The video below is pretty self-explanatory. The soundtrack is taken from Campus Crusade’s Jesus (1979), but the animatics are brand new.
Click here if the video file above doesn’t play properly.
Matt Page has some good thoughts on this new project, and some good links as well. I agree with him that it might be just as well if the filmmakers started from scratch and re-recorded all the dialogue.
I also think that animated films, such as The Miracle Maker (2000), can be an especially interesting way to tell the story of Jesus, since they are capable of some of the same artistic abstractions that you see in traditional icons, which in some ways may be more preferable than the “realism” that people tend to expect from live-action films.
The makers of the original Campus Crusade film, in particular, prided themselves on getting ethnically accurate actors and on shooting the film on location and on making sure that they did not film certain plants that were introduced to Israel in recent years, etc., etc. An opening voice-over even calls the film a “documentary”. But after a while, the emphasis on those kinds of details can get a bit distracting — and do we really want to encourage viewers to expect that kind of accuracy?
Better to keep our focus on the essentials — to get bogged down in the truth, rather than the facts, as it were — and animation, like paintings and live theatre, can sometimes be a better way of doing that than cinematography.
I am aware, by the way, that the makers of The Miracle Maker did a fair bit of historical research themselves, to bring their props and things as close as possible to the way things were in first-century Judea. But the style of animation still encourages us to look for something other than documentary-like realism.