On April 18, Box Office Mojo reports that “The Jungle Book” remains number one at the box office. “Zootopia” is number five, “Miracles From Heaven” is number eight, and “God’s Not Dead 2” is number ten. “Young Messiah” is still in theaters at number twenty-nine. These movies with fascinating and substantive content, as well as universal appeal, are all top picks for families for the third week of April. These entertaining and captivating movies all present opportunities for edifying follow-up discussions with families and friends on the underlying ideas and philosophies.
Disney’s live-action movie “The Jungle Book” is based on Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” collection of short stories from the late 1800’s that feature three tales about Mowgli, the boy of the jungle. Each story is like a fable with a moral, such as believe in yourself. Common themes in Kipling’s writing are about self-discovery and the nature of the ‘Law.’ In his “The Jungle Book” movie review, Dr. Ted Baehr addresses the film’s theme of the danger of disobeying natural moral law.
Movieguide®, which is singular in addressing the underlying philosophies of movies (and much more), identifies and discusses substantive themes in Disney’s “Zootopia.” Dr. Ted Baehr writes in his review, “ZOOTOPIA has a strong moral worldview with some redemptive elements…” He identifies some of the moral themes: never giving up, perseverance, courage, seeking forgiveness, helping others…seeking truth and justice, and doing the right thing…”
In exclusive interviews with Austin Movie Examiner concerning “Miracles From Heaven,” Jennifer Garner, who plays the lead role of real-life Christy Beam, producers DeVon Franklin and Bishop T.D. Jakes, and members of the Beam Family depicted in the movie share substantive insights about the themes of “Miracles From Heaven” that reveal that the “miracles” in this movie are about positive human transformation in trying times as well about a miraculous physical healing event. This movie picturizes the reality that life involves challenges that require perseverance that can develop endurance, proven character, and ultimately hope. It shows the value of a child’s faith. It displays how in weakness eternal strength can be found.
In an exclusive interview with Austin Movie examiner, Pure Flix CEO and producer of “God’s Not Dead 2” David R. White addresses recent developments with redemptive, faith-based movies that include more substantive content and “higher levels of insight.” “God’s Not Dead 2” deals with freedom of speech and religious liberty issues that have been a part of national debates since the early history of the United States of America. The movie makes a strong case that freedom of speech and religious liberty must still allow for discussing the literature of the Bible and historicity of Jesus Christ in peaceful, educational settings.
All of the top pick movies for the third week of April have timeless themes and universal appeal. In an exclusive interview with Austin Movie Examiner, Cyrus Nowrasteh, writer and director of “The Young Messiah” addresses elements its universal appeal. He discusses the Eastern-sounding music and the careful depictions of Jewish and Roman cultures of the time. He addresses how the movie has broad and cross appeal to people of different faith backgrounds. He shares how Rabbis, for example, who have screened the film have responded enthusiastically to the movie because it authentically depicts a Jewish family. Cyrus explains how Jewish traditions are honored and how authentic, realistic, and cinematographic locations are used. He also tells how this imagined story has broad appeal because it is based on the Bible, histories, and 2000-year-old stories that have come out of Egypt, especially Alexandria, after the Holy Family was there.
Thankfully, in the ongoing Renaissance of artistry and Reformation of content, there are more and more outstanding movies for all ages that are entertaining, edifying, and enlightening with the best of careful artistry and depth of substantive content.