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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2006), PG [13-PG*] (1hr 20min)
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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): Warner Bros. Pictures, Playtone, DNA Productions Inc., Legendary Pictures
Distribution (US): Warner Bros. Pictures
Director(s): John A. Davis
Producer(s): Keith Alcorn, John
A. Davis, William Fay, Gary Goetzman, Tom Hanks, Scott Mednick, Thomas Tull Written by: John A. Davis, John Nickle (book)
Cinematography/Camera: Joseph P. Johnston, Yinfang Liao, Ken Mitchroney, Mike Sanderson, Chris A. Sherrod, Michael A. Wallace, Shane L. Wapskineh
Music: John Debney, Lisa Kekaula
Film Editing: Jon Price
Casting: Ruth Lambert
Production Design: Barry E. Jackson
Art Direction: Chris Consani
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Lucas "Peanut" Nickle (voice of Zach Tyler) is the any bully. He loves to torment ant colonies as revenge [Rom. 12:19] for the torment he suffers at the hands of the neighborhood bullies. But this time, the ants fight back.
Just like in the other kids' recent show, Monster House, mom and dad, Doreen and Fred Nickle (voices of Cheri Oteri and Larry Miller) leave junior (Lucas) for a trip. But this time they leave the young boy in the care of Mommo (voice of Lily Tomlin), not a teenage babysitter. In this case, the selfish metal-head teenager of Monster House might have been a better choice than Mommo. Mommo was obsessed with protecting the world from aliens. But not to worry. The "It ain't good enough, no matter what 'it' is" attitude is supplied well by Lucas' teen phone-addicted sister, Tiffany (Allison Mack).
At the beginning of the story a neighborhood bully led a gang of kids to physically torment Lucas. Lucas is much smaller than the bully. After recoiling from a period of hatefulness by the bully and his gang, Lucas attacks an ant hill with satisfaction in his face. Lucas was "led" to seeking "bigger over smaller" revenge by tormenting the innocent ants. That the target of Lucas' aggression was ants probably didn't matter. That they are smaller than he probably did. Maybe that is a good example of the wrongness of bullying others. While Lucas is indeed accountable for his deeds, so are the bullies accountable for their deeds. Seeking revenge nearly always comes with a price which can be very expensive. Leave the seeking of vengeance to God. He is much more suited for it. [Rom. 12:19]
The ant colony Head of Council (voice of Ricardo Montalban) and colony wizard, Zoc (voice of Nicolas Cage) make plans to end the terrorism of Lucas The Destroyer with his water pistol and earth-moving feet. With a few mombo-jumbos and a swish-n-flick or two, Zoc concocts a potion to shrink Lucas to ant size. And it works. But only on Lucas, not his clothes. That much is made obvious for about 10 minutes of the film and Lucas is abducted by the ants and swallowed into the depths of the any colony. [**]
Once down to ant size, Zoc and others take Lucas to the great and wise Queen ant (voice of Meryl Streep). If Lucas' fate was up to Zoc, Lucas would become a hot lunch but Hova (voice of Julia Roberts), Zoc's girlfriend intervenes and ensures Lucas makes it to the Queen ant who must decide what must be done with Lucas: be eaten by the ants or become one of them. Fortunately, the option to become one of the ants is the compassionate Queen's decision.
Soon, Lucas begins to warm up to the idea and starts to embrace becoming an ant. Whoa! Lucas remembers that he had arranged for Stan Beals (voice of Zach Tyler) of Beals-a-bug exterminator service to exterminate all the lawn insects. Now, Lucas is faced with the task of stopping Beals. Note that the Beals-a-bug name is pronounced bee-elz-e-bug which is Beelzebub if you change the "g" into a "b." Beelzebub is the Prince of Demons. [Matt. 12:24] I doubt the play on phonics is unintentional.
It is all now a matter of warfare. Lucas and his new friends against Beals.
Yes, there is nudity of an animated human character (Lucas) in this PG-rated Ant Bully. Full rear nudity as well as at-a-distance flash shots of full nudity of all sides. But that is okay, right? He's just a kid. And his clothes didn't shrink with him nor did he have his clothes on-hand when he grew back to normal size so what's the big deal? Since you've asked, I'll tell you. Look again at the Scriptural application at the double asterisk below. [**]
Adolescent nudity is not the total of the crudeness. For example, when the ants try to force Beals to ingest some of the reducing potion, they crawl up his leg and make comments about what they find - "That looks vulnerable!" Well? What's wrong with saying that herein? The movie said it and nothing obscene was said out loud! [Eph. 5:4]
For those of you who might be as bothered as I by progeny disrespect of parents and arguing with them [Eph. 6:1 - 3, Col. 3:20] in and as entertainment, this film has it. While God points a rather sharp finger at children showing disrespect of their parents, He points more than just a finger at parents who abuse the authority He gave them over their children [Luke 17:2]. While abuse of children by parents was not demonstrated in the film, I felt it appropriate to mention it as fortifying contrast to the mater of disrespectful children. You'd best be right in His eyes about your management of the children God gave you, mom/dad. God is quite serious about this matter. [Matt. 18:10] I certainly would not want the angels for my children sending a nasty-gram to God. Indeed, in Matt. 10:42 God promises much for they who do well for children. Even Jesus tells us that whatever we do to (or for) one of His little ones -- your little ones -- we do to (or for) Him. [Matt. 25:40] And Jesus spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there. Further, Jesus will be the one setting on the Throne of Judgment when we give an accounting of our lives.
End of sermon.
Please inspect closely the listing of observations provided in the Findings/Scoring section before you decide which age stratum is suited for this film. Just because it is a cartoon does not mean it is safe.
At this point, it might do well to mention our policy regarding what Hollywood makes. Our policy is let Hollywood make whatever they wish to make. God said sin would be rampant in the end times. But as long as what Hollywood makes teaches and/or causes our youth to sin, we will have something to say about it. Boldly. Unashamedly. By His Word. In His name. To His glory.
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)
Christian Educators Association International
|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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