Little Bugs Teach Big Lessons
Product Review of Bugtime Adventure Series
By Lisa M. Hendey and Adam P. Hendey
I’m one of those “mean” moms who typically makes her children do “homework” during the summer, convinced that a stretch of close to three months with no pencil in hand will be detrimental to the academic progress my boys have achieved during the school year. This summer however, my sons have negotiated with me to avoid the traditional summer workbooks we’ve used in the past. In their place, the boys are coming up with their own learning activities with the goal of having fun while reinforcing math, language arts, and religious lessons learned during the year.
A newly created animation series by Lightning Bug Flix fits perfectly into the summer agenda around our house – learning laced with laughter, fundamentals featuring fun! My youngest son Adam and I recently took time to enjoy the first in a planned thirteen episode series of DVD productions entitled “Blessing in Disguise: The Joseph Story”. I asked ten year old Adam to join me in a screening and review of this inaugural episode, and was genuinely pleased by Adam’s response to the film. Additionally, I found myself entertained and inspired by this retelling of the biblical account of Joseph.
Lightning Bug Flix lists the following vision at its website:
Lightning Bug Flix is a media production company creating television and home video programming that brings Insight, Inspiration, and Delight to children around the world:
• Inspiration that draws viewers' hearts closer to God;
• Insight that brings a better understanding of God and our relationship to Him;
• Delight that comes from engaging characters and entertaining stories of faith.
As a parent, I’d have to say that “Blessing in Disguise” is a great first step towards meeting this vision. Delightful calypso-style music opens the story, which introduces us to a community of bugs preparing for a big picnic. Interwoven with the tale of Antoni and his friends, we meet Joseph, who is facing an important decision. Both characters have been harmed by loved ones. Joseph, sharing a flashback of his life story with a trusted servant, reflects, “Sometimes even good people do bad things.” Antoni and Joseph both contemplate seeking revenge on those who have harmed them, but end up deciding that “sometimes revenge isn’t so sweet.” Recounting the events which lead him to eventually rule wisely in Egypt, saving his country and even his own family from famine, Joseph declares, “Sometimes the worst of deeds can be a blessing in disguise.”
Adam shared his take on the film:
All the citizens of Buggelsville (bugs, of course) are having a picnic! Antoni the Ant is performing at picnic doing acrobatics when Roderick the Cockroach suddenly makes Antoni do even more tricks (like juggling). Antoni messes up, falls to the ground, deeply humiliated, because everyone is laughing at him (not with him). Meanwhile, back in Egypt, Joseph is telling one of servants about how his brothers had treated him so cruelly. Back down in Buggelsville, Antoni is creating a machine to get back at Roderick. It’s a catapult called “The Rodinator Special”, designed to throw slime at the target. (Antoni’s job is an inventor). While Joseph is forgiving his brothers, Antoni decides to not take his revenge, but instead forgives Roderick. This is why you should watch this movie.
A great comic book accompanies this first episode, reinforcing the biblical and moral concepts presented in the film. The DVD version includes special features and interactive games. With a running time of 25 minutes, “Blessing in Disguise” is a fast paced way to enjoy a little uplifting entertainment without having your child glued to a screen for a couple of hours. Your child will also want to visit www.bugtime.com for more fun and learning adventures. Episode two of the series, “A Giant Problem: The David Story” explores the Old Testament account of David and his battle with Goliath. For more information on the Bugtime Adventures series, visit www.lightningbugflix.com.
Lisa M. Hendey is a mother of two sons, webmaster of numerous web sites, including http://www.catholicmom.com and http://www.christiancoloring.com. For more information, visit her at http://www.LisaHendey.com.