Miracle Maker, the
G
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: +3 1/2

The Biblical account of Jesus time on earth has been put on film many times with mixed measures of Biblical and historical accuracy. But in this newest animated effort from Britain, the story is told using the three dimensional aspects of Claymation, with some traditional animation mixed in. The story begins with Tamar (voice of Rebecca Callard), a sick young girl and the daughter of Jairus (William Hurt). As in the Biblical account, Jairus eventually comes to Jesus (Ralph Fiennes) to ask for his daughters healing. But, since the little girl dies while Jairus is out, Jesus instead raises her from the dead. The story also follows Jesus as he is baptized, gathers his disciples, and counters the influence of the leading Jews of the time. And of course, the Christ is eventually betrayed and arrested for his radical teachings. Only then does his greatness become apparent to so many, as he is crucified but later rises from the dead. Often called The Greatest Story Ever Told, the story and its power are evident several times throughout the film. Those unfamiliar with Claymation may find it difficult to get used to at first but quickly adapt as the film proceeds. Originally released in movie theaters throughout England, this animated Gospel is quite enjoyable and often funny as well as inspirational, so be sure to catch it when it airs Easter Sunday (on ABC, 7-9pm EDT).

One only has to remember NBCs version of Noah to question the Biblical accuracy of recent TV movies. Fortunately, with this film, while there are some fictional characters written in to fill out the story, the main body remains true to the Bible narrative. Jesus is clearly portrayed as God incarnate who forgives sins. He performs several miracles, which are clearly portrayed as supernatural acts of God. Several parables are also depicted on the screen, and the visual nature of film really helps grasp what Jesus was saying in his teaching. So, when He compares the houses built on sand and on stone in Matthew 7, viewers see not only is the stone more solid, but building a house on a foundation of stone is much less difficult than building on sand. Several scenes involve a demon-possessed woman and they tend to be scary, so parents with young children may be wary here. Although strong images of the crucifixion are shown, violent scenes tend to be mildly depicted. The tremendous accuracy to the Biblical text combined with the visual enhancement as the Bible scenes come alive make this a must see for people everywhere.

Preview Reviewer: John Adair
Distributor: ABC-TV

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: None
Violence: Few times - Moderate (mans ear cut off, people pushed, Jesus crucified)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Strong Biblical accuracy throughout; scary and intense scenes involving a woman possessed by demons
Running Time: 90 minutes
Intended Audience: Age 9 and up

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