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

It's not Ronja's fault she's a robber's daughter.

Born on a stormy, harpy-filled night, Ronja instantly becomes the greatest treasure in Mattis' band of thieves … and the only treasure they didn't steal. And while Mattis and his swarthy bunch of bandits have their faults—plenty of them, truth be told—they're the closest thing Ronja's got to role models. In fact, living as they do in the wilds of a magical, mystical, Scandinavia, they're the only real people Ronja knows.

Well, unless you count that rival gang of bandits across the way as people. Mattis sure doesn't.

A Swedish-Japanese-British Import

Amazon's Ronja, the Robber's Daughter is about as multinational as a project gets.

The story was the creation of Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren (she of Pippi Longstocking fame), and it was published in 1981. After being translated into 39 different languages, the fantastical tale made its way to Japan's Polygon Pictures and Studio Ghibli, the latter outfit noted for such anime classics as Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. A 26-episode series played in Japan in 2014 before moving west, where it was dubbed over with a cast of British actors (including Gillian Anderson) and, finally, scrolled out to audiences stateside in early 2017.

Watching this series, it's easy to see why the story has proven to be so durable and, in its own way, universal.

Ronja's childhood is filled with both fairy tale wonder and terror, living as she does in a castle torn in two (by a lightning bolt on the day of her birth) in an enchanted forest filled with dwarves and harpies. It's the stuff of bedtime stories, and has been for centuries.

But this story's also an interesting exploration of growing up, of what happens when you realize you don't necessarily embrace—or even agree with—everything your parents do. Because while Ronja loves her pops, she realizes that being a robber isn't necessarily the best career choice. Even though she'll be expected to lead this band of bandits eventually, she's not so sure she wants to. And she deplores Mattis' unreasoning prejudice against the band of brigands (led by a guy named Borka) who come to live in the castle's other half.

That leads, however, to one of the story's narrative sticking points.

Not Perfect. But Not Bad, Either.

If the series follows the story—and it seems to be fairly faithful to it thus far—Ronja will strike up a friendship with Borka's son, Birk. But the platonic relationship has a forbidden, platonic Romeo and Juliet tang to it, given the hatred that Mattis and Borka have for one another and the antipathy for which their respective gangs hold each other. So the two children keep their relationship a secret and, eventually, they run off into the woods together for another series of adventures.

Now in the context of the story, we know that Ronja and Birk are often more mature than the adults in their lives are. Still, enterprising and creative children viewing the show may sometimes long to extrapolate those plot points in their own lives. It's one thing to run away into a forest with someone your parents despise in a fantastic fable. It's quite another to do so in real life. So while these narrative issues are navigable, they may require discussion about why some of Ronja's choices aren't meant to be imitated.

Also of note: Amazon's animated tale occasionally dips into some mild content issues beyond Mattis' obviously problematic career track. We're exposed to a bit of bathroom humor, and it's suggested that Mattis and his compatriots like a bit of grog now and then. And, as mentioned, Ronja's world is filled with magical beings from Scandinavian folklore, including nasty harpies and trolls.

But those are niggling concerns for this sometimes strange but often thoughtful adventure story, one that gives us a heroine that not only is winsome and brave, but really concerned about doing the right thing.

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

Ronja, the Robber's Daughter: Jan. 26, 2017 "Born in the Storm"

Credits

Rating

Readability Age Range

Author

Cast

Voices of Gillian Anderson as the Narrator; Teresa Gallagher as Ronja; Rufus Hound as Mattis; Rasmus Hardiker as Fjosok; Giles New as Lill-Klippen; Bob Golding as Borka; Adrian Edmonson as Noodle Pete; Kelly Adams as Birk; Morwenna Banks as Lovis

Director

Distributor

Network

Amazon

Performance

Record Label

Platform

Publisher

Released

On Video

Year Published

Awards

Reviewer

Paul Asay

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!