A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that along with dry, offbeat humor, the Douglas Adams classic The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a deeply complex space adventure that raises issues of materialism, the nature of existence, the role of bureaucracy, and more. When galactic researcher Ford Prefect rescues Englishman Arthur Dent just as Earth is destroyed to make way for an intergalactic freeway, they start on an absurd adventure to survive. The British humor and references will likely go over the heads of young readers, but there are plenty of silly gags and bizarre escapades to keep readers of all ages entertained. The book was adapted for a 2005 film version.
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What's the story?
Just before the Earth is demolished to make room for a new hyperspace bypass, intergalactic citizen and travel guide researcher Ford Prefect escapes with Englishman Arthur. The offbeat characters in THE HITCHHIKER'S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY hitch a ride on one of the Vogon constructor ships that demolished Earth but are ejected into space, then picked up by The Heart of Gold ship and two-headed, three-armed Zaphod Beeblebrox, President of the Galaxy. They journey with Beeblebox to Magrathea, the planet where, millions of years earlier, the Earth was constructed as part of a giant, organic computer designed to come up with the answer to the question of life, the universe, and everything.
Is it any good?
Combining complex musings on life's purpose and society's structure, this witty, entertaining science fiction adventure is great for fans of snarky British humor. Parts of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy will go over the heads of younger readers, but this pioneering classic is an introduction to the genre of British sci-fi humor. Despite the drinking and innuendo, the humor is intellectual and verbal rather than based on pratfalls and potty jokes. Still, there's lots of silliness opposite life-threatening moments.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about whether the humor in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is an effective way to examine materialism, power, and other issues. Are these topics best discussed seriously, or does humor help provide another way to look at them?
What common things and phrases in our society do you think would confuse galactic visitors?
How is this kind of humor writing different from other things you're read?
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