It's been a while since I've blogged and now I'm cheating because I'm putting the same post on both of my blogs. :)
My daughters and I watched The Miracle Maker: The Story of Jesus, a 2000 stop-motion animated film. I heard Steven Greydanus of Decent Films rave about it on the radio. Still, I expected a film that was good as a children's animated Bible story. However, It was amazing, both as a film worth watching by anyone, and as a gospel story. Within a couple of minutes I knew it was a drop-your-knitting-and-pay-full-attention type movie.
We watched a beautiful interaction between the adult Jesus and his mother, as well as a couple flashbacks of his birth and childhood. And we got to know the little girl whom Jesus brought back to life. A majority of the film is from her point of view. The filmmakers brought scripture to life by adding enough detail that the Gospel became three-dimensional.
I only wish they'd put in every Gospel story, but I guess they had to limit the movie length. But they really could have put Mary and John at the foot of the cross and had Jesus say, "Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother." That wouldn't have taken long. But Jesus does declare Simon Peter the rock on which he'll build His church.
The voice actors were brilliant. My kids were shocked when I told them Ralph Fiennes (the actor they know as Voldemort from the Harry Potter films) played Jesus. They marveled how versatile an actor he is. One of my girls did recognize David Thewlis (Remus from the Potter films) as Judas Iscariot. A couple of the other awesome actors were Ken Stott (who played Balin in The Hobbit) as Peter, and Miranda Richardson (who played Lady Van Tassel in Sleepy Hollow) as Mary Magdalene. But you could really forget that these were actors because of the claymation.
Do check out Steven Greydanus's thorough review to read why he gives The Miracle Maker an A+! It really could be the best movie about Jesus and His Passion.