ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (2001), (PG-13)
CAP Score: 53
CAP Influence Density: 1.35

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is purely objective and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (PG-13) -- a technological marvel ... a spiritual nightmare and lite R-13

*Final Fantasy* presented some of the finest computer animation I have seen so far. As our Co-director - Tech Support, Dr. Martin said "In about five years we won't need actors." And I say, by viewing this film and its hordes of slimy, glowing gossamer creepy-crawlie phantom creatures, there will be multitudes of new demons for nightmares in less time. While this film was a trend-setting piece of astounding computer art and a technological marvel, it was a spiritual nightmare. *Final Fantasy* embraced the worship of Gaia, an earth-based religion and a false goddess which, by the movie, is manifest as some sort of property of or presence in all things thus being the "lifeforce" of the earth that sustains it and gives it life.

Gaiaism, a concept created by James Lovelock, scientist and atmospheric chemist with NASA of the 70s apparently has many versions. But Gaiaism seems to now be closely associated with paganism, wicca and witchcraft. From : "The Covenant of Gaia is a Wiccan church located in Alberta, Canada. We also provide fellowship and community for those of other Pagan paths." A distillation of all the myriad of things found about Gaiaism reveals the Gaia beliefs seem place all living things in equality and that a collective consciousness of all living things controls the physics of the biosphere: that Mother Earth is a goddess to be revered [Ex. 20:3]. This is in stark contrast to Genesis in which God tells us that He has given the planet and all living things on it to us to serve us and to have dominion over them, never to be equal with us or above us [Gen. 1:28]. Gaiaism is therefore yet another rejection of God Himself, giving stewardship of the planet and animals to a bio-goddess and taking it away from man.

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In 2065, earth has become a wasteland. A fragment of a destroyed planet collided with the earth and deposited hordes of glowing gossamer phantoms capable of ripping the lifeforce out of humans -- graphically. The only humans left were a number of settlements living in huge covered cities to protect them from the phantoms which can ooze out of solid rock. Since this appears to be an antiGod movie, maybe the hideous demonic features and parasitic properties given by the filmmakers to the phantoms were appropriate. The planetary fragment also contained the Gaia of the destroyed planet and all the lifeforces of all the inhabitants whom were created by it. I think. The plot was thick with raw speculation and denial of God's design which made for much disconnect for we who believe His Word. Doctor Lovelock would have been proud of *Final Fantasy*.

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Dr. Aki Ross (Ming-Na) is searching for the eight earth spirits which when combined, will save humanity from the phantoms. She finds one of the spirits in a weed growing amid the desolation of old New York and a horde of the phantom creatures. Ross is joined by the local "police force", Captain Gray Edwards (Alec Baldwin), Jane Proudfoot (Peri Gilpin), Ryan Whittaker (Ving Rhames) and Neal Fleming (Steve Buscemi). Captain Gray is sweet on Aki and so is Aki sweet on Captain Gray but she sure ain't gonna show it -- for a while anyway.
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But villainous General Hein (James Woods) has other plans. Not subscribing to Aki's ideas of a Gaia and being portrayed as the closed minded, abrasive intolerant and ignorant type of course, Hein planned to blast the critters out of existence with his Zeus cannon. But Aki's dad, Dr. Sid (Donald Sutherland) explained that doing so may actually injure the earth since the earth and all life on it is sustained by Gaia; that the Zeus gun may injure Gaia.
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Much of the show is devoted to raw battle with the phantoms and attacks by them. Some of the programming was very graphic depiction of the phantoms ripping the lifeforce out of humans plus graphic invasion of human bodies by alien tentacles. A heavy dream state or nightmarish delivery was fodder for dark-thirty invasions of your childrens' sleep. The only sexual properties I noticed included camera angles to force the viewer on the private areas of the characters and open mouth kissing. But there we many, many presentations of Gaia doctrines. A full listing of the ignominies noted follows in the Findings/Scoring section.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ].
  • Ex. 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
  • Gen. 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.

    *******Food for Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]

    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.

    FINDINGS / SCORING: Final Fantasy (2001) CAP Thermometers

    NOTE: Multiple occurrences of each item described below may be likely, definitely when plural.

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • dead bodies
  • graphic killings - ripping "lifeforce" out of human host
  • many attacks by multiple bizarre creatures
  • planning to overthrow
  • graphic deaths, some by squashing
  • pinning down by impalement
  • planning suicide by holding gun to head
  • "spirit" exiting body
  • tentacles penetrating body

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • 15 uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • arrogance against lawful authority, risking lives
  • heavy dreamlike or nightmarish presence throughout
  • lie to cover failure

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • camera angle to force viewer on private areas of body
  • open mouth kissing

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • imagery of standing on water
  • "All life is from Gaia"
  • collecting "spirits"
  • "Spirit of the earth"
  • lengthy dialogue glorifying false god and belittling the righteous
  • "Everything has a spirit. Even the earth. ... You are returning to Gaia [dying]."
  • portrayal that an earth goddess may be injured
  • "I wish I could believe they're in a better place." -- a denial of the reality of eternity in Heaven
  • "Living spirit of an alien world."
  • glorification of Gaia with the powers of God

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted (all battle deaths are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime)

    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "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 aplaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our five-year 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.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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