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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Young Abraham is an animated (CGI) tale that tells the story of the early life of Abraham, the first man the Bible called a prophet. The creators of this short film have used humor, simple language, and an easy-to-follow narrative to make it accessible for young audiences. The primary religious message is that there is only one powerful supreme being (a central precept of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). Young Abraham's mission is to demonstrate and convince his countrymen of this fact and to eliminate the worship of stone idols and multiple gods. Abraham is in danger in some scenes, threatened with capture or death because of his beliefs. Violence includes some mild swordplay and a fall into water. Abraham is thrown into a fire but rescued unharmed. Source material is the Midrash, a post-biblical Hebrew accounting that adds stories and details to the Old Testament.
What's the story?
In the Land of Ur ruled by King Nimrod, YOUNG ABRAHAM is born to Terakh (voiced by Burtt Harris), a respected general, and his wise wife. It's a kingdom in which everyone worships numerous stone gods for all purposes and occasions. Abraham's birth threatens Nimrod when a stargazer foretells that this new child will go against the gods, as well as the king. To protect him, the baby Abraham is sent by his family into the wilderness, where he spends his early years in a cave, protected by a courageous servant woman. Upon his return to Ur as a teen, he masquerades as a janitor in his father's idol store. But because of his conviction that there is only one god, a supreme creator, Abraham reveals his true identity. Once again, Nimrod orders his death, and once again Abraham escapes, this time into the desert, turning the biblical Noah into his mentor. His return to Ur as a young man sets up Abraham's final confrontation with both Nimrod and the idol worshippers.
Is it any good?
Quality animation, comedy designed to amuse kids, and a straightforward story work together to make this short movie engaging and entertaining. Performances are strong all around. Action and suspenseful scenes imply menace more than show it, with the exception of the climactic fire, which may be scary for some but leads to a happy ending. Because the messages and outcomes are based on on principles and beliefs of religious teachings, Young Abraham will appeal most to those families who already share the values expressed.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the humor in Young Abraham. Several of the characters are funny; some dialogue and jokes are more modern than ancient, making them comic. Why do filmmakers add humor to an otherwise serious story?
If you're familiar with biblical stories, where did you first hear, read, or see them on film? Have you noticed that sometimes they change depending on the source material or the person telling the story? Do the messages remain the same? List the other types of tales that may change as they're told over time (for example, legends or folktales).
In this story it's clear that Abraham is a hero because he stood up for what he believed no matter what the risk and no matter how many people disagreed with him. What values (or people) are you willing to stand up for and/or protect despite the consequences?
- On DVD or streaming: April 1, 2011
- Cast: Adam Koren, Tadhg McMahon, Burtt Harris
- Director: Todd Shaffer
- Studio: Big Bang Digital Studios
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Book Characters, Misfits and Underdogs
- Character strengths: Curiosity, Integrity, Perseverance
- Run time: 49 minutes
- MPAA rating: NR
- Last updated: September 20, 2019
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.
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