Christian Movie Interviews, News and Reviews

4 Things You’ll Like about the New Pilgrim’s Progress Movie

  • Michael Foust
4 Things You’ll Like about the New <em>Pilgrim’s Progress</em> Movie

The best-selling book of all time is the Bible. The second best? It’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, the 1678 allegorical book by Puritan pastor John Bunyan he began writing while in prison.

It’s been translated into more than 200 languages, but it’s never been made into a movie for a theatrical release. Until now.

A new animated film, The Pilgrim’s Progress, retells the story of Bunyan’s classic in a family-friendly format that adults and children will enjoy.

It will be in theaters two days only, April 18 and 20.

Here are four things you’ll probably like about the film:

Photo courtesy: Revelation Media

1. It’s a Gripping Story about the Christian Life

1. It’s a Gripping Story about the Christian Life

Like the bestseller, The Pilgrim’s Progress film follows a man named Christian as he journeys from the City of Destruction – his home – to the Celestial City. He learned about the Celestial City by reading an unnamed book that foretells of a war that will destroy the region where he lives. 

“We have to get out,” he tells his wife. “It says so in this book… If the city is destroyed, I don’t want you, the children or anyone else for that matter to perish.”

His wife, though, laughs at him, telling him he’s acting like a lunatic. 

“You’re going to have to choose what you want to do,” she says, forcing him to pick between her and his journey.

Christian ultimately travels toward the Celestial City but hopes to return home to retrieve his family.

Photo courtesy: Revelation Media

2. It’s Inspiring and Convicting

2. It’s Inspiring and Convicting

There’s a reason John Bunyan’s classic has remained a bestseller for more than three centuries. It masterfully uses allegory to illustrate spiritual truths. It reminds us to live life with an eternal, not temporal, focus. The movie does the same.   

A man named Evangelist urges Christian to walk toward the light and stay on the straight path. But Christian’s friend Obstinate – who looks like someone named Obstinate – encourages him to stay behind and asks why he would leave his home city. 

“Because it pales by comparison to all that the king of the Celestial City promises to his subjects – fullness of joy in the presence of the king,” Christian says. “No more sorrow. Streets paved with gold. The city I leave behind is filled with evil and misery. The city I seek is all goodness and joy and lasts forever.”

Christian meets helpful friends, too. Like Faithful. 

Of course, Christian faces numerous distractions and pitfalls along the way.

He falls into the Swamp of Despondency and must be rescued. 

He travels through the Worldly Woods and is told the Celestial City king can’t be trusted. 

He stumbles upon the Vanity Fair and rejects every temptation that is offered. When the fair’s occupants ask him what the Celestial City has that they don’t, he responds, “Peace, joy, love, unselfishness, patience, contentment, and a crown that never fades away.”

It’s inspiring and convicting to watch Christian’s determination and perseverance. How many times have I gotten lost in the Wordly Woods? How many times have I stayed too long at the Vanity Fair? 

Our attitude should be that of Christian, who keeps his eyes on the eternal prize.  

“My allegiance is with the celestial king,” he says.

Photo courtesy: Revelation Media

3. It Features Well-Known Talent

3. It Features Well-Known Talent

John Rhys-Davies, best known for his roles in The Lord of the Rings series and two of the Indiana Jones films, plays Evangelist. Ben Price, a comedian and voice actor and a grand finalist on 2011’s Australia’s Got Talent, plays Christian. Christian singer Kristyn Getty, known for her powerful rendition of In Christ Alone (co-written with her husband, Keith), narrates it.

The film’s voice talent is a strength, helping you get lost in the story. 

It was directed by Robert Fernandez, who also has helmed more than a dozen episodes in the Torchlighters Christian history series – one of my favorite animated programs of all time. Read Christian Headlines’ exclusive interview with Fernandez here.

The film’s creator was Steve Cleary, who wrote and produced Tortured for Christ (2018) and founded Revelation Media studio, which makes films for the mission field. 

Cleary wants to translate the film into other languages and donate it to missionaries and underground church leaders around the world. It’s already being translated into Mandarin, Spanish and Farsi.

Photo courtesy: Revelation Media

4. It Makes Sense Even if You’ve Never Read the Book

4. It Makes Sense Even if You’ve Never Read the Book

Don’t worry if you’ve never read the novel or if your children haven’t, either. The movie works just fine as a stand-alone film. 

More than likely, though, the movie’s plot will drive you to the book, and you’ll understand why men like Teddy Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, Ronald Reagan and Charles Spurgeon enjoyed it. 

“Next to the Bible,” Spurgeon once said, “the book I value most is John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress. I believe I have read it through at least a hundred times. It is a volume of which I never seem to tire; and the secret of its freshness is that it is so largely compiled from the Scriptures.”

For theaters: Pilgrims.Movie

Content warnings: ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ is unrated. It contains no coarse language or sexuality. Some scenes may trouble sensitive children, with depictions of Satan-like and dragon-like creatures and bats. Treat it as a PG movie.

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com

Entertainment rating: 4 out of 5 stars. 

Family-friendly rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Photo courtesy: Revelation Media





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