"Animated Bible Allegory"
What You Need To Know:
There’s a lot of top talent involved in THE LION OF JUDAH, but anytime filmmakers create an allegory for children, they need to remember the dramatic as well as the theological elements. The movie goes in too many directions trying to cover all the theological bases, and sometimes becomes confusing. The filmmakers had a purpose for all this, but they forgot to find a thru-line for the story. That said, there are some little children who may enjoy this LION OF JUDAH, and, with their parents’ help, may understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ even better.
(CCC, BBB, V) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview telling the story of the life of Jesus from the viewpoint of the stable animals who witnessed his birth, crucifixion and resurrection; no foul language; action violence and some pratfalls in comic violence such as cow bites pig’s tail by mistake; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, nothing else objectionable.
The good news is that THE LION OF JUDAH has some very good animation and is very helpful in letting children understand the reason for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The bad news is that the script is poor, frenetic and ill conceived.
The movie starts with a rough-hewn hand hammering a nail that makes everybody thinks it’s going to be the crucifixion of Jesus. Instead, it is a box being shut up with a little lamb inside, who’s being taken to Jerusalem for the Temple sacrifices. As the cart passes through Bethlehem, the wooden box with the lamb falls off and into a barn where several animals live who witnessed the birth of Jesus. They find out the lamb inside the box considers himself the Lion of Judah. He was told by his mother that he was going to set the world free. He thinks this means he was going to be physically liberating people and doesn’t understand he is the spotless temple sacrifice.
When the people come back to find the lamb, the stable animals organize behind a talking rat to rescue the self-described lion of Judah. Along the way, they meet a donkey escaping from bondage in Jerusalem. They team up to rescue the lamb.
Slowly but surely, they reveal in their inquiries and humorous attempts to save the lamb the story of Jesus. Eventually, they are gathered together at the crucifixion of Jesus and the lamb is trapped in the temple, being prepared for sacrifice. How will he escape? How will they save him? Who is Jesus? And, who is the real Lion of Judah?
There’s a lot of top talent involved in this production, but anytime filmmakers create a movie allegory for children, they need to remember the dramatic as well as the theological elements. That said, the movie goes in too many directions trying to cover all the theological bases, and sometimes becomes quite confusing with references to events such as Peter’s vision of the unclean and clean animals being lowered down into a sheet. The filmmakers had a purpose for all this, but they forgot to find a thru-line for the story.
That said, there are some little children who may enjoy this movie, and, with their parents’ help, they may understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ even better.
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