Do you enjoy articles like this? Click here to become a monthly partner and receive a copy of UNPLANNED on DVD!
THE SANTA CLAUSE
It's late Christmas Eve and up on the roof there arose such a clatter that Scott Calvin and his son Charlie awake just in time to be swept up in a magical fantasy aboard Santa's sleigh in THE SANTA CLAUSE. Tim Allen is a divorced dad trying to salvage his relationship with his young son when he experiences an abrupt career change involving a big red suit and weight gain. If you explain to your children the difference between fantasy and the Truth, then they can enjoy this truly delightful adventure fantasy which is definitely an uplifting experience. Ted Baehr's discernment point: THE SANTA CLAUSE is fun, lightweight fare which does not teach magical thinking or New Age beliefs. However, Christians do not want their children confusing the Truth of Jesus Christ with the myth of Santa Claus, nor do we want Christmas held hostage by pagan mythology. Therefore, although this movie is innocuous, it is important to explain to our children the difference between fantasy, which can teach some good moral lessons, and the Truth, which sets them free from the bondage to the corruption of our age -- including the inherited corruption of sin, the penultimate disease afflicting mankind. Helping our children understand the Truth, will give the discernment they need to see and enjoy THE SANTA CLAUSE without conforming to the mindset of the fallen world. THE SANTA CLAUSE poses the question: Is there anything really wrong with little children enjoying a movie about Santa Claus? No more so than them enjoying a book about talking animals (THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA), if parents have taught them the deeper Truth of Jesus Christ.
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET
MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, a beautifully crafted and well-acted remake of the 1947 classic, relates the arrival of a department store Santa who believes he is the genuine article and who turns a child's perspective from skepticism and fatalism toward hope and imagination. The film stresses the importance of family and that intangibles like love, hope and trust are more important than money. The only flaw in this warm-hearted movie is the tendentious courtroom argument about Santa Claus which examines reality versus fantasy and harmless game playing versus harmful deception.
SQUANTO: A WARRIOR’S TALE
The exciting historical-adventure drama, SQUANTO: A WARRIOR'S TALE, tells the amazing legend of a Native American Indian and his enslavement at the hands of English traders, his daring escape and his miraculous return to his New England homeland where he risks his life for peace and helps Pilgrim settlers survive in the early 1600s. Disney's SQUANTO is free of offensive content -- save for appropriate action violence -- and contains an exceptionally positive portrayal of Christian belief and principles.
ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD
ANGELS IN THE OUTFIELD is the endearing story of a 11-year-old boy who prays that God will help the hopelessly inept California Angels baseball team win the pennant. The film portrays an uplifting, positive message of faith and the courage to depend on that faith, even when feelings tell us otherwise. Beautiful special effects and a positive portrayal of angels and God are marred by one minor sexual innuendo and a small amount of offensive language.
THE FLINTSTONES is one of those rare family films which thoroughly entertains you--whether you are 5 years-old or 50. The plot revolves around a villainous rock-quarry executive, Cliff Vandercave (Kyle MacLachlan) who wants to embezzle the Slate & Co. by framing the gullible Fred Flintstone (John Goodman) who eventually learns through it all that family and friends are worth more than money. THE FLINTSTONES movie is full of good moral lessons: from the Dictabird teaching Fred that you must read what you sign, to a clear message that you should be faithful to your spouse. The final word from reviewers James (11) and Evelyn Baehr (5) is "Yabba-dabba-see-it."
In CORRINA, CORRINA, young Molly Singer's question about where her mother has gone after her death is examined by both her atheistic father and their new Christian nanny and housekeeper, Corrina (Whoopie Goldberg). This is a well-crafted comic drama with lots of good humor, a positive portrait of Christianity and few objectionable elements, aside from some adult themes involving death and racism.
RUDYARD KIPLING’S THE JUNGLE BOOK
The Walt Disney live-action rendition of RUDYARD KIPLING'S THE JUNGLE BOOK is a fast-paced, exciting, emotive movie about the jungle boy Mowgli and his encounter with Western civilization. It exceeds the fun-filled animated Disney version with the help of a powerful and dramatic storyline about love and purity triumphing over evil.
THE LION KING
A magnificent example of Disney animation, THE LION KING is an heroic tale of good versus evil which embodies many Christian allegorical elements. The sinister usurper Scar plots to kill his brother and nephew so he can become King himself. While there are several minor areas which call for discernment in THE LION KING, the good far outweighs the bad, and the film conveys a clear message of hope, reconciliation and appreciation for the majesty of creation.
BLACK BEAUTY is a beautiful, touching and timeless rendition of the classic story by Anna Sewell told through the eyes of the horse and through voice-over narration and flashback. Wonderfully photographed, scripted and acted, this film is destined to become a family classic on its own.
LITTLE WOMEN is Louisa May Alcott's classic story of four sisters in Civil War era New England. While the strong religious themes in Alcott's book are toned down, the movie does contain positive Christian characters & actions, strong parental figures, chaste courtships, and especially winning performances by Winona Ryder, Kirsten Dunst and Claire Danes.