Jesus Film Project’s Animated Short Film “Legion” Brings Christ to Cultures Desperate for Hope

Do you battle a sinful habit that you just can’t seem to shake? It may seem like a “demon” at times; haunting your steps, waiting to tempt you in times of weakness. If this describes your Christian walk, Legion may be a helpful resource.

Legion is a short film recently released by Jesus Film Project. It’s an animated version of the account recorded in Mark 5 when Jesus heals a man filled with literal demons. Director and former Disney animator Dominic Carola says, “It’s a story that resonates with a lot of people.

“[In] what sometimes seems to be an ever-darkening world, a lot of people are looking for freedom from their own personal demons, whatever they may be.”

Jesus Film Project debuted Legion in 32 languages in April and it’s already gaining global attention. Irv Klaschus, Legion’s producer, indicates the film’s popularity is a good sign. “It really seems to be something that the Lord wanted us to pursue,” Klaschus says.

Cartoons aren’t just for kids

People around the world are desperate for hope, but the Gospel message is sometimes waylaid by media style and cultural differences. Many adults in the U.S. and other Western societies associate cartoons with children’s media, placing a barrier between animated Gospel films and their intended audience.

The Walt Disney Company played a significant role in connecting animation with kids. With roots dating back to 1923, Disney has a long history of animation fame in the U.S. More about that here. Feature-length animated films like The Little MermaidBeauty and the Beast, and Aladdin catapulted Disney to box office fame in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Carola’s portfolio includes The Lion KingPocahontasThe Hunchback of Notre DameMulanLilo & Stitch, and Brother Bear.

The West may be slow to embrace animation as entertainment for all ages, Carola says, but that’s not the case worldwide.

“Animation… is a very globally receptive medium,” Carola explains. “You can go to just about any country, and people are very familiar with animation nowadays.”

As such, Legion holds tremendous potential as a worldwide evangelism tool.

“It definitely is much more globally-receptive because of its medium, and it has global appeal from a visual storytelling standpoint.”

 

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SOURCE: Mission Network News, Katey Hearth