improve on the usually banal reality,nor what’s the point? If people in thenaudience wanted to experience one ofnthose endless, going-nowhere arguments,nthey could have stayed homenand discussed Friday night curfewsnwith the kids. People will go to see anplay about rape, madness, violence,nand hate only to get some enlightenmentninto the whys and wherefores ofnthose things. With Extremities, they’rennot going to get it.nKatherine Dalton writes from NewnYork.nReturn of the FairynTalenby Sam KarnicknLabyrinth; directed by Jim Henson;nscreenplay by Terry Jones; story bynDennis Lee and Jim Henson; Tri-nStar Pictures.nThe mass media have been particularlynarid territory for children lately,ntreating our young as litde more thannvessels for advertising pitches. In fact,neven theatrical films have become advertisementnvehicles, as many of thenrecent releases aimed at children havenbeen little more than blatant 90minutencommercials hawking toy linesnsuch as the Smurfs, the Care Bears,nand the Transformers, betraying inntheir producers attitudes so cynical asnalmost to defy beliefnStill, even in this gloomy regionnthere are rays of hope. The output ofnWalt Disney studios has been particularlynnotable recently. Such films asnTron, Flight of the Navigator, andnReturn to Oz, while of varying quality,nare at least sincere attempts toncreate decent, instructive entertainmentnfor children. The Great MousenDetective, Disney’s most recent animatednrelease, is even better. Supervisednby the last of Disney’s oldfashionednanimators and furnishednwith a strong story and interestingncharacters, the film is a treat for youngnfilmgoers and their chaperones alike.nAlso heartening is the Disney studio’snprofessed desire to continue alongnthese lines with their future animatednproductions.nThen there is Jim Henson, creatornof the Muppets. From the televisionnseries Sesame Street and The MuppetnShow through his feature films ThenMuppet Movie (1979), The GreatnMuppet Caper (I98I), and others,nHenson has provided children andntheir parents with a considerablenamount of entertainment over the pastn20 years. Fortunately, there is muchnmore to Henson’s works than puerilencharm. In fact, he may be one of thenbest things to happen to America’snchildren in quite a while. While Henson’snworks may seem frivolous on thensurface, there are worthy ideas underneath.nAs child psychologist Bruno Bettelheimnhas pointed out, most notably innhis book The Uses of Enchantment,nfairy tales are not just pretty storiesnwith which parents divert their children.nThese tales, says Bettelheim,nprovide ethical instruction for childrennand also help them confront feelingsnand ideas which are too fearsome fornthem to face directiy. The story ofn”Littie Red Cap” (aka “Littie Red RidingnHood”) teaches children to bewarenof strangers (among other things),nwhile the wicked stepmother in numerousntales has been seen as a stand-nTHE UNCENSORED GRACE (XNVIlVnSSION STUDYnrhen the Grace CommissionnW on government waste is­nNOW AVAILABLE!nsued its final report on membersnof Congress who block attemptsnto cut spending, it succumbed tonintense political pressure andnpublished the volume with allnthe names deleted. Now thencomplete unexpurgated reportnis available in this volume —ncontaining every name from thenoriginal report along with a newnintroduction by the authors,nand a foreword by EugenenMcCarthy.nONLY $7.95 fromnJAISSEZ FAIRE TOt^n”Porkbarrel is must reading!”nTom DiaznWashington TimesnThenUnexpurgatednGrace CommissionnStory ofnCongressionalnProfligacynby RANDALL FITZGERALD ANDnGERALD LIPSONnOrder CU1529 (paper) for $7.95 plus $1.00 postage & handling ($2.00 foreign orders)nORDER TOLL-FREE 1-800-238-2200 ext. 500nand charge your VISA or MasterCardnContinental U.S. * 24 hours a day * 7 days a weekn”Porkbarrel vividly describes how theoreticalncommitments to economy are overwhelmednby parochial concerns.” _^^^^^^ ^^,^^^^nHouston PostnPlease send me copies of Porkbarrelnfor only $7.95 each, plus $1.00 postage &nhandling ($2.00 foreign orders).nSend me your 32-page catalog of bool;s onnliberty. My check or money order isnenclosed for $ .nName _nAddress_nCiivnStale/ZipnOrder from: LAISSEZ FAIRE BOOKS, Dept. CAJn532 Broadway, New York, NY 10012 (212) 925-8992nMONEY BACK GUARANTEEnIf for any reason you are unhappynwilh your order, just return it withinn30 davs for a refund.nor send your order to LAISSEZ FAIRE BOOKS, Dept. CAE, 532 Broadway, New York, NY 10012nnnJANUARY 1987 / 47n