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


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG
Analysis Date: May 2, 2003
CAP Score: 83 out of 100
CAP Influence Density: 0.30

MinMax: -53

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, 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 completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.

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

(2003), PG -- ...delightful and warm...with a sting.

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Teen Life Productions, Walt Disney Pictures
Distribution (US): Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Jim Fall
Producer(s): Susan Estelle Jansen, Terri Minsky, David Roessell, Stan Rogow
Written by/Screenplay: Susan Estelle Jansen, Ed Decter, John J. Strauss
Cinematography/Camera: Jerzy Zielinski
Music: Cliff Eidelman
Film Editing: Margaret Goodspeed
Casting: Robin Lippin, Coreen Mayrs
Production Design: Douglas Higgins
Art Direction: Patrick Banister
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6, Granbury, Texas

Fifteen year old Lizzie McGuire (Hilary Duff), graduating from middel school, is off to Rome as a class trip. Mr. Sam McGuire (Robert Carradine) and Mrs. Jo McGuire (Hallie Todd) support the opportunity but are not all that comfortable with the idea of their 15 year old in Rome without them. Lizzie's brother Matt (Jake Thomas) is all for it. But then, Matt is a particularly nasty little brother bent on making videos of his sister's most embarrassing moments for less-than-nice purposes with almost evil intent.

In Rome, Lizzie makes a wish in the great fountain. And it comes true. Appears to Lizzie a great example of trying to better one's life by making wishes. Her wish was for romance. Suddenly Paulo (Yani Gellman), a famous 17 year old singer in Italy appears. Paulo notices that blonde Lizzie is a perfect look-alike for his absent dark-haired performing partner, Isabella who has, by Paulo's accounting, broken off to ponder life while Paulo goes solo. Paulo wants Lizzie to stand in for Isabella in order to ward off a lawsuit for breech of contract. So Lizzie agrees to stand in for Isabella during an International Awards show. All without parental permission or knowledge. The drama of deceit and lies is about to unfold as Lizzie frantically searches for ways to meet with Paulo several times to prepare for the performance, all against the rules and conditions for the privilege of coming to Rome. Now a beautiful 15 year old American girl is running all around Rome with a 17 year old Italian boy with no supervision except for Paulo's body guard, who is often absent.

Oh, boy! Duplicity! Where will it lead? It leads to deceit and trickery, to sneaking out and around, to building lies to protect the previous lie. Helping Lizzie maintain the web of lies is David Zephyr 'Gordo' Gordon (Adam Lamberg). Gordo is a long-time friend, a close friend of Lizzie's. Gordo would like to be closer than a friend when he sees Paulo melting Lizzie. Now jealousy complicates the web of lies. Even a terribly snobby and vicious rival of Lizzie's, Kate Sanders (Ashlie Brillault) gets involved, first as a threat to Lizzie's deceit then as an ally and accomplice.

There are many behaviors with a good message in The Lizzie McGuire Movie but some not so good. It is delightful and warm...with a sting. The "delightful and warm" comes through the humble and endearing personality of Hilary Duff performing in a role natural for her. The character of Lizzie in The Lizzie McGuire Movie is an amplified extension of her TV series role. The "sting" comes in the numerous portrayals of deceit, trickery and lies. [Luke 16:10, Prov. 19:5] Not a good behavioral template for millions of tweenage girls like Hilary who see her as a model.

One of Gordon's lies was to protect Lizzie from discovery. Gordon told Principal Ungermeyer (Alex Borstein) he did a wrong thing when it was Lizzie who did it. But is lying to protect not a good thing? No. A lie is a lie. Let us not try to excuse evil by doing good with evil. [Rom. 3:7 - 8, Isa. 5:20] Lying is a serious matter. That "everyone does it" does not excuse it. Not even the "little white lies." [Rev. 21:8] There is no justification to make slight of God's Word in the name of entertainment or widespread acceptance. If a lie would save someone, the sin is on s/he to whom the lie would be spoken to save that someone. In God's Words, the one who lies will NOT go free. [Prov. 19:5] Revelation 21:8 is quite specific about unforgiven lying (among other sins). And to take the "Oh, that is just somebody's interpretation" stance to excuse lying would be ill-advised.

