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Of all the at-home entertainment now available for cooped-up kids, Christian parents will welcome none as much as Revelation Media’s The Pilgrim’s Progress. The full-length movie is available for free at watchpilgrims.com.
Though faithful to John Bunyan’s 17th-century tale, the film makes a few concessions to modern tastes. It gives Apollyon’s designs to enslave humankind a gothic backstory and mines humor out of sometimes-clueless Christian’s interactions with characters.
More than a few moments delight with ingenuity, as when Christian goes to visit Mr. Legality in the village of Morality. The literal mountain man flings down chiseled tablets engraved with, as we might expect, demands for religious rule-keeping. But he also cleverly mixes in more modern commandments like, “You will not waste one second,” and “Be the best.” In other words, the law of self-empowerment is no less burdensome because of the impossibility of actually keeping it.
A few other scenes show budget constraints, as when Christian battles Apollyon. Something more creative might have looked less like a 1960s Godzilla movie. But these gripes are surprisingly few, given that the film’s financing started on Kickstarter.
The loveliest thing might be the introduction: Irish singer/songwriter Kristyn Getty exhorts us to use our imaginations to connect with our faith through storytelling. It’s a good thing to tell kids we don’t need to fear, though we walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death. It’s a better thing to show them.