Based on the popular TV series, this cartoon rehash of biblical stories may not boast top-flight animation, but it shows flair in dramatizing stories set in ancient times. It’s 64 AD, and Christians in Rome and its provinces are persecuted relentlessly. But even when Roman ruler Nero's temper is at its worst, a band of orphaned believers keeps alive the stories of Jesus's good deeds. Elders like Ben train youngsters like Anna, Justin, Zeck and Marcus to be "story keepers" and tell such tales as Joseph’s courtship of Mary, the Immaculate Conception, The Nativity, the Visit of the Magi and Herod’s slaughter of the Innocents. But the Ben's congregation pay a high price for their beliefs:
To appease Nero, security chief Anihilus, aims a catapult of fire at their hideout without the interference of Centurian Tacticus, who's secretly converted to Christianity, they would have perished. The true believers decamp for Ostia Harbor, hoping to find safe passage out of Roman domination. A wagon guide named Milo keeps the story keepers out of harm’s way, but Anihilus pursues them. Despite their own peril, the young worshipers postpone escape to rescue two lion cubs otherwise destined for a lifetime of eating Christians at the arena. Hoping to protect the safety of the children aboard the getaway boat, Ben and Tacticus disembark in the desert and are captured by Anihilus; now the outnumbered Christian fugitives must try to rescue them without imperiling the youngsters charged with preserving their oral history. Though clearly aimed at bible-studies groups, this cartoon features action-packed escapes through catacombs and forests that little non-believers won't be bored out of their pajamas, the occasional blandly religious tune notwithstanding.
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- Released: 1999
- Rating: NR
- Review: Based on the popular TV series, this cartoon rehash of biblical stories may not boast top-flight animation, but it shows flair in dramatizing stories set in ancient times. It’s 64 AD, and Christians in Rome and its provinces are persecuted relentlessly. Bu… (more)