In 1678, John Bunyan penned from his prison cell the allegory ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That Which Is to Come.’ Now Relevant Media and Producer Steve Clearly brings us The Pilgrim’s Progress, a CGI animated feature film.
Christian Pilgrim (Ben Price) hears of one his neighbors fleeing the city he lives in with his wife and family. In his belongings, he stumbles upon a book that tells of the Celestial City, a place of joy and happiness. Upon reading this, a great burden of sorrow grows on his back. Despite pleas from his family and friends, Pilgrim sets out on the journey and along the way meets Evangelist (John Rhys-Davies), who sets him on the Narrow Road, who warns him that his quest is wrought with troubles, but also reward.
This is an excellent adaption of the classic tale. It is certainly a movie that you can take the entire family too. Those are so rare these days. While the film does take certain liberties with the story, it was not to add unnecessary time, instead, it was for clarification since a lot of the story is told through Pilgrim’s inner monologues. This worked to expand on the story and to flesh out the themes of the masterpiece.
The animation is done with CGI that resembles Pixar’s Ratatouille. It did have certain limitations, but I found that it was really well done. Certainly, the character were all designed to the book’s specification, especially Beelzebub and Apollyon. Their designs were well done and brought out the fear that the character was supposed to invoke.
One final note, I want to praise Ben Price’s portrayal of Christian Pilgrim. He really fleshed out the character. When he was worried, you felt concerned. When he was triumphant, you felt his cheer. When he was sad, you felt the sorrow. I always want to give a shoutout to Davies, whose role as Evangelist. He brought that unique gravitas only his voice carries.
Bottom line, The Pilgrim’s Progress is a rare gem. It is a family feature that is neither cheesy nor falls into fleckless platitudes. Instead, it works to bring a classic tale of one man’s quest to find Heaven and peace. I only the filmmakers develop the second part of the story about Pilgrim’s wife Christiana.
FAVORITE QUOTE: Keep that light in your eye and stick towards it.
PARENTAL CONCERN: Some minor violence; some frightening images
Check out the trailer below:
What do you think? Let me know in the comments below. While you are at it, check out my movie review of The Highwaymen and my article about Easter and why we celebrate Ressurection Sunday. Don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe for more posts like this one.