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Movie Review

Delgo

MPAA Rating: PG for sequences of fantasy action violence.

Reviewed by: Angela Bowman
CONTRIBUTOR

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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Kids, Family
Genre:
Animation, Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy, Romance
Length:
1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release:
2008
USA Release:
December 12, 2008 (wide—1,800 theaters)
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Magic in the Bible

Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.
Featuring: Voices of Anne Bancroft, Val Kilmer, Freddie Prinze Jr., Jennifer Love Hewitt, Chris Kattan, Kelly Ripa, Eric Idle, Michael Clarke Duncan, Louis Gossett Jr., Malcolm McDowell, Burt Reynolds, Brad Abrell, Johann Benét, Sally Kellerman, Melissa McBride, Mary Matilyn Mouser, Jed Rhein
Director: Marc F. Adler, Jason Maurer
Producer: Electric Eye Entertainment Corporation, Fathom Studios, Marc F. Adler, Wenden Baldwin, Jennifer A. Jones
Distributor: Freestyle Releasing

“In a divided land, a troubled youth and some unlikely friends must save the world from itself.”

Delgo is an animated tale of the feuding Lockni and Nohrin; two unusual groups of creatures who are at odds with each other due to their warring history. For years the conflict, while unresolved, remained quiet, however due to an incident involving the Nohrin princess (Kyla, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt) and Lockni youth (Delgo, played by Freddie Prinze Jr.), it is brought to the surface and further escalated when Princess Kyla is kidnapped.

Delgo, who realizes he is in love with the Princess, and his friend Filo (Chris Kattan) team up with a Nohrin commander turned outcast, Bogardus (Val Kilmer) to save Princess Kyla and uncover the truth behind her kidnapping and eventually attempting to bring peace to the Lockni and Nohrin.

I have to say that the first thing about Delgo that caught my eye was the all-star cast. In addition to the two main characters, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Jennifer Love Hewitt, are the impressive Val Kilmer, Anne Bancroft, Malcolm McDowell, Michael Clarke Duncan, and Louis Gossett Jr. just to name a few.

“Delgo” is also the final work of Anne Bancroft, who passed away in 2005 and is honored at the end of the film. With so many famous voices, I expected Delgo to be a superior work, so it is quite possible that I would have thought more of the film had I not gone in with such high expectations, however that aside, there are still issues with Delgo that parents should know prior to viewing this film.

From a Christian standpoint, the biggest problem with “Delgo” is the heart of the Lockni people, their “religion.” The Lockni are ruled by a Sage Counsel, and as part of their culture, learn to control stones to make them move, by being one with the stones. Delgo is taught to feel the pulse of the stone, that controlling the stone is a path to a higher goal to learn about himself, that to control the stone he must let go. Elder Marley, in the Lockni sanctuary, is shown in a meditative-like state that, along with his teachings, makes him appear to be something like a Buddhist monk. The Lockni are also referred to as “charlatan magicians” by the Nohrin. While many fairy tales contain the use ofmagic, the “magic” of the Lockni is too similar to New Age and Eastern religions to be considered harmless. There are some truths and lessons in the Elder’s teachings, however this is the danger in false religions, that they do have some truth in them as to make them seem right and/or harmless. Proverbs 14:12 and 16:25 say that “there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to death.” 1 Peter 5:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:21 tells us to “be alert” and to “test all things and hold on to that which is true.”

The other issue with “Delgo” would be the violence and the frightening “evil” creatures. The physical appearance of some of the creatures has the potential to scare young children and there is quite a bit of violence for a children’s/family film; poisoning, stabbing with swords and arrows, war, murder and death, there is also a scene in which the wings of a creature are to be cut off and a creature is wielding a handsaw for the action. While it isn’t gruesome, I would still advise parents of young children to use caution. Some other instances of note are gambling (this is shown as being negative for one creature but not for all), belching, a character being shot in the behind, one character is called a “wuss,” and a pet creature urinating in an inappropriate place (as if it would have been appropriate in any place).

The positives, along with the skill of the artists, animators and actors, would be the messages of peace and acceptance. The Lockni and Nohrin are two different creatures who have prejudices against each other, we are taught not to judge people by their appearance or by the actions of their kind. Delgo holds a grudge against the Nohrin people for the wrong that a few did to him and must learn to let go of that (in this case, letting go is a positive thing). That you can’t change the past but that you can learn from it, to be merciful rather than vengeful. Another point that I thought would be made was that the Nohrins were originally forced to find a new place to live because they had depleted their land. As so many in Hollywood are “Earth conscience,” I thought this would be another lesson, however it is only mentioned once at the beginning of the film, and nothing came of it.

Overall, while Delgo did have some redeeming qualities, they were not enough, and I don’t feel comfortable recommending this film. Take the kids to see “Bolt” instead.

Violence: Mild / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments from young people
Neutral—I have to admit “Delgo” was not my favorite movie to watch, but was interesting. The magic stones are what seemed to be the the main Christian offense. However, I believe another way of looking at them is being symbolic for using our heart and mind to subdue tough goals in life.

This movie I believe was on the brink of gaining a PG-13 rating due to its constant violence and scary creatures. I expected more from watching “Delgo”. The humor in the movie did not really make itself clear. Some like myself might agree that “Delgo” could be a boring movie except for the fact there was lots of peril and battle scenes in between. There are a couple good things I did find in “Delgo”.

1. “We cannot change the past, but we can choose what we learn from it.”

2. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves(not said in movie, but was implied that it was the best thing to do).

So, those are some good lessons to learn from it. You decide.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Emily, age 11 (USA)
Movie Critics
…Though its visuals are not as impressive as those of major production companies (read: Pixar), they’re pleasing nonetheless. …Delgo’s somewhat involved plot offers a pleasant message of peace, racial equality and courage. …
—Meredith Whitmore, Plugged In
…a deeply unattractive animated feature. …
—Kyle Smith, New York Post
…Cheap-looking animated thriller ‘Delgo’ barely gets off the ground. … excruciating soundtrack… The animation is very stilted and gives new meaning to the words “wooden acting.” When the characters speak, they look like puppets. The big battle scenes are instances of the crudest CGI.
—Susan Walker, Toronto Star
…A fantasy world not worth entering… the story is tedious, noisy and banal. It is also rather dark and convoluted for children…
—Claudia Puig, USA Today
…Strong New Age, slightly mixed pagan worldview in the STAR WARS vein, with light redemptive, moral elements… not for younger children. …
—Movieguide