Using Movies to Teach
Going to the movies as a family today is hard. Before you even get to the issues of time, money, and motivation, you have to discern what’s appropriate for a family to see together.
We’re bombarded with so many messages that are contrary to family and faith when we walk in a movie theater, our tendency is to skip this form of recreation completely.
What if, though, as Christians we redeem those movies that do make the list of family friendly? What if we could use movies to teach in our homeschool?
A look at Smurfs: The Lost Village
from PluggedIn review:
“The past two big-screen Smurf outings carried a relatively high-price-tag combination of live-action and animation. They were Hollywood movie-template concoctions with just enough silly, just enough sweet and just enough kick-’em-in-the-Smurfside snark to supposedly “appeal to the whole family.”
Thankfully, this newest Smurf flick sorta shoves, er, Smurfs that cynical strategy onto the junk heap and goes back to the kid-movie drawing board. Frankly, the Smurfs: The Lost Village‘s creators do something really brave: They make a movie … just for kids.
Yeah, there’s a just a dash of potty humor. But this all-animated kid’s fare never winks at the adults watching. It never splashes viewers with pop-culture gunk or doles out tucked-beneath-the-surface innuendo that it hopes little guys won’t catch. Nope, Smurfs: The Lost Village is a rollicking story aimed exclusively at youngsters.
Don’t be locked into someone else’s label for you, it tells the tykes. Give of yourself, care for others, do your best, and most of all, be there for the ones you love. Why? Well, because those are all the right things to do.
And that’s a pretty Smurftastic set of messages for kids … and for parents, too, come to think of it.”
Redeeming qualities of Smurfs: the Lost Village
Five teachable themes*
- The Source of our Identity. Smurfette must learn who she is in relation to the other Smurfs. In a day when identity is a buzzword, we can ask our children, “Who are you?” and teach them they are God’s handiwork.
- A Servant’s Heart. One way we discover who we are is through serving others. We can ask our children, “How can you serve God to show love?”
- Courage to Act. In a culture that shouts to just “go with the flow” and leave bravery behind, Smurfette is an example of bravery when she sets out to discover what’s beyond their Smurf village. We can encourage our children to follow her lead and remind them of the ordinary men and women of Scripture who did great things.
- Our Past Doesn’t Define Us. Smurfette’s origins want to keep her from acts of bravery and the discovery of who she is. We can use this as a springboard to point to Scripture’s teachings on Grace. We can share the Gospel with our children.
- Loved into Being. The beautiful message of Papa Smurf’s care and love for Smurfette is a redeeming type of love that shows love overcomes evil. We can ask, “How did God love humankind into being?”
My teens and I will be seeing Smurfs: The Lost Village and look forward to the discussion it generates. Let me know what you think when you see it!
*Five teachable themes taken from the Smurfs Discussion Guide made available from Affirm Films.
Smurfs: The Lost Village is a sponsor of the Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network. Disclosure.