Testament: The Bible in Animation (1996– )

TV Series   |  TV-G   |  Animation, Drama


Episode Guide
Testament: The Bible in Animation (1996) Poster

Stories from the Bible are interpreted in different styles of animation.


7.6/10
96

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18 February 2020 | NorthwestPopcornMuncher
9
| Biblical portrayal that gets it right, for once!
Watching through this miniseries, I thought it was going to be like most campy religions cartoons for children, treating the story like a generic fairy tale. Rather, the creators of this series, using many different animation styles, have created a beautifully animated series that portrays the moral complexity of the Old Testament. It's down to earth, not afraid to show terrifying imagery and death.

The most notable episode, in my opinion, was their portrayal of Creation and the Flood. Creation is painted as a beautiful paradise in acrylics, and Satan is portrayed as legitimately creepy and actually persuasive. When man finally sins, the painting of the ideal creation is stripped away, going to a smoother but darker animated style showing death and pain. They also get the idea of "death" correct, portraying it as separation from God, and gives the hope of the gospel. The Noah part of the tale is also excellent. Noah and his family is written with a sense of humanity. Funnily enough, the History Channel "The Bible" show has a similar storytelling format, with Noah telling his family the Creation account. Except, unlike how History Channel butchered Genesis, this one handles it with respect and nuance.

The other episodes would portray characters such as Abraham (another stunning one), Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Elijah, Jonah, and Daniel (from the episodes I could find). The Abraham, Joseph, and Ruth episodes were handled in puppet animation, with was smoothly done. The same style would be used by the same animation company to make "Jesus the Miracle Maker", another spectacular film I recommend to any Christian wishing to see a respectful portrayal of Jesus.

Unfortunately, there are some flaws across the episodes. The Moses episode is particularly weak; it tries some inventive storytelling but the animation is unappealing and comes across as boring. The Daniel episode is distracting with it's foggy watercolor style. The Jonah special's animation is not good, but it does get the villainous and grumpy portrayal of Jonah correct. There is occasionally Biblical inaccuracies in some of these episodes as well, but they get the moral message behind the accounts and are theologically sound (from a Protestant viewpoint anyways), so that saves these episodes.

Overall, a fantastic show. May be a bit traumatizing for children, but if they can handle some scary imagery and violence, I recommend showing this to them for ministry purposes. It's portrayal of the Old Testament is deeper and thoughtful and preaches faith, not spectacle.

Details

Release Date:

16 October 1996

Language

English


Country of Origin

UK

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