Last week I took advantage of a special sale and got a great price on Disc 1 and 2 of What’s in the Bible. I figured that as I watched the DVD’s I’d offer an honest review. I literally sat down last night to watch the first disc even though it’s already been watched. My wife has been keeping a five-year old and one day she popped this DVD in for the 5 year-old boy and my son Titus, a three year-old (almost, he’ll turn three next month). My wife listened to the video as the boys watched and she was concerned that it was WAY over their heads. A few times she asked the five year-old, “Do you still want to watch this?” He said yes, so he kept watching. After the video was over, he had tons of questions. The wheels were turning. I found out later from his Dad that he had more serious questions in the car. Questions like “Dad, what is sin?” and “Do you know about the secret passage to God?” So, without me having watched, I was very encouraged. Any resource that is engaging and causes kids as young as five to ask important questions like these is a great resource in my book. To me, it sounds like a great video to watch with your kids to help navigate these big topics.
So, a few days later, I sat down to watch Disc one for myself. Actually, I sat down to watched it with my son, the almost three year-old. I quickly learned that What’s in the Bible is not for almost three year-olds (or at least mine). After looking at the packaging, I couldn’t find any suggestion of what age What’s in the Bible is for. My son does like Veggie Tales but he didn’t enjoy this. I don’t think it’s the content though, he doesn’t really engage with Jelly Telly either. The only problem I see with this is that a parent might pick this up becasue their kids enjoy Veggie Tales and be disappointed when they don’t like this. But that’s really minor becasue in time, they will probably like this.
If you’ve watched any Jelly Telly, this ties directly into those characters and settings. It’s a little bit of animation with a lot of puppets. In addition, it goes back and fourth to Phil Vischer keeping the content moving along and driving the main points home. If you were expecting Veggie Tales animation, you’ll be a little disappointed at first. I remember having a little of the same feeling when I first saw Jelly Telly, but I get it. Producing this much content on a short time line isn’t realistic for a lot of animation studios. It’s not animation, but everything about it is great. It’s funny, cleaver and well done.
Let me wrap up this review with this. What an undertaking it is to take on a project like this. The first disc is almost an hour long and we essentially covered some important background information and the first 11 chapters of Genesis. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all very good. I’m very glad Phil Vischer is taking this project on and my prayer is that it is wildly successful. In the past, I developed some small group curriculum for 3rd-5th graders that covered a lot of what I watched in this video. Although I’d show this to 3rd-5th graders, I think lower elementary kids would connect with it more. I just think they’ll need to digest it in smaller bites and probably watch segments more than once. I will recommend this DVD to any family and I’d highly encourage parents to watch it with their kids. Not only do I think the parents can help guide their kids, I think parents will be surprised by what they learn.
In all, it’s a great and much needed resource. Buy it and tell your parents to buy it!
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