The Art of Childhood

WHAT: FIVE MOVIES ABOUT KIDS

WHERE: FROM THE U.S., EUROPE AND THE GREAT FRENCH NORTH

THE BOTTOM LINE: Hollywood can still spin a cute kids' fable, but a film from Quebec gets the magic and fear right.

America is the land of the perpetual teen. We want to stay young forever, to build longer-lasting bodies and minds nourished on fantasy. Let somebody else play grownup; we're all too busy being Aladdin, pledging for Animal House, romping in the backyard with a dog named Beethoven, living in Wayne's World.

In Europe kids grow up different -- earlier and tougher. Parents still wield...

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