From the publisher:
The Promise: The Birth of the Messiah is an animated musical celebration of one of the most pivotal events in all human history, the birth of Jesus Christ.
So what did we think? Well, we've watched it a couple times through. The first time, Richard (age 9) spent most of the movie complaining that "they're going to sing again" or "seriously, Mom, do they have to sing everything?" Trina (age 7) loved it, but by the end, she was complaining about the music too. Because her brothers were, she later confessed.This beautifully crafted musical is a faithful adaptation of the birth narrative from the Gospel of Luke in both story and song. The animated production leverages optical motion technology to blend traditional animation techniques with the performance talents of ballet dancers and dramatic stage actors. The result is a unique and worshipful story experience that will inspire audiences young and old for years to come.
I went back and read the accounts of Jesus' early life in Luke, and kept thinking I definitely needed to watch again. And yes, I did.
What was really great was that the kids were able to watch it through that second time through and actually watch instead of complain about "all the singing!" That time through, they were pointing out all kinds of stuff, and I was noticing a whole lot more detail too. Lots of little clues as to how society operated in that time. And of course, I was noticing just how much of the dialog or lyrics came straight out of scripture.
Now, I have to say I didn't really like the way Mary's mother was portrayed. She's a bit of a harpy, and while the idea that she wouldn't believe Mary's report is easy to understand, her snippy, less-than-respectful digs at Mary's father (who does believe his daughter) smack of 20th/21st century feminism. Elizabeth, too, actually.
My big kids complained that Gabriel ought to look more like an angel -- you know, a bit of a glow or something. They didn't complain about the singing. They also appreciated how this really conveyed the conflict and "unbelievableness" of what was occurring. But then the angels appeared to the shepherds, and their response was "Okay, now THAT is more like it!"
Connor (age 16) commented that he really liked how they took words from the Bible and made them into songs. And everyone noticed how Trina has already memorized some of them.
Check out the preview video:
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