Scientist and author Richard Dawkins has expressed hesitation with Harry Potter.
The author of The God Delusion has concerns about the movie and book series' emphasis on magic, wizards, spells, etc.
Dawkins believes Harry Potter could give children the wrong impression about the nature of reality. That there is an alternate reality/universe where supernatural beings exist leading children to believe in a heaven-like plane where they can go or grow up to be just like Harry Potter.
I understand his concerns but disagree with his premise. Also there are religious critics of Harry Potter too. They denounce the books and movies as evil or Satanic since Harry Potter's stories involve things like witchcraft and magic.
While I have not read any of the books, I think that Harry Potter is an excellent hero for children.
It is true that the Harry Potter stories are based in a fantasy world full of magic and mystery. However, this is merely the vehicle the book series's author, J.K. Rowling, uses to depict her stories of good doing battle with evil.
A very important element of Harry Potter is that he is a hero who wins through his own intelligence and courage. Potter gained these qualities by working very hard and thinking for himself while being consistently honest and self-reliant.
Likewise, he associates with friends who reflect his values and also earns the respect of his elders too.
The appeal of Harry Potter crosses generational lines because the overall message of the series is staggeringly positive in a world where happiness and success can be attained while villains can be defeated.
One would think that the values Potter has and the positive message of his stories would be something his critics would embrace and that every parent would want to have their children learn.
I know if I had children, I would want them to reflect Harry Potter's qualities and would buy them the book series and take them to see the movies since the values Potter encompasses are essential to a child's learning and long term well-being.
The Harry Potter books and movies are one other means to assist children in developing their minds.
Rather than worrying if children could embrace supernaturalism or not, in any form, by consuming Harry Potter the fact that the book series has sparked a new interest in reading among young people and the virtues the main charachter reflects is reason enough to embrace it.
I am also sure that, down the line, children will grow up to realize the fantasy realm of Harry Potter is not real yet still look to the charachter for inspriation because of his qualities. Parents can still point out to children that Harry Potter's world is not real, but they should encourage their kids to emulate the values Potter has.
I have seen all of the Harry Potter films, and look forward to the next Harry Potter movie coming out this month.