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Friends and Heroes DVD (Episodes 1 and 2) Review by Brandi Tesreau

Friends and Heroes LLC
6000 Industrial Drive
Greenville, TX 75402

Looking for Bible-based cartoons that challenge children to exhibit godly character traits? Join 14-year-old Macky and other fictitious friends as they encounter all kinds of adventurous trials and fight for justice against the might of the Roman Empire in this Friends and Heroes DVD.

The setting is Alexandria, Egypt, during the year AD 69. The episodes are jam-packed with action, and even though the scenes take place almost 2000 years ago, children will be drawn to the realistic characters that face the same kinds of problems our own kids are facing today.

Two kinds of animation are used in each saga--cartoon-style 2D for the adventure stories and 3D for the retelling of Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments. My family prefers the 2D style, but overall the animation is of good quality. And using both styles makes for a nice distinction between the cartoon itself and the stories of heroes past.

Two full episodes are on this DVD, and each runs approximately 25 minutes. In episode 1, “The Long Journey,” Macky’s family takes in two refugee girls despite the threat of being discovered by the Romans. As they recall the stories of their ancestors in Daniel and the lion’s den, and in Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish, they learn the value of being brave and helping others in need.

In episode 2, “A Friend in High Places,” Macky saves Portia, a noble Roman girl, from her spooked horse, and they soon become friends. Together, they are able to help Macky’s people by thwarting an evil money-making scheme run by Brutucus and Tobias. As the characters share the Bible stories of Samson and Delilah, and Peter’s friendship with Cornelius, children will learn the importance of obeying God and loving and accepting others.

DVD extras include Macky’s Quizzes, Series 1 Preview, Music Video 1, Episode Previews, Scene Selections, and Production Stills. Special features on this DVD include the Multi Language Version--Ten Languages and Subtitles.

I would recommend Friends and Heroes to families with young, elementary-aged children. It would be great for churches and other Christian groups as well. My 5-year-old daughter recognized these cartoons from church, and she enjoys watching them. My sons, who are 8 and 11, will watch them if they are on but most likely wouldn’t choose to watch them on their own. Overall, though, this is a great family-friendly DVD!

Product review by Brandi Tesreau, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine, LLC, October 2010