DVD Review: "What's in the Bible" from Phil Vischer

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Phil Vischer is back with new DVD series for Christian kids, but is this something your family should buy? Can these videos really teach kids about the Bible? Keep reading my review to find out more.
Our regular readers will know that I’ve had mixed opinions about Veggie Tales. On one level I loved them for their kid-safe entertainment value. On another level I’ve always wished they would point kids more to Jesus and the Bible. Apparently Phil Vischer (the creator of Veggie Tales) had some of the same conflict in his heart. Check out our interview with Phil Vischer to learn more.
His new project is different in many ways but has similar goals. Phil wants to help media saturated kids learn about God. “What’s in the Bible?” is a new DVD series being published by Tyndale House. They were kind enough to send me a free copy to review. Here are my thoughts on the new “What’s in the Bible?” DVD series from Phil Vischer.  For more information be sure to check out their official website.

Great Big Audacious Goal

Can these DVDs fulfill their potential? One thing I’ve always loved about Phil Vischer is his ambitious dreams. “What’s in the Bible?” may be the most impressive to date. This series aims to bring back Biblical literacy to a generation of kids overloaded by technology. When complete, these DVDs will provide children a comprehensive overview of the Bible. After watching the sample disc, I think he might be able to make it happen.

Excellent Presentation

Will kids enjoy these videos? When working with children, you know that presentation matters. I was very impressed with the creativity and professionalism of these videos. At first, I wondered if puppets would have the same appeal as digital animation, but “What’s in the Bible?” proves that puppets are still a relevant genre of kids entertainment. I love the characters, the humor, and the creative variety.

Excellent Content

Will these videos teach Bible background? I was most impressed with how this series was able to communicate important information about the Bible. Tricky concepts like the canon of scripture were handled with accuracy and in a kid friendly language. “What’s in the Bible?” does a great job of defining new words and concepts for children. This series will be a powerful tool for helping kids understand the Bible and what it’s all about.

Suggested Use

Who will use these videos? This resource will find a ready place in our family DVD collection. The entertainment value will keep children interested for multiple viewings. I could imagine families watching them together and grown-ups learning just as much as their kids. Some churches might find it useful in a smaller group setting, but the depth of content really requires multiple viewings for full effect. “What’s in the Bible?” would be a powerful tool for families who are becoming more serious about family devotions. This DVD series might also find a niche among home-school families as a supplement to their Bible curriculum.

Some Concerns

My main concern is about the depth of content in each video. Maybe I have internalized the low expectations of our culture, but I suspect that a few of our more media-saturated kids would sniff out the educational purpose behind these videos. That is not a flaw in the videos, but a reality of the generation God is calling us to serve.
My second concern was with some of the character voices. There were points were I could not follow the dialog. Some of this was the funny voices and some was likely due to the early stage of production. I expect they will have those issues resolved before the final product is available in March 2010.

Watch My Video Review

In just over two minutes I explain what I like about these videos and some ways I would recommend using it. Watch it here or check out my What’s in the Bible review on YouTube.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrA2w_m88bw

What’s in the Bible DVD Preview

Some Related Articles Then check out our review of the Veggie Tales DVD library or read my thoughts on using Veggie Tales in church.

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