catholic League is warning parents against the film The Golden Compass, based on the first book in Phillip Pullman's brilliant "His Dark Materials" trilogy, and Mark Mordford of the San Francisco Chronicle thinks he knows why--and it has less to do with defending the faith, than defending itself:
While the books have as their evil antagonist a sinister cabal called the Magisterium (obvious parallel: Catholic Church), they also have a slew of dark characters in service of the Magisterium, various assassins and double-agents and robot drones running around trying to annihilate the children's spirit and destroy magic and lock down faith forever. Let us call these robotic drones, oh, say, the Catholic League. Or Focus on the Family. Gosh, no wonder they're a little peeved.
Read it all.
Then have a look at Maev Kennedy's profile of Pullman in the Guardian, which includes this:
His editor of 25 years, David Fickling, says: "He is one of the greatest storytellers of all time, and he's right here among us, writing now. It's like having Thomas Hardy about to write Far From the Madding Crowd. It's just thrilling to be around."