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."


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!"


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.


Watch This Review

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

Movie Review

It’s hard to talk about climate change on the big screen without first alluding to the changing climate of Hollywood filmmaking. From Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth to the politically charged disaster flick The Day After Tomorrow, film has become a tool (occasionally a blunt, heavy one) for communicating urgent environmental warnings. Consequently, audiences tempted to drop 10 bucks on cute animals and majestic scenery are asking, "Will I be entertained or chastised?"

Fair question. Parents took their children to see Happy Feet, the fictional story of a misfit, tap-dancing penguin, only to have that animated lark turn dark when it vilified humans for fishing. A few months later, the big-screen documentary Arctic Tale dedicated its final minutes to cute kids suggesting that anyone not driving a hybrid is guilty of killing polar bears. To some, the end justifies the means. To others, it’s high time someone released a jaw-droppingly beautiful nature flick guaranteed to leave us feeling more inspired than browbeaten. If that’s you, Disney’s Earth is the adventure you’ve been waiting for.

Make no mistake, Earth tells us that our planet is heating up. But it does so without any scolding or heavy-handed sermonizing. It would rather blow us away with time-lapse footage of pulsating fungi, flowers bursting open like fireworks, the aurora australis light show, and a colorful forest racing through the four seasons right before our eyes. Elsewhere, predators catch their dinner in super slow motion, and sailfish, dolphins and fur seals dart gracefully through frightened schools of fish like starfighters in a George Lucas-choreographed space battle.

Some of the film’s most memorable shots are taken from the air, capturing the sheer magnitude of sprawling flocks and herds. It’s the rare viewer whose pulse won’t quicken when the camera glides along a gorgeous mountain stream, only to sail suddenly over the precipice of an enormous waterfall. (Note to Disney theme parks: Please, please add that to Soarin’!)

But Earth is more than just a video travelogue filled with gorgeous scenery. The journeys of three families—polar bears, elephants and humpback whales—provide a narrative thread as we follow their annual treks across an ever-changing landscape. Although the whales are beautiful to behold, the elephants and male polar bear supply the greater drama. In fact, after wincing now and then as carnivores subdue innocent-looking prey (wolves isolate a baby caribou; a cheetah chases down a gazelle; 30 lions gang-tackle an adult elephant; a great white shark gobbles up a seal), we’re half-rooting for the exhausted, literally starving polar bear to snag a snack in the form of a young walrus. I’ve never felt that much sympathy for a dominant predator.

Some young children may find those violent scenes disturbing, but their presence gives parents a chance to explain that death is a necessary part of (as narrator James Earl Jones reminds us with Mufasa gravitas) "the circle of life." These beasts are just doing what comes naturally … for survival. Rest assured, there are also plenty of cute baby animals, and any references to the mating rituals that keep the circle going are discreet.

In an era when just about any realistic image can be generated in a computer, it takes this sort of natural beauty and majesty to truly impress us. Which is why it’s a shame that Earth doesn’t give credit where credit is due. Psalm 24:1 reminds us, "The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Yet the Creator of the universe gets no recognition for His handiwork. I can’t say I’m surprised, but I’m still disappointed. So it’s up to us to build that bridge. With our kids. With our friends and neighbors. Because while there’s no mention of any supernatural involvement in nature’s form and function, Earth’s breathtaking photography remains a vibrant testimony to God’s power and creativity.

Positive Elements

Spiritual Content

Sexual Content

Violent Content

Crude or Profane Language

Drug and Alcohol Content

Other Negative Elements


Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews



Readability Age Range



Polar Bears, Elephants and Humpback Whales as Themselves; James Earl Jones as Narrator


Mark Linfield ( )Alastair Fothergill ( )


Walt Disney



Record Label



In Theaters

April 22, 2009

On Video

September 1, 2009

Year Published



Bob Smithouser

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!