There are many in my adopted hometown and beyond who are wagging their tongues over whether or not this movie is a kid-sized Passion of the Christ. I say, just shut up and enjoy the bloomin' movie! Besides, I think it's got a lot going for it, and I strongly suspect that my good pal, Kiran Shah, is going to steal the thunder from Tilda Swinton's White Witch. They gave Kiran a really cool, long flowing beard, even if they asked him to portray that happenin' little lackey Ginarrbrik, truly a candidate for a top slot as a charter member of Da Bad Guys! And not only that, ya gotta admit that the computer generated effects are mind-boggling!
As for the question of this movie being a miniaturized infomercial for the Christian faith, well, let's put it in this context: until now, independent, low-budget films dealt primarily with faith and values-related issues. In this case, however, for the first time, a major studio backs up the big bucks to boost up the Nazarene's on-screen popularity, but in a way that's less ultragory and more kid-friendly. My question is, is it enjoyable on its own terms as a motion picture? That for me is more paramount a question to determine than whether or not it will succeed or fail at the domestic box-office.
Besides, in 1979, I was lucky enough, as I recall, to have seen the animated version; I suspect that the Internet Movie Database has several discussions about that film. I wonder if there will be those with a fondness or a dislike for that version. I think it is all the more better if we compare this 1979 version with this new 2005 epic.
Oh yeah: there's also some 3-hour thing about this love-struck giant monkey with serious anger issues. Made by some New Zealand guy who did this thing a while back about a buncha short people on a mission to save the world from some gold bauble or something.