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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), G [PG-G*] (1hr 26min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Walt Disney Feature Animation, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Stephen J. Anderson
Producer(s): Monica Lago-Kaytis, John Lasseter, Dorothy McKim, Clark Spencer Writing Credits: Jon Bernstein (adaptation); Robert L. Baird, Michelle Bochner, Daniel Gerson (additional story material); Jon Bernstein (screenplay); William Joyce (book - "A Day with Wilbur robinson"); Shirley Pierce (additional material)
Music: Danny Elfman, Rufus Wainwright
Casting: Jen Rudin
Art Direction: Robh Ruppel
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Late one night a mysterious woman deposits a box on the steps of the 6th Street Orphanage. Mildred, the orphanage operator, fetched the box to find a small baby in it. The baby, Lewis, never knew his biological mother. The proprietor of the orphanage, Mildred (Angela Bassett) took Lewis in and has given him love and sustenance ever since.
Now 12 years old, Lewis (Daniel Hanson, Jordan Fry) has had more than 124 adoption interviews. He has become an inventor. Through many explosive failures of his inventions, plus the special hard-to-define oddity that exudes from him, Lewis chased them off.
There is a clever connection between the beginning and the ending of this film, just like we learned in Speech class. Lewis' roommate at the orphanage is Michael "Goob" Yagoobian (Matthew Josten). Goob is often getting beat up for failing at sports. We see Goob with a black eye for the most part. But I will not reveal how Lewis repairs the hurt Goob has felt for so long.
Of late, Lewis has become perplexed at why his mother didn't want him. Why she would abandon him. Does she regret leaving him? Does she want to know about him? Even Mildred's soothing and caring countenance did not help quell the fires building in Lewis.
So, Lewis decided to find out for himself about his biological mother. He built a special contraption he called the Memory Scanner that would draw from forgotten memories and display them on a screen. Lewis demonstrates the Memory Scanner at the Joyce Williams Elementary School Science Fair. Chaos again reigns as Lewis' contraption blew up as have all his inventions.
Unknown to Lewis or the school, more attention is drawn to the Memory Scanner than meets the eye. A dastardly character known as the Bowler Hat Guy (Stephen J. Anderson) and his pet robot DOR-15, or "Doris," has noted Lewis' invention. The Bowler Hat Guy is apparently able to use Lewis' Memory Scanner to manipulate things in the future to his own ends.
Also, Wilbur Robinson (Wesley Singerman), just a couple years older than Lewis, has traveled back from 25 years into the future to fetch Lewis since Lewis is some sort of vital part the future need. Something to do with the Time Continuum Task Force.
So, Wilbur snatches Lewis into Lewis' future -- to Wilbur's present -- to Todayland to save Lewis from the Bowler Hat Guy. How does Wilbur do that? Since you've asked I'll tell you. In his dad's, Cornelius Robinson's (Tom Selleck), time traveling air car. Without permission, of course.
In Todayland, people commute by floating in bubbles, dogs wear eyeglasses (only because insurance won't cover contacts lenses) and family robots do the mundane chores and just about everything else. The Robinson's robot is Carl (Harland Williams). There is a special hard-to-define oddity about the Robinsons ... just like the hard-to-define oddity about Lewis. Maybe that is why Lewis is strangely drawn to the Robinsons. I'll not explain that since it would spoil the entire show for you.
But I will touch on a point made by the movie that is close to home for my family. The story is of Lewis trying to be adopted. Jesus tells us to care for the orphaned [James 1:27]. The director, Stephen Anderson was himself adopted as a child. Eight of our ten children are adopted. I can tell you as probably would Mr. Anderson with strong credibility that the love one feels for an adopted child is no less than that for your biological child(ren). Jesus also advises us that s/he who gives but a cup of cold water to one of His little ones, even if only in the name of a disciple, will in no wise lose their reward [Matt. 10:42]. Jesus even tells us that whatever we do to (or for) His little ones we do to (or for) Him [Matt. 25:40]. Look into adoption. For the kids' sake ... for the sake of our future. And theirs.
Now to the content that parents may want to consider before deciding for what age stratum, if any, this film is fit. Following is a summary discussion of the content by investigation area for those who prefer a narrative discussion rather than lists as provided in the Findings/Scoring section.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
There are a number of portrayals and demonstrations of the violent or criminal nature that may need your counseling. Theft. Anger tantrum. A young boy often with a black eye from being beat up by older kids (not seen). Identity fraud. Slapstick violence throughout. One character is ablaze for a second or so. Tiny, the Tyrannosaurus Rex attacks Lewis, ostensibly to kill him (as seen in the previews). Several characters end up in the mouth of the same Rex but are spit out later. Carl, the family Robot is impaled though his chest in a way to emulate the gore of Hollywood's splattering of flesh and blood as an object passes through the body. And a number of characters who are "zombie-fied" approach Lewis, ostensibly to do him harm. All these episodes of violence/crime are animated and are thus "sanitized" but it is our policy that any animated thing that can reasonably be done to or by a child might be as influential as if by live performers since it would be unusual for even a 16 year old child to be able to fully separate fantasy from reality or be able to fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions: that such skills typically do not plateau until the early twenties. [Prov. 3:31]
The film begins with a mother abandoning her baby at the steps of an orphanage. An animated argument causes a traffic wreck. An adolescent takes the father's vehicle without permission. The Bowler Hat Guy makes a value-twisting comment "Let hate be your ally" and spends all his screentime doing "Snidely Whiplash"(tm) chicanery. [Rom. 12:18] And temptation is placed before a child. [Luke 17:2] Schoolyard name-calling is present but is not profane.
Sexual Immorality (S)
The only issue that could even approach a sexual nature is one of the characters in his underwear.
There is one bar scene with the frogs toasting a libation of some sort. This may be more of a risk to our youth than one might think. The America College of Physicians (ACP) found that drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment leads undeniably to abuse of such substances by middle school youth. See the links associated with the Scriptural Application of Eph. 5:18 below.
Offense to God (O)
The Bowler Hat Guy calls one of the characters a "Fool!" Jesus advises us in the Book of Matthew that doing so is unacceptable [Matt. 5:22]. Further, since Jesus informs us that no man can know the future, the time travel in this film is counter-Scripture. [Eccl. 8:7, 9:12]
No murders or suicides were noted in this film.
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.
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: |
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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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