I got an email the other day about a new children’s video called “Lion of Judah”. I checked out the trailer (below) and ordered it. I thought we might be able to use it in our Children’s Church program on Palm Sunday or Easter. All I have to say is, I’m glad I previewed it first. Ugh.
I’ve been on the hunt for quality Christian films for my two year old to watch when she starts begging for the television. Lately, we’ve been filling the screen with The Lion King and Land Before Time, and while I’m a fan of these, I would love to have something with a little more substance. I recently found a few videos from the Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible series and was totally impressed. Perhaps Christian movies have taken a turn for the better.
Apparently not all of them.
Lion of Judah starts with an exceedingly long credit list and goes downhill from there. The actual movie opens with a bunch of barn animals who are dumb, scared, and generally a mess. I thought my life was a disaster. These animals have me beat, by a long shot. They can’t put two and two together and watching their day unfold makes me want to hit my head against the wall.
Surely this will get better, right?
Not unless you’re willing to hang on for a VERY LONG TIME. Thirty-three minutes into the film, and the animals have made it Jerusalem, with no substantial dialogue taking place and barely one reference to anything scriptural. In the streets of Jerusalem, the animals somehow get split up, and the horse ends up in an alley with a couple of mobster crows. Seriously? Is this supposed to be funny? Dramatic? Ugh.
There’s some reference to animals coming down in a sheet (seems very out of context), some dreams, and I just can’t take it anymore. I skip to the next scene.
Fifty minutes into the movie and still nothing substantial has happened. There’s a few jokes. Some references to the “high calling of being a sacrificial animal” and some very vague references to a king who will set people free. There’s a very brief flash back to the manger scene, but unless you’re already very familiar with the Christmas story, it won’t mean much.
An hour and 10 minutes into the thus far un-impressive film and you meet Jesus, the king. He rides in a previously-hard-hearted donkey, flips some tables, and sets the animals free. Oh, all except the little lamb Judah, who actually thinks he’s a lion. If you’ve stuck with the film this long, you’re probably throughly confused, bored, or annoyed. If you’re a kid, you might still be hanging on, but I’m not sure there’s any redeeming value to watching this film.
Anyway, Judah, the lamb is about to be sacrificed (could be a scary scene for little ones) when he is miraculously “set free” by the earthquake that occurs at Jesus’ death. You see Jesus on the cross, then taken down for burial, and then you wait with the animals for 3 days until he raises himself again, without much fanfare, I might add. There’s a touching scene with Jesus hugging the lamb and then little Judah trots home to mom. More pointless dialogue. End movie.
In conclusion, don’t waste your time. Or your kid’s time. Or your Children’s Church time. If you want to do a movie, grab some Greatest Heroes movies. Better yet, check out some of these great ideas from Impress Your Kids to help Easter come to life for your kids!