Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Christian news in Birmingham. AL

Max McLean re-tells C.S....

You may not know Max McLean’s face, but you may know his rich,...

Jeremy Camp doesn’t write...

For 20 years, Jeremy Camp’s life has been one of touring and writing...

Minno is the new...

I deleted Disney Plus from my television the other day -- much to...

Newsboys say they will...

Michael Tait says he’s spent most of his life “on the road” while...
HomeEntertainmentMoviesPixar’s ‘Soul’ has multiple...

Pixar’s ‘Soul’ has multiple great messages about life

The phrase “family-friendly” — as every parent knows — is subjective. The film your neighbor says is fine for the children might not be so family-friendly in your home.

Such is the case with the new Pixar movie Soul (PG), which tells the story of a super-talented young musician, Joe, who is on the verge of a big career break when he unexpectedly dies. Joe, though, wasn’t ready to die, so when his soul enters the “Great Beyond” — that’s what it’s called in the movie — he runs back down the eternal staircase and ends up in the “Great Before,” the place where souls get their personalities before going to Earth.

There, in the Great Beyond, Joe is confused for being someone else and is given the job of “mentoring” souls. (Think: Big Brother/Big Sister.) He is paired with a notoriously difficult soul — No. 22 — who has the attitude of a moody teenager and who supposedly made her previous mentor, Mother Teresa, cry.

Joe’s job is to help No. 22 find her “spark” — that is, her talents and goals in life.

The film then takes an even crazier turn during a mishap that places the duo on Earth in the wrong bodies: No. 22 in Joe’s body, and Joe in the body of a cat.

This unfortunate event, though, ends up being a blessing for the duo: No. 22 (Tina Fey) finds her spark and talents, while Joe (Jamie Foxx) — by watching himself interact with others — realizes his life was not meaningless.

The plot, of course, is hogwash from a biblical perspective.

But as a parable about life, Soul can teach moviegoers a lot. Here’s why: Much of the plot takes place not in the Great Beyond or Great Before, but on our planet.
And although Joe’s job is to mentor No 22, she ends up educating him. She teaches him to slow down and enjoy the simple blessings of life — like enjoying a nice walk or a beautiful, blue sky. (She’s thrilled about both.) She helps him appreciate his mother in a way he never had. She (and others) also help Joe discover an important truth that has a biblical foundation: Everyone is unique and special.

Finally, Joe learns that his life’s goal — to play in a well-known band — doesn’t bring true happiness. (After his first show, he tells someone, “I thought it would feel different.”) His barber, Dez, tells Joe he grew up wanting to be a veterinarian. But Dez tells Joe his life as a barber couldn’t be better: “I’m happy as a clam. … I love this job. I get to meet interesting folks like you, make them happy and make them handsome.” The story urges us to be content — a message straight out of Scripture.

To be sure, the message in Soul is incomplete, and Christian parents will need to fill in the blanks. Still, it’s a good conversation-starter about God’s purpose for life.

Soul contains no coarse language, sexuality or violence, yet it’s a mixed bag for families because of its mixed bag of worldviews. After all, “family-friendly” can have different meanings.

Soul launched on Disney Plus on Christmas Day.

Also worth watching this month:

The Last Champion (VOD) — A disgraced athlete returns to his small hometown years after he was stripped of his wrestling gold medal due to drugs. There, he meets an old friend — and her pastor-father — who teaches him about redemption and second chances. Cole Hauser (Yellowstone) stars in the lead role. It’s one of the best family films of the year. Due to minor language (OMG, 2; and a–, 2) and a fight scene, this PG-13 film is best for older children and teens.

Hardy Boys (Hulu) — Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy move to the small town of Bridgeport, Conn., following the surprising death of their mother. There, they discover the truth about their mom’s death and set out to find out who murdered her. The series, based on the books, remains in family-friendly territory, with no sexuality or graphic violence, and only minor language (I caught only a total of two coarse words, h–, after watching multiple episodes.) Due to the plot, this series may be best for older children and teens. Rated TV-PG.

‘The Croods: A New Age’ (Theaters, VOD) — The Croods family meets another family, the modern-living Bettermans, sparking a clash of cultures. It’s a hilarious film with no coarse language and no sexuality (minus the grandma donning a two-piece warrior outfit). It includes a family-centric, Father of the Bride-type plot. The film’s conclusion begs the question: Does every technological advancement make our lives better? Rated PG for peril, action and rude humor.

Real Right Stuff (Disney Plus) — It’s a 90-minute documentary that spotlights the Mercury 7 astronauts — John Glenn among them — who helped America catch the Russians in the Space Race. The film includes radio broadcasts, interviews, home movies and other never-before-seen material. Rated TV-PG.

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Most Popular

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More from Author

- A word from our sponsors -

spot_img

Christians Denounce Greene’s Call for Christian Nationalism

Thousands of Christians in the US signed a petition denouncing a lawmaker's call for Christian nationalism.

Want to Live Longer?

A study reported by The Washington Post notes people with the highest level of optimism live between 11 and 15 percent longer than those with a less optimistic perspective.

Christian Groups Condemn Same-Sex Marriage Bill

More than 80 Christian groups in the US condemned the bill legalizing same-sex marriage. In a letter signed by 83 faith-based groups, it called the Senate to oppose the said bill which they claim is an attack on people of faith.

Ukrainian Kids Attend Bible Camps in Hungary

Ukrainian refugee children have enjoyed Bible camp despite being away from their homeland.

Bible Distribution Grew Despite Pandemic

The United Bible Societies (UBS) announced that around 32.6 million copies of the Bible were distributed in 2021, a 5.5% increase compared to the previous year.

Over 3,000 People Accept Jesus at UK Christian Festival

Festival Manchester, the largest Christian mission in the North West of England, attracted 65,000 people, with more that 3,000 Brits responding to the call of Christ.

8,000 Attend Let Us Worship Event in South Africa

More than 8,000 participants gathered in South Africa on July 9 for the celebration of the second anniversary of the Let Us Worship movement.

Evangelist Torben Søndergaard Detained and Accused of Gun Smuggling

Danish evangelist Torben Søndergaard was arrested and detained on July 4 by Homeland Security for suspicion of "smuggling weapons from Mexico to America."

Pastor Creflo Dollar Takes Back Teachings on Tithing

Televangelist Creflo Dollar issued a challenging statement and claimed that his previous teachings on tithing are wrong.

1,000 Bibles Given at Heavy Metal Fest

A Christian ministry of heavy metal rockers distributed 1,000 Bibles during the biggest rock and metal festival in Europe.

Southern Baptists Discuss Sex Abuse at Annual Assembly

The Southern Baptist Convention voted on June 15 to issue a formal apology to survivors of sexual abuse following a revealing report that the church botched abuse claims and mistreated victims.

Roe v Wade Verdict: Church Divided on Reaction

After almost 50 years, the US Supreme Court made a historic decision and overturned the "Roe v Wade" ruling. Religious Americans are divided with the June 24 outcome and reactions from church leaders ranged from gratefulness and elation to anger and frustration.