WHY WE CARE


Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."

YOUR STORIES


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"

SUPPORT THE WORK OF PLUGGED IN

Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

TV Series Review

Dragon Ball Z has replaced Pokémon as the cartoon fad of choice for American kids. But it isn’t a new craze. Akira Toriyama began drawing the Dragon Ball manga (Japanese for "comics") nearly two decades ago. It was quickly turned into anime (a cartoon) for Japanese television in 1986. Nine years later it was dubbed into English and exported to the U.S.

Meandering story lines are byzantine in the extreme. Goku, Gohan, Piccolo, Vegeta and Trunks are but a few of the players woven into nearly infinite realities. Raised by a renowned martial artist, series hero Goku (a Saiyan boy with a tail) sets out on a quest for the seven dragon balls, which can summon a wish-granting dragon. After the dragon is mustered and a petition brought, the balls are again scattered. Grown now with a wife and young boy of his own, Goku and his Superman-like friends serve as planetary saviors and installers of peace through superior firepower.

It takes only a few minutes to deduce that Dragon Ball Z features a lot of fantasy violence. Fists. Swords. Machine guns. Lasers. And when Goku or Vegeta transforms into a Super Saiyan, idle bystanders had better duck and cover. It’s not at all like Clark Kent popping into a phone booth; it’s like a nuclear bomb going off. Perhaps that’s why so many young fans are hooked despite the corny, dubbed dialogue. Viewers fancy themselves to be all-powerful like Goku, at least for a half-hour in imagination land.

Positive lessons do emerge. Goku refuses to kill a scientist destined for evil because he "hasn’t done anything wrong yet." And he’s concerned with the welfare of innocent people. Profanities are rare (one "d--n" slipped into six days worth of back-to-back episodes), but a few sexual innuendoes creep in. Occasionally dark and disturbing spiritual fascinations are also built into the series much as they were in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

Violence has long been the hallmark of Japanese anime and American cartoons. But don’t assume Dragon Ball Z is the modern equivalent of Wile E. Coyote tossing anvils at the Roadrunner. This is heart-pounding, adrenalized mayhem aimed squarely at 10-year-old boys. Think of it as video sugar. Consume too much and children will get sick—and loopy.

Episodes Reviewed: Aug. 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 2001

Advertisement

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements

Conclusion

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles

Profanity/Violence

Kissing/Sex/Homosexuality

Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!