Frodo & Harry: Understanding Visual Media and Its Impact on Our Lives

by A. Karen Davis

If you love a good movie, but wonder how to think about it in a Christian fashion, Ted Baehr and Tom Snyder offer significant help by contrasting the Harry Potter movies with The Lord of the Rings. Both men are well qualified to write about how to analyze contemporary movies. They have written MovieGuide: a Family Guide to Movies and Entertainment, as well as other popular media-centered books. Tom Snyder has completed a PhD in film studies.

In a balanced discussion of Harry Potter, the authors show that bravery and courage are important in the story line. They also point out that the practical jokes and curses against a person's enemies "are considered charming and humorous; Harry and his friends continue to lie occasionally to teachers and break school rules; and underage students are allowed to drink a low alcohol beverage called butterbeer." These actions are not morally justifiable. 

At the end of chapter 2, there is a list of 27 excellent questions for children and teens to help them evaluate the Harry Potter movies. For example:

Would you want to live in a world where other people could change your reality?

Would you like to ride a broomstick? What if you fell off at a great height?

Ted Snyder offers four pillars of media literacy that are important to adults who are trying to raise media-savvy children. 

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>Understand the influence of entertainment media.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>Understand your child's cognitive development.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>Understand how the entertainment medium functions and its nature and grammar.

<![if !supportLists]>         <![endif]>Understand your moral and spiritual values and teach them to your children.

A thorough, readable discussion of each pillar helps the reader to gain a foundation for an intelligent response to contemporary media. It is not necessary to agree with every point in this expansive book. The documentation woven through the book will enable the reader to base his conclusions on substantial information.

Target:   Media lovers

Type:     Documentary

Take:      Recommended

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