Well, it's only about 40 days until the new VeggieTales movie hits theaters (check out the new official website here), but lots of Christians are talking about another upcoming film, The Golden Compass, based on Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. Allegedly filled with anti-Christian themes and targeting children, several fans have asked me to comment on the film. Given that I have neither seen the movie nor read the books, any comment I make would be hearsay. But Jeffrey Overstreet at Christianity Today has written a wonderful commentary on the books and Mr. Pullman that you can read here. If you're interested in the books, the film, or the use of film in general to send philosophical messages, check out Jeff's comments.
About The Author
Phil Vischer is an author, speaker, filmmaker, best known as the creator of the children's series VeggieTales. He also hosts the Phil Vischer Podcast and creates teaching resources for families.
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I read the books, and I am very excited about the films. While I am a Christian, all the anger about the movie is ridiculous. I mean, honestly- it only is a movie. If a movie was about a suicidal man, are a bunch of viewers going to kill themselves because he did? No! People go to movies for entertainment, not to have others theological views forced down their throat. So see the movie, and bring your kids- they’re theological views won’t change if they are instilled well enough
myspace.comPhil, I have even more respect for you because of that non-comment on HDM! So many Christians say it’s evil and know virtually nothing about the story.
I had to stand up and clap for that article! I praise God it was written! I’m going to pass it around to my Christian friends, thanks for posting!!
I’ve read HDM, and I’m going to see the movie.
P.S. I recently made a Buck Denver MySpace page, my bro and I are big Jelly News fans!
This is such a hot topic right now! I read the article at CT, and I can totally see the author’s point of view. I shared that point of view when it came to “The DaVinci Code”. It was a well written, fictional book. I obviously found the story to not be in alignment with what I believe, but that was OK. Since I’m an adult and am confident in who I am in Christ. I still can respect a good piece of literature, even if I disagree with the story. Plus, it enabled dialogue about why we believe what we believe. It was a good tool for adults to use with other adults.
As a parent I feel I have to be way more discerning about what my kids watch and read. I guess if they were pre-teen or teenaged, then a good discussion on the themes within a movie or book, like “The Golden Compass” would advantageous. But smaller kids, let’s say 10 or younger, may get confused by themes that go directly against those that they are being taught at home. I believe one way that Satan can get a foot hold into their lives is through ideas presented in ways that on the surface seem benign, but when looked at closer, carry a much more deceiving message.
We can’t deny what Pullman has said about his own beliefs. Ok, now he’s not an Atheist…now’s he’s Agnostic. So now God only “probably” doesn’t exist. As a writer what does that mean? You have always said that you wrote VeggieTales using a Christian Worldview. It’s who you are…everything you do is done and seen through that worldview. What worldview does Pullman use? Especially knowing that his themes deal directly in good and evil and the church and enlightenment and a god in which he himself has described as senile and a liar. Scary stuff with which to fool around.
I am not big on boycotting movies or channels or theme parks. But I can’t see the advantage of exposing my little ones to “The Golden Compass”. Maybe I’ll be proven wrong, and that’s OK. It won’t be the first time.
On a side note….I did go to the movie’s website. Kids can actually find out who their daemon (demon) guide is. I hate to sound like the Church Lady on SNL….but that’s just a door waiting to be opened!
I read the first of the three books as a teenager. I don’t remember clearly that there was anything blatantly anti-christian, but the years can make things fuzzy. I’m looking forward to seeing the films and think they can be an opportunity for open discussion on the issues Pullman is sure to raise.
What anonymous wrote is wrong just because it’s a movie douse not justify that it’s wrong if the books and the movie do inply anti-God then it’s wrong movie or not I’ve never read or seen the movie but I’ve read enough about it it’s like if you went into a movie that openly said their is no God is the movie the movie or not? the point is what we put in our heads is what we’ll think about in our heads
Thanks for this, Phil. It is most balanced perspective I have seen.
u know, i don’t get why some movies revolve around religion. I mean, who wants to make fun of Christianity? I think writers should think twice before they say something false about Jesus. That’s why my dad won’t let me see those kinds of movies, like Evan Almighty. But it makes me more interested to see what the movie is like…….
Thanks for the article, Phil.
Wow, I can’t understand why some are just blowing this off as “it’s only a movie”. Sure, you don’t want to overreact here, but you don’t want to underreact, either. If you are not grounded in the faith, the ideas being presented in these books are incredibly dangerous. Take it from me, someone who was saved as a child, but as a young adult started holding some very un-Christian beliefs.
If you want to go see it, fine. But don’t pretend that the ideas in these books are not dangerous, especially for kids.
Right on Commander Erich!
Well, for one thing, you won`t see me in the movie theater watching The Golden Compass. Like the Apostle Paul said, ‘You say, “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for you. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. ‘ (1 Corin. 6:12 NL) I don`t think this movie will add anythign od value to my life. I`m personally looking for things that have beauty, life, light, and goodness in them. That`s what I demand of my personal art as well. No, I`m not going to boycott it or make a huge deal about it, but I`m simply choosing to stay away from those things that don`t benifit my spiritual walk with God.
I JUST SAW THE TRAILER THAT HAD ARMORED BEARS ATTACKING EACH OTHER, AND IT DID NOT LOOK THAT GOOD. Its the same way with anything else: movies, video games, and all toys. this cool new thing comes out and everyone wants it. But two weeks later it has sunk into semmingly eternal inactivity. I haven’t read the books or anything else about it. But i think its about a compass that see ahead in time.(Tell me if i’m wrong.)
My 12 year old keeps checking back to see if his comment posted. It seems to have dissappeared.
Speaking as a Catholic, _The Golden Compass_ and _The Da Vinci Code_ present an interesting issue in this regard, since the overt stuff is anti-Catholic, specifically.
I can see why many evangelicals might *not* have serious problems with _The Golden Compass_, precisely because it overtly takes on the Catholic Church: the “Magisterium” and their “dogmas”. Similarly, for an evangelical, _The Da Vinci Code_ is an attack on Christ, but perhaps easily ignored. But for a Catholic, _The Da Vinci Code_ is libellous.
It’s ironic, really, since Evangelicals tend to be stereotyped as the ones to “go after” these issues.
Happy new year Phil. (and everybody else at big idea!)
“Rock Monster”, brilliant, I’m a huge B-52’s fan. I think I’m looking forward to the release of “Pirates” more than my kids. Happy New Year to you and your family.
JC, speaking as an evangelical, I do have a serious problem with The Golden Compass and The Da Vinci Code. Evangelicals were all over The Da Vinci Code, I don’t think it was ignored. The Golden Compass, though, kinda flew in under the radar, up until the movie was ready to come out. I told everyone I know about The Golden Compass, and all of them told me they were going to stay away from it.