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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
(2007), PG [Hard PG*] (1hr 30min)
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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
PProduction (US): Hal Lieberman Company, Lauren Levine Productions Inc., Walden Media, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures
Director(s): Gabor Csupo
Producer(s): Tim Coddington, Kevin Halloran, David Kaufmann, Lauren Levine, Hal Lieberman, David Paterson, Meyer Shwarzstein
Book by: Katherine Paterson
Screenplay: Jeff Stockwell, David Paterson
Cinematography/Camera: Michael Chapman
Music: Aaron Zigman
Film Editing: John Gilbert
Casting: Stephanie Corsalini
Production Design: Robert Gillies
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Life is hard for gifted artist and bullied young Jessie Aarons (Josh Hutcherson). Daily battles with scarce money, spiteful sisters Brenda (Devon Wood), Ellie (Emma Fenton) and Joyce (Grace Brannigan) and school make things emotionally brittle. Little sister May Belle (Bailee Madison), for the most part, sits by and observes it all. Jessie's father, Jack (Robert Patrick) doesn't help much. He seems always mad at something. But then, trying to make ends meet for a family of seven on a hardware clerk's pay can worry anyone. As seems usual Nancy (Katrina Cerio), the mother, appears to be the glue that holds the family together.
Jessie has dreams of fantasy. Dad does not support Jessie's desire to dream. Dad prefers Jessie accept reality and deal with life as it comes and git them chores done. Day after day of his dad stifling his dreams, Jessie starts to show signs of childhood fantasy fading.
One day, the new girl in town, Leslie Burke (AnnaSophia Robb) shows up. Leslie's parents are writers who live next door in a well-to-do abode. First, Leslie beats all the boys in a school foot race -- including Jessie. Leslie is the kind of adolescent girl who, while generally obeying the rules, has a yearn to challenge them. But in comparison to the outlook Jack wants Jessie to have, Leslie has a healthy age-appropriate perspective on life ... she has fun pretending. Thrown together by circumstances, down-to-earth Jessie is now confronted with the smiling outlook of a pretty young girl his own age who tempts him to take chances with reality.
Leslie's first dare of Jessie is to venture deep into the woods and envision many fantasy creatures and adventures with he as the king and she the princess, why not the queen was not told. The sole purpose of the creatures is to prevent the king and princess from reaching their goal -- Terabithia, the enchanted land of make-believe.
Daily the pair would trek to their lair built in an old abandoned treehouse. Daily they would conjure up new battles and quests. Until one day Jessie's music teacher Miss Edmonds (Zooey Deschanel) invites Jessie to go on a solo field trip to an art museum in the city. Miss Edmonds had noticed Jessie's talents in art and wanted to nurture those talents. After Miss Edmonds' early morning call to Jessie, he burst in on mom as she slept to ask her if he could go. She mumbled something that Jessie feels is "Yes." So, off he goes. But Jessie did not invite Leslie to go. There is where Jessie feels his first dose of false self-condemnation. But I will stop here else I spoil too much of the plot and story
The Motion Picture Association of American rated this film PG for "thematic elements including bullying, some peril and mild language." Going into this analysis I did not know why the MPAA rated this film PG but the CAP analysis model agrees with the MPAA -- this time. The film earned a final score of 72 which places it in the lower half of the scoring range earned by PG films (68 to 86 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database. A hard PG but a PG nonetheless.
As a convenience to those who don't like lists, a summary of the findings which earned the film the final score of 72 follows in the individual investigation area discussions. The summary discussions also provide a convenient place to include Scriptural references as applied to noted behaviors. A full itemization of findings is presented in the Findings/Scoring section. The Findings/Scoring section is the most complete representation of the contents of this film.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
The content revealed by this investigation area and the Impudence/Hate investigation area is what is largely responsible for the final score of 72.
While all of the issues of violence were by children engaged in fantasy and adolescent social warfare, that the acts were in fantasy and by children does not alter them as acts of violence or the violent nature. A bad influence does not have to be real to influence badly. Episodes of schoolyard bullying, threats, trespassing and an adolescent encouraging risk-taking drained the Wanton Violence/Crime score about 25% of the starting 100 points. The attacks and warfare by fantasy creatures, a fall, the hit to the face and the death of a classmate drained about another 25%. [Prov. 16:29]
The content revealed by this investigation area caused the greatest single investigation area scoring loss ... about 80% of the starting 100 points. There were four uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Prov. 22:11] plus several forms of adolescent disrespect of parents [Exod. 20:12], lies [Prov. 19:5], sibling power struggles, cheating [2 Tim. 2:5], cruelty [Prov. 11:17], an abrasive father [Eph. 6:4] and other matters of impudence and/or hate.
Sexual Immorality (S)
This investigation area found nothing to warrant any point losses. Bridge to Terabithia is one of the finest examples of keeping all sexually-oriented issues out of entertainment. Not even one innuendo was noted.
Neither did this investigation area find anything to warrant point losses. Nothing was noted to even suggest drinking alcoholic beverages, smoking, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs.
Offense to God (O)
Robb was noted as speaking God's name in vain once but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. Children were noted as seeking revenge on the class bully, Janice Avery (Lauren Clinton) [Rom. 12:19]. Robb was also noted as speaking to denial of Biblical Truth [2 Tim. 3:16]. A disappearing vaporous creature topped off the issues warranting point loss in this investigation area.
No murders or suicides were noted.
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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