【今日阅读推荐】本篇阅读材料“儿童电影里的孤儿们”选自《时代》（原文标题：Children’s Movies Have Too Many Orphans 2011.11.04）。如果大家觉得比较简单，就当作泛读材料了解了解，认识几个新单词或新表达方式也不错。如果大家觉得这些材料理解上有难度，不妨当做挑战自己的拔高训练，希望大家都有进步^^
Consider for a moment some of our children’s greatest fictional heroes. Luke Skywalker grows up thinking his father is dead. Harry Potter: orphaned as an infant. Ditto Superman. One looks further into the literary pantheon for the pint-sized — Cinderella, Spiderman, Tarzan, Sleeping Beauty, Lemony Snicket’s Baudelaire children, Batman, C.S. Lewis’s Pevensie kids — and it’s hard not to spot a common familial theme: where the hell are all these kids’ folks?
Obviously it’s Mythmaking 101 to begin a hero’s journey with some initiating trauma. But does that trauma have to occur so frequently before the hero’s earliest memory? Maybe it does. Maybe kids who grow weary of their parents’ nagging and failure to understand them see these stories as a way out. Maybe, on some abstract level, all of us think when we’re young that any moment an Obi-Wan Kenobi or Hagrid or holographic Jor-El will appear in our lives to whisk us away on a string of exciting adventures, after telling us where we really came from.
But I (and as many as a million sets of parents like me) don’t have the luxury of thinking about parental separation in the abstract. That’s because one of my own personal heroes has gone through it as well: my 7-year-old son, Max.
I hasten to add that Max is a happy, well-adjusted child. We have an open adoption, meaning that both his birth parents and their families are part of his life. He understands where he came from and why he’s here with us. And needless to say, at birthdays and Christmas he cleans up.
But some adopted children under less happy circumstances, like Harry Potter with his hateful relatives at 4 Privet Drive, struggle with abandonment issues and other psychological hurdles. Even kids who land with adoptive parents as loving and supportive as Jonathan and Martha Kent may wonder why they were “given up.” (Actually, the correct term is placed. Bridle against PC language if you will, but watch what you say in front of my kid). And as such, should parental separation be such commonplace story fodder for entertainment aimed at kids?
Of course one can point to any number of counterexamples just in Pixar movies alone. But I don’t think I’m overacting. This year, I’ve had to have The Adoption Talk with Max after almost every film I’ve taken him to see, because they all had lead characters who were taken from their parents at an early age. Rapunzel in Tangled, Po in Kung Fu Panda 2 and Blu in Rio all grew up far away from their biological progenitors. The origin of Rango‘s title character is shrouded in mystery, but his love interest Beans is a card-carrying member of the Dead Dad Club. I’m glad Max is too young for Thor, in which one character’s belated discovery of his own adoption contributes to inter-dimensional catastrophe. By the time we came out of Puss in Boots last weekend, I didn’t even feel like discussing Puss’s fraught relationship with his human adoptive mother. And that’s not even mentioning last year’s Megamind (with the title character’s Superman-like escape from a planetary catastrophe that kills his parents) and Despicable Me (which we avoided entirely based on word-of-mouth from fellow adoptive parents).
For plenty of kids, stories about young people with dead, absent or galactically evil parents are a novelty, a look into a different life. For other kids, they can be a raw nerve. Most raw nerves are treated with some sensitivity, but not this one. And that’s why I’m going to think twice before going to see the upcoming and much-anticipated Hugo, about an 11-year old orphan in Paris who explores his father’s dark past. Even if it is directed by Martin Scorsese.
ditto n. 同上；很相似的人 adv. 同上地
trauma n. 创伤
weary of 厌烦于；疲倦
nagging adj. 唠叨的；挑剔的；使人不得安宁的
whisk away 拂去；扫去；弹去
needless to say 更不用说；毫无疑问
psychological hurdles 心理障碍
fraught adj. 忧虑的；误人子弟的
raw nerve 痛处
Luke Skywalker 卢克·天行者，是乔治·卢卡斯导演的著名科幻电影《星球大战》三部曲中的主要人物。
Harry Potter 哈利·波特 J.K. 罗琳《哈利·波特》系列小说中的主角。
Lemony Snicket’s Baudelaire children 《波特莱尔大遇险》，美国作家雷蒙尼·史尼奇的奇幻文学系列小说，共十三集，描写波特莱尔三姐弟在父母双亡后所遇到一系列的不幸事件。
Obi-Wan Kenobi 欧比旺·肯诺比，《星球大战》系列里的一个绝地武士。
4 Privet Drive 女贞路4号，哈利·波特幼年的住处。
Jonathan and Martha Kent 《超人》系列故事中超人的养父母
Pixar movies 皮克斯电影，美国著名动画电影公司。
Kung Fu Panda 2 《功夫熊猫2》，2011年上映的梦工厂动画电影，讲述熊猫阿宝跟朋友们一起打败坏人的故事。
Puss in Boots 《穿靴子的猫》，2011年梦工厂出品的动画电影，靴猫Puss和他的好朋友Humpty Dumpty一起上演了一幕荡气回肠、悲喜参半的西部故事。
1. What is the "Dead Dad Club"?
2. Why does the author think twice before going to see the new movie Hugo with his child?