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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2005), PG [PG*]
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(This section may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): 20th Century Fox, Winn Productions, Walden Media
Distribution (US): Twentieth Century Fox Film Corp.
Director(s): Wayne Wang
Producer(s): Trevor Albert, Becki Cross Trujillo, Joan Singleton, Ralph S. Singleton
Novel: Kate DiCamillo
Screenplay: Joan Singleton
Cinematography/Camera: Karl Walter Lindenlaub
Music: Rachel Portman
Film Editing: Deirdre Slevin
Casting: Aisha Coley, Todd M. Thaler
Production Design: Donald Graham Burt
Art Direction: Monroe Kelly
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
What in the world are "thematic elements? The MPAA has rated this film PG for brief mild language and thematic elements. Is that because of elements of its theme? I guess that makes sense in some cases, such as (Heaven forbid) putting some of that Christian stuff in a film. Because of Winn-Dixie (PG) has a Baptist preacher speaking the Word for a couple sentences and has wonderful use of faith in God and prayer. Is that the "thematic elements? If so, isn't that singling out the Christian faith? Somebody help me out here.
By the way, unless I missed them, the only uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary in this film were two uses of obvious but incomplete foul words. There were no uses of complete foul words in the cut I saw. There could be other cuts distributed and the MPAA may have seen the director's cut or the screener's cut which are sometimes not the same as the cut sent out to public theaters but in the cut I saw there were no noted uses of complete foul words. Just completely clear implications of two of them.
Because of Winn-Dixie was truly G-caliber programming in all CAP investigation areas but one -- Impudence/Hate -- which includes the use of foul language so two points were lost to the two obvious incomplete foul words. But Impudence/Hate found other material equivalent in magnitude to some "softcore" R-rated films. None of the extremes of ignoble behavior or imagery typically found in R-rated programming were present in Because of Winn-Dixie. However, the sheer number of the "lesser" issues of immorality made the magnitude of the Impudence/Hate content equivalent to the content of the Impudence/Hate pocket of some mild R-rated films. This is the reason this analysis bears the red CAPAlert light. See the CAP Rule of 1000
Impudence/Hate found content to cause the loss of two (2) too many points to remain in the scoring range earned by G-rated movies (100 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. If the filmmakers had left out just two instances of, for example, name-calling, masked foul words, lying and a child's hatefulness toward her father, this film would have earned a score equivalent to the G-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. A "hardcore" G but a G nonetheless.
But maybe that is yet another example of what we found during the verification and validation of the CAP analysis model: that it is not so much violence, sex and drugs which are the most influential properties of much of modern entertainment but is the portrayal of as acceptable and even desirable the arrogant and/or hateful attitude; the impudence toward fair authority; the "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" attitude. For more information, please see ATTITUDE: In Perspective - Investigation Area Scoring and Trend in CAP Entertainment Industry Investigations, Special Report-001.
Hailing from Denver, 11 year old AnnaSophia Robb starred as ten year old India Opal Buloni, daughter of a too-busy Baptist preacher (Jeff Daniels) and victim of abandonment by her mother (Lara Grice) in this 102-minute film based on the novel by Kate DiCamillo.
Searching for friends after moving to Naomi, Florida from Whatley so her father could pastor an old convenience store turned Open Arms Baptist church, the local citizenry was slim pickings for Opal. Two local boys, Dunlap and Stevie Dewberry (Nick Price & Luke Benward) were openly hostile to Opal. Opal did find a friend in young Amanda (Courtney Jines) but there just wasn't enough in it. It seemed the local youth were just not friend material.
Topping off the anti-friend list was Friendly Corners trailer - err - mobile home park owner Mr. "Scrooge" Alfred (B.J. Hopper). Mr. Alfred had let Pastor Buloni have a trailer free of rent since he was pastoring the new Baptist church. But Mr. Alfred was not about to warm up to Winn-Dixie. Indeed, Alfred was actively hostile to Winn-Dixie and inherently belligerent to Pastor Buloni and Opal because of Winn-Dixie. "NO-PETS."
Opal did find friends in several of the adult residents of Naomi: ex-con and Gertrude's Pets pet store operator, Otis (Dave Matthews) who sang to the animals; nearly blind "witch" Gloria Dump (the always delightful and powerfully talented Cicely Tyson); the local librarian Miss Franny (Eva Marie Saint) who had some very special candy called Litmus lozenge candy which had the "power" to reveal certain sensitivities in the one who tasted the candy, just like litmus paper in college chemistry could reveal the acidity or alkalinity of a solution.
Opal also found friendship in a stray Picardy shepherd dog that smiles -- Winn-Dixie. The dog was so named because Opal rescued him after wreaking havoc in a Winn-Dixie grocery store. After the chaos subsided, the store manager, Boyd (John McConnell) demanded to know whose dog it was. Opal quickly took ownership of the stray and gave him the name Winn-Dixie because "Winn-Dixie" on a store refrigeration unit was the first thing that caught her eye in the rapid moment of coming up with a lie to save the dog.
"A boy and his dog" has been replaced by "a girl and her dog." Warmly and kindly. The shorings of the plot provide strong foundation for the sometimes gut-wrenching loneliness of a transplanted preteen girl.
In addition to the two uses of incomplete foul words, the concentration of moral assaults in Impudence/Hate include a father changing his "no" into a "yes" because of his child's sobbing [Prov. 19:18]; lying with impunity [Ex. 20:16]; a child physically defying her father; hatefulness by a child; a child running off into the stormy darkness alone; portraying it acceptable for a child to disregard the rules about the personal property of others; portrayal of a ten year old child being able to manage worldly problems clearly beyond her expected development, thus tending to give kids the impression they are wiser than they should be, wiser than typically possible. [Is. 30:1, Col. 3:20, Matt. 25:40, Luke 17:2, Matt. 18:10, Eph. 6:4]
While Because of Winn-Dixie is indeed a "kid's show" it touches on some "adult issues such as Otis the ex-con and Gloria's alcoholism plus the alienation by personal pain expressed in Opal's father's loss -- and hers.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
(The heart of the CAP Analysis Model)
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
Lord, Master, Teacher, Savior, God.
ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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