It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that our world is awash in what’s affectionately become known as content. And whatever sort of content you’re looking for, there’s bound to be some of it out there … somewhere.
But as a parent trying to raise three youngsters in our content-strewn world, I can testify that much—if not most—of what quickly captivates their attention leaves me groaning because it includes, ahem, content that I don’t really want my kids to engage with.
Every now and then, however, something emerges through the saturated fog of entertainment for my kids that gets my attention … in a good way. That happened to me a couple of weeks ago, actually. But even then it took a somewhat providential nudge to get me to give it a shot. I’m glad I did.
As sometimes happens here at Plugged In, I’d received a couple of DVDs in the mail that promptly ended up in my “look at it later” pile. It’s a pile that, to be honest, sometimes doesn’t actually get looked at for long stretches of time. Indeed, a few quality DVDs might still be sitting on that pile even now had Thomas and Julie Boto not come to Focus on the Family (Plugged In’s parent ministry) to meet some of the folks here.
I rendezvoused with the couple to hear about the project they’d help bring to life: Owlegories. It’s a relatively new animated series featuring five young owls learning lessons about the Bible from a wise old professor-type owl. I was impressed with Thomas and Julie’s passion for their project, enough that I picked the DVDs out of my “later” pile, took them home, and watched them with my kids.
I have to confess I’m a bit of cynic sometimes when it comes to Christian entertainment, because it’s often long on good intentions but short on artistic and theological excellence. But I knew within about five minutes of watching the first episode with my family that my curmudgeonly preconceptions were way off the mark with Owlegories.
The short episodes were delightful. Engaging stories and characters got my kids’ attention (even my 9-year-old boy, whom I thought might be too cool for Owlegories school), and I found myself laughing along at some clever winks for adults in the audience. We binged all six episodes (as well as the short, Bible-focused teaching times after each one). And my 5-year-old, especially, has been eager for repeat viewings. Given the competition from some of their favorite Disney Channel offerings, that’s high praise indeed.
Thomas Boto says of the series, “Creating Owlegories has given us the incredible opportunity to share God’s love and His Word with children and families in a very fun and meaningful way.” Owlegories accomplishes those goals effectively—for my family, at least—and prompts a giggle or three along the way, too.
As you probably know, we spend a lot of time here at Plugged In writing reviews of various entertainment offerings that really need to be approached with caution and discernment—and that’s if they should be approached at all. And while no bit of entertainment is ever perfect, Owlegories is, in contrast, one of those rare finds that prompts an unabashed recommendation from me for anyone with young children at home.