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

Entertainment Media Analysis Report

A Simple Wish (1997)
CAP Score: 72
CAP ID: 0.51

Thomas A. Carder
CAP President

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A Simple Wish (1997) CAP Thermometers A Simple Wish (1997) was a light-hearted enjoyable romp. Too bad it had to present so much arrogance and the up-yours attitude. Thus, the Impunity/Hate (I)(1) CAP Investigation Area suffered the greatest loss. I can almost hear some of you saying to yourself "Gimme a break! That's the way kids are. Why take off points because of the way things are?" Let me remind you that arrogance is the first item in the list of seven things Jesus hates. And maybe, just maybe movies like this one and thousands of other more severe PG and PG-13 movies are the reason some kids are the way they are?

While Impunity/Hate suffered the greatest loss, Offense to God (O)(2) lost about half of its starting 100 points due to the presentation of using witchcraft for selfish gains. And witchcraft is looked upon very disfavorably by our Father, I suspect even when the witchcraft is pretend. But then, how pretend is it if the witchcraft for evil gains in A Simple Wish leads the hearts of the young to wish they could do those things -- definitely NOT what God wants them (or us as parents) to feel. Only one of the uses of "magic" by Murray, the Fairy Godmother/father, was incorporated into the CAP analysis because only that one example presented his use of magic for unjust purposes. Most of his use of "magic" was Mary Poppins style. This is where I draw the line regarding magic in movies. Mary Poppins style magic is good fantasy any child will receive well, but graphic presentation of the magic of demons and witches for any reason is not acceptable in the CAP Model.

A Simple Wish was pleasantly free of any blatant sexual material -- the Sex/Homosexuality (S) score was perfect. Likewise, there were no examples of Murder/Suicide (M).(3) Drugs/Alcohol (D) lost points only due to the attempts of the witch to control using a drugged apple. While sensitivity to this action has been truly destroyed by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937), it is still presentation of the use of drugs to control. Wanton Violence/Crime (W) lost a few points due to violence such as guilotine action, the use of firearms to control, graphic distortion of the human form, and child control by illegal means.

In accordance with the comparative baseline data of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model, A Simple Wish (1997) presented programming equivalent to R-rated programming in Impunity/Hate and Offense to God with programming equivalent to PG-rated programming in Wanton Violence/Crime. A Simple WIsh (1997) was equivalent to G-rated programming in Sex/Homosexuality, Drugs/Alcohol, and Murder/Suicide. Thus, the movie was equivalent to 33% R-rated programming, 17% PG-rated programming, and 50% G-rated programming.

Above is a summary of the CAP findings in A Simple Wish: a sort of Executive Summary. Following is a condensation of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model (the CAP Model) recording logs.

  • witchcraft to control for selfish gain involving the creation of people
  • bike theft
  • arrogant distrust of father's guidance
  • guilotine action
  • dyke dress
  • distortion of father's instructions for personal gain without consequence
  • arrogance toward father
  • child instructed by brother to pretend in order to deceive father
  • several additional examples witchcraft to control for selfish gain
  • transformation of a dog to a human by witchcraft
  • four instances of cussing
  • portrayal of a police officer as corrupt
  • hatefulness by brother toward sister
  • a general pushy, smart-aleck, "it ain't good enough no matter what it is" attitude by an adolescent
  • defiance of righteous authority (teacher) plus protraying her as an unfair hateful dolt
  • truancy for personal gain
  • four uses of God's name in vain without the four letter explicative
  • discharging of a firearm at a man and a child plus verbal threats to control them
  • at least three lies to avoid discovery/being caught
  • presentation of a woman flattened by witchcraft but alive and talking
  • upchucking of frogs due to witchcraft
  • illegal restraint of a child by a non-parent
  • transformation of a human into a dog by witchcraft
  • lust for control, better-than-you attitude
  • control using a drugged apple

  • (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impunity/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 is incorporated into the Impunity/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the three/four letter word vocabulary is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication. As required of the Holy Scriptures, unless God's name is used with reverence to His glory and praise, its use is considered in vain, whether literal or euphemistic.

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

    Please remember we believe that if even one of the six Investigation Area scores for a movie is equivalent to the CAP comparative baseline database scoring range for R, PG-13, or PG material, the entire movie should be regarded as so rated.  For example, if only Wanton Violence/Crime earns a score equivalent to R but all other Investigation Areas earn a score equivalent to G, THERE IS R-RATED MATERIAL IN THE MOVIE AND YOUR KIDS WILL SEE IT AND HEAR IT IF THEY WATCH THE MOVIE!

    Additional reviews of this movie may be located at "Movie Review Query Engine at Telerama."

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    Thomas A. Carder
    ChildCare Action Project: Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP)

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