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How many parents over the past 45 years have lamented they can’t enjoy Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey with the family because the ambiguous imagery and complex themes fly over the heads of their woefully unsophisticated children?
We may never know the answer, but the question clearly was on the minds of Howard Johnson’s executives, who not only landed a bit of product placement in the now-classic sci-film but also produced a tie-in children’s menu that provides a strange — and not entirely on-point — comic-book introduction to the story.
Thanks to the blog Dreams of Space (courtesy of The Verge), we get a look at the tragically titled “Debbie and Robin Go to a Movie Premiere With the Parents,” which depicts the excited siblings receiving the royal treatment at a 2001 screening. The kids are dazzled — they “watch goggle-eyed,” according to the narration” — by the cosmic spectacle, the lunar colony and, of course, the Howard Johnson’s location on the space station.
And while they refuse to give away the ending, they walk away from the film inspired: Robin to become a space pilot, and Debbie … a space stewardess. Ah, the ’60s.