I was thinking the other day, “What if Cartoons got Saved?”…actually, many of you probably already know that that is a really fun song by Chris Rice. I won’t deny that the title for the site comes directly from that song, so quick, go buy it before Chris sues me! As for the idea behind this site, it has been years of aching in my heart that has finally made its way out.
I’ve loved animated films since I saw Pinocchio in theaters when I was 4. When I was a teen I often heard from well-meaning Christian adults that “Disney is of the Devil” and that watching movies like The Sword in the Stone would be counted against me on Judgment Day. As I grew up in the Lord and got to know the wonder of the Gospel better, I started to see glimpses of Christ’s story and love all around. Perhaps because of my peculiar love of animation, I really started to see the Gospel in these films and stories. I want to show parents that they do not have to be afraid to let their kids watch fantasy films and magical movies, but to be shrewd and use these wonderful stories as stepping stones to introducing their children to Jesus in a personal way.
If you ask Joseph Campbell, he’ll say that the reason we see elements of Christ in these stories is because Jesus himself is just another iteration of the “Hero with 1000 Faces”, a myth. Interesting theory (if you are willing to ignore the oceans of historical evidence for Christ’s life, death and resurrection), though C. S. Lewis says the reason every story seems to be like Christ’s is because God wrote His story on the hearts of men. When we tell stories, it is part of our heart crying out from our need for a savior, a Hero, a Prince on a white horse… The Prince, Jesus. J. R. R. Tolkien is recorded as being disapproving of Lewis’ overtly making the character of Aslan a representation of Jesus. Couldn’t the same be said of Superman… Sent to Earth from the heavens by his father, humbling himself as Clark Kent while being the greatest among men? Superman even died, convened with his father in Heaven and came back to life!
Was it intentional? Did the writers of Superman say to themselves, “Let’s retell the story of Jesus in this comic!” or did something in them want to tell this story? Either way, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we can SEE the Gospel in it and in every story. So can our children! But in most cases, they won’t know to look unless we give them a little help. We have to give them Kingdom Glasses! But first, we need to put ours on!
C. S. Lewis once received a letter from a concerned mother saying that her son loved Aslan more than Jesus! To which, Lewis responded, “…when he thinks he is loving Aslan, he is really loving Jesus: and perhaps loving Him more than he ever did before.” Jesus is the Hero our kids long for! He is the Prince who saves the day! He is an exciting adventurer and best of all… He is REAL!
As we look at these animated stories, we are able to vividly experience the truths that the Bible teaches us about Jesus in an emotional, exhilarating and funny way. Of course, as you know, Scripture is the only completely honest view of Christ we have; the stories featured on this site are merely going to be a catalyst for Gospel discussion, and we must always stand on Scripture as our foundation (“for the Bible tells me so”). Together, let’s show our kids how awesome, magical, courageous and romantic our Savior really is!