My six-year-old son already knows what monolith is 2001, of Kubrick, that Rosebud is a sled, what is the true planet of the apes, who builds the Death Star and that the twin girls of The glow They appear at the end of the corridor of all the hotels in the world. It is not that my son is a cinephile genius of a Mozart precocity, although he is not stupid either. He simply sees cartoons and, like almost all Western children, he has empached with the pop references that flood them. Of course, he has not seen any of the films mentioned nor has an idea, not even a vague one, of what those images mean and where they come from, but they are in his landscape.
Any father who appears from time to time to the children's channels will be able to enjoy very sophisticated drawings, such as Adventure Time, Gunball or Teen Titans Go, that, unlike the drawings of his childhood (Heidi, David the Gnome, etc.), they have many layers of reading and are loaded with parody, irony and constant ruptures of narrative conventions. Even the most innocent and thoughtful for the little ones, like Peppa Pig, they incorporate winks and double meanings so that the parents release a smile of complicity from time to time.
And yet, there are several high school teachers who tell me that teenagers are very literal in their reading and do not capture humor or irony. An author of juvenile literature who wanted to encourage me to write a book of the genre, explained it to me in other words: "You have to give up the metaphor: if there is a fire, fire means nothing more than fire, do not suspect that you try to coil them a hidden meaning. " How is this possible, if they have grown up in a hyper-accelerated world where everything is parody and self-referential jokes? Could it be that they have become too sophisticated for us? Could it be that they already speak a foreign language that we can not translate?