"As adults, we are discriminated against. As adults, we are an oppressed majority because nobody writes us fairy tales. I think the problem is not that ... we grow out of fairy tales. The problem is nobody writes us fairy tales; nobody gives us fairy tales that are as satisfying, as meaty, as filled with real people and real incident, as the things that we remember from when we were children." - Excerpted from this CNN article.
As usual, Neil was ahead of the trend. Those of us familiar with his work are not even remotely surprised by the only seemingly-sudden explosion of children's literature in popular culture, as covered by this Newsweek article, Not Just for Children. Citing the His Dark Materials novels by Phillip Pullman, the Harry Potter series, and movies like Shrek, Finding Nemo, and Monsters, Inc., the Newsweek piece offers various opinions from brand consultants and scholastic experts as to why the phenomenon has occurred. And sure, you can go read it. But just credit Gaiman (and fans of his work) for tapping into it over half a decade ago.
Another Neil connection (Six Degrees of Neil Separation?) can be found in this paragraph of another Harry Potter story from the L.A. Times:
Out of caution, Warners nixed Rowling's personal petition to hire Brazil's Terry Gilliam to direct the first movie, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The studio instead picked Home Alone' s Chris Columbus, who also directed the first sequel, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
.... Horn wasn't the only Little Princess fan. Rowling too had loved the film and even had ranked Cuaron just behind Gilliam among her preferences to direct the first film. Warners decided to take a chance and offered Cuaron the gig.
For those who don't know, Terry Gilliam is going to be directing the film version of Gaiman and Pratchett's Good Omens.