The Greatest MIracle
by Phil Boatwright

In limited theatrical release, The Greatest Miracle, distributed by Dos Corazones and from director Bruce Morris (Pocahontas, Hercules), is an animated family drama dealing with three people who have each reached a period of crisis.

Widowed Monica is struggling with being a single parent; Don Chema is a bus driver who learns that his child is terminally ill; and Dona Cata is an elderly woman fearing the end. Soon their lives intermingle when they are guided to a Cathedral for Mass. While there guardian angels remind them of the importance of the Mass and the significance of Christ’s sacrifice. Aimed at the Hispanic community, the production has also been dubbed in English. Check your local theater listings to see if it is playing in your area.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Bent on promoting an understanding of the weekly Mass, it seems directed to those in the Hispanic community. Being Protestant, I found myself lifting an eyebrow occasionally, especially with the inclusion of those struggling in purgatory while the living prayed for their release. There’s no question about it, there are points of conflict between Catholicism and Protestantism. But I think Protestants will do well to view this film because it would cause a dialogue between parent and child and maybe get people to study their own faith more closely.

This film did two things for me. It reminded me of the importance of worship and getting ready for worship. How often have I filled my Sunday morning with busyness and not prepared for the Holy Spirit’s direction during the upcoming church service. By getting in tune with a prayer and meditation, we open our hearts minds and souls to the Holy Spirit’s leading, thereby making the church service more fulfilling. The film lets us know that God wants us to know how much He loves us and His desire for our fellowship.

Secondly, while viewing The Greatest Miracle, a desire came over me to study God’s Word. We each have a Bible, yet so many people leave the reading to their priests or pastors. If you truly want to understand biblical precepts, then daily devotion time is required.

The film may be better appreciated by my Catholic friends, but there is a great deal of scripture quoted and a gentle sincerity in the production that moved me. I will do my best this Sunday, and every day, to open my heart and mind to the love and grace of God and the sacrifice and obedience of Jesus.

Rated PG for subject matter (it contains a sequence featuring demonic creatures bent on distracting worshippers; this sequence may be disturbing for little ones, as might the brief sequence showing people trying to climb out of Purgatory; there are a couple of uses of the expression, “Oh my God,” but nothing is meant to be irreverent in this production, quite the opposite).

As a DVD alternative, there is another animated film that beautifully presents the story of Christ: The Miracle Maker. With the use of claymation and graphically striking two-dimensional animation, ABC brought the story of Jesus to television Easter Sunday, 2000. As a sick little girl encounters Jesus through different stages of His life, we are given a remarkably accurate retelling of Christ’s ministry. You might want to contact your local Christian bookstore or go on line to find where it can be purchased. Using disciplined and textured voices, an emotional score by Oscar-winner Anne Dudley, and state-of-the-art production values, this is an entertaining, inspirational, and very well told version of the life of Christ.