Also not a good behavioral template is the exposing of skin about four inches below the navel. Why would a girl want to show the skin four inches below her navel if not to tease or entice? Hilary's outfit in the finale of the show covered everything of her from the neck down except a single patch of skin ... about five inches tall and six inches wide with her navel at the top of the patch. Everything is covered but that patch of skin, which enlarges when she reaches up. Now what does that say? [Prov. 1:10] Let us keep matters in perspective, folks. Style and fashion notwithstanding.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie earned a final score of 83 which places it at the high end of the scoring range earned by PG movies (86 to 68 out of 100) in the comparative baseline database, but the amount of lying and deceit severely depleted the starting 100 points in Impudence/Hate. Also expensive to investigation area scores were the six uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive and the repeated exposure to below-navel skin.

Please be sure to read the listing in the Findings/Scoring section to help you make an informed decision whether to take your kids to see this movie.

SPECIAL NOTE: We will be reducing the volume of coverage in the Summary/Commentary section of our reports in an effort to reduce costs until full funding can be achieved. The Findings/Scoring section of each report, the heart of the analysis model, will NOT be reduced in any way. The only drawbacks I see in temporarily reducing the volume of the Summary/Commentary section will be the inherent reduction of direct Scriptural applications to noted aberrant behaviors and the loss of details about the contribution of the aberrant behaviors to the plot/story, thus lending to potentially increased confusion and loss of quality.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. 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.

  • Luke 16:10 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.
  • Prov. 19:5 A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who pours out lies will not go free.
  • Rom. 3:7 - 8 Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" Why not say -as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say -"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved.
  • Isa. 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.
  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [deilos {di-los'}; timid, cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
  • Prov. 1:10 My son [or daughter], if sinners entice thee, consent thou not. [Teach you daughters to not let those who would have her show so much of her private skin talk her into it]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it]. [I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 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 [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] 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]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    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.


    the Lizzie McGuire Movie (YEAR) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • reckless vehicular endangerment

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • a principal insulting kids, sometimes in an exceptionally ugly manner
  • hateful snobbery, repeatedly
  • adolescent deceit toward fair authority and aiding in deceitful behaviors, repeatedly
  • lies to sneak from under supervision, repeatedly
  • hateful antics of a brother, repeatedly
  • adolescent insult to father
  • lie to cover for another
  • a female principal bursting into a teen boy's room at night

    Sex/Homosexuality (S)
  • stereotype gay presence
  • excessive breast exposure of adolescent
  • exposure of below-navel skin, repeatedly

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • six uses of God's name in vain without the four letter expletive

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • none noted

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    NOTE: While the Summary/Commentary section of these reports is precisely that -- a summary in commentary format which can be and sometimes is subjective, the actual CAP Analysis Model (the Findings/Scoring section) makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse, for manufacture of justification for, or camouflaging of ignominious content or aberrant behavior or imagery with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme/plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example of behavior or thought from the sinful display or of the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. We make no attempt to quantify the "artistic" or "entertainment" value of a movie -- whether a movie has any positive value or "entertainment" value is up to mom/dad. The CAP analysis model is the only known set of tools available to parents and grandparents which give *them* the control they need, bypassing the opinion-based assessment of movies by others and defeating the deceit of those who would say anything to convince their parents otherwise. The model is completely objective to His Word. Our investigation standards are founded in the teachings and expectations of Jesus Christ. If a sinful behavior is portrayed, it is called sinful whether Hollywood tries to make it otherwise. That the sinful behavior is "justified" by some manufactured conditions does not soften nor erase the price of sin. Whether there is application of fantasy "justification" or "redemption" is up to mom/dad.

    "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.

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