The Miracle Maker [DVD]
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This film uses a mix of 3D model and 2D animation to tell the story of Christ through the eyes of a child. In ancient Israel, young Tamar (voiced by Rebecca Callard) meets Jesus (Ralph Fiennes), a carpenter, whose ability to perform miracles and teachings on God draw a band of loyal followers around him. As Jesus' popularity grows, he comes to challenge the authority of the established Judaic religious leaders, who begin to plot his downfall. A distinguished voice cast includes Richard E. Grant as John the Baptist, plus the late Bob Peck and Daniel Massey in their final roles.
This animated feature-length life of Jesus boasts a stellar pedigree. Originally a BBC Wales production, it showcases the voices of some of Britain's finest actors in any medium: Ralph Fiennes as a brooding and humble Jesus, Miranda Richardson as Mary Magdalene, Richard E. Grant as John the Baptist and David Thewlis as Judas. The lovely, flute-heavy score is by Oscar-winner Anne Dudley (The Full Monty). And clearly a lot of expense has gone into the Claymation-like animation. But while it's hard to find fault with the rendering of this familiar story--it is respectful and definitely done, you might say, by the Book--it would have been nice if there had been a tad more joy, if it walked a bit lighter in its sandals. As it is, all the characters seem consistently subdued, whether they are expressing angst, rage, terror or bliss--none of which is helped by the figures' blank-eyed stares (if animators are becoming ever more sophisticated, why can't they get rid of those creepy blank gazes once and for all?). Still, the weight of having such formidable actors play these familiar roles lends the production a certain credibility, and parents looking for good religious videos that won't insult their kids' intelligence will be thrilled. --Anne Hurley
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Top Customer Reviews
The characters are very 3 dimensional and are well rounded. All the main points behind the Gospel message are there. The animation, as with the forerunning TV series "Testament" (regarding 6 different Old Testament stories). Different animation techniques are used to emphasize different parts of the story, and this helps maintain interest. I would thoroughly recommend this to all age groups, and people of all backgrounds: this is an inoffensive and very emotional way of portraying the Gospel. It will be interesting to compare this with the live action film "Passion" which is also being made by Icon productions (Mel Gibsons production company).
I would recommend this to teachers - throw away the text books for one afternoon, and let the kids watch this instead... just before the Good Friday/Easter break. It should make for some good and interesting discussion that will heavily benefit childrens education I am sure.
I don't hesitate in recommending this at all. Snap it up, it's a bargain!
They may be puppets but there's loads going on in their expressions and gestures. Doing a voiceover, could be just doing an voiceover, but these characters are given tremendous life and subtlety by the brilliant cast of actors. I loved Ralph Fiennes and Miranda Richardson's contributions.
The script provides an unusual perspective, and the story only covers aspects of Jesus's life, but there is much humour, warmth and insight. You get the idea of three-dimensional human beings struggling with their lives. The combination of animation and cartoon drawing adds more texture to the story, and the use of flashback is clever.
Watching Lazarus come out of his tomb in his bandages gave me new insight into the story, as did Pilate's worldly cynicism.
I really admire their ability to put genuine comedy into the story and they work towards a powerful statement of Christianity at the end, played out with Anne Dudley's Pie Jesu, which is worth watching the DVD for on its own.
I send a copy of it to all my godchildren.
It remains true to the Gospels without blandly following them and also brings in the view of a child, Tamar, whos miracle blends in beautifully with the flow of the story.
The only thing I wish there had been more of is of emotion in the characters but what there was was well done and at times I forgot I was watching an animation and at times tears did come to my eyes!
Well done! I'd heartily recommend it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought for a friend, but a DVD I know and love well from when it first came out.
I could watch this again and again
very good film, enjoyable and informative. good acting and music, bit of a classic, highly recommend.bbPublished 1 month ago by Greg N.
Had this on video and had been looking to replace it for some timePublished 2 months ago by maggie c61
Arrived rattling around in a broken case. DVD fortunately doesn't appear to be damaged.Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer