When the wrapping paper dust had settled and the vomit was cleaned up from the carpeting (I know, lovely image) on Christmas day, we settled down for a movie and pizza (well, some of us had pizza) in our living room.
The story of Prince Caspian came to life before us. While it has been a while since I read the whole series through, I enjoyed seeing so many of the familiar characters and places. I know that they left much out, and added some of the predictable Hollywood sensationalism, but I really enjoyed that movie.
We did some looking around on the internet afterwards and also had some meaningful bedtime conversations that night. Of course, Disney had to add their "magic" because they don't grasp the depth of the spiritual truths conveyed in the book. However, even with their touch ups, many Scriptural themes shone through. I did not appreciate the romantic relationship that they developed between Caspian and Susan, culminating with an impulsive kiss at the end, but at least it wasn't a focal point throughout the film.
I wanted to share some of the values that came through that prompted some wonderful conversations with my kids. If you haven't seen the film, some of this may give away the plot, but if you have already read the book you know that in large part anyway.
For a more thorough description of the contents of the film, check out the Plugged In Movie Review. I agree that, "This is not a family film, it is a war movie." However, it wasn't a bloody film for the most and the scariest scene was the evil hag and werewolf (at least for my kids). I would be cautious showing this to kids under eight years old, and of course each family needs to determine what is best for their family.
So many verses came to mind during the film and we talked about each of these. Psalm 127:1 came through clearly,
"Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain."
When they attempted to go out on their own they met with terrible defeat and calamity. Kids have an amazing insight into faith. Until you discuss faith with a child I think it is difficult to fully grasp. They trust so unreservedly. Life is so black and white. We get so lost in the muddled up world and forget how simple faith can really be. Simply trust Him.
At one point in the movie Lucy sees Aslan, but the others don't. She steps away from her faith and goes with the "crowd." That is a challenging lesson to learn. So often people and situations can cause us to doubt what we really know. I did not shy away from challenging my kids on this point (and myself). If God clearly says something, nothing should tear us away from that. I was reading recently about how little we talk to our kids about spiritual warfare. They end up thinking the Christian life is just personal choice, not recognizing the great battle for their soul that has and is taking place. This movie reminded me in a vivid way that we are at war. As much as we are blind to it as we go about our seemingly ordinary lives, we must put our armor on daily and prepare to fight and defend.
Lucy's faith paints a beautiful picture later in the film as well when the battle rages just at the edge of the woods she sits in the quiet with Aslan. What a perfect picture of the peace that God shelters us with in the midst of life's storms and battles. I prayed that night that my children would know God's peace.
One more. As the battle raged the trees came to life and fought the battle. The river rose up and destroyed the enemy's bridge and their forces. I thought about how God has authority over all nature. Everything is at His disposal. He has complete sovereign control over the universe, over the wind and the waves. We don't ever need to doubt. No matter how insurmountable the odds, He will overcome.
All things are possible, even for a Hollywood film to praise Him and spark faith building conversations in our home!