As Christians, we teach our children about God by reading his Word, but our biggest influences is our behavior. In the Bible, Jesus gives a parable illustrating the difference between a man who says he won't do the right thing, but then does, and compares him to a man who says he would do the right thing, and then doesn't. Showing that it’s not just our intentions that count, but our actions.
Maleficent, the true villain in this movie, is portrayed as one who could do good but chooses to stay a villain. What kind of message does this send to kids? I think it's pretty obvious. It can be cool - and fun! - to be bad.
The inconsistencies to clear right and wrong in this film can only lead to confusion in children.
Do film makers simply have a fundamental misunderstanding of the cognitive stages of development in children? Nope, I don’t believe that is the case at all. In fact, if you consider the carefully worded and plotted movies they produce with their subtle and not so subtle story lines, they've proven that they understand better than most parents.
Maleficent obscures good and evil as well as the movie’s unfavorable father figure. The politically correct environmentalist themes are very effective at confusing the innocent and confirming the jaded.
For Christians, our identity is a two sided coin. We are saved by grace, seated with Christ on high and sealed. But what we DO bears witness to the grace we've received through Jesus Christ. He has done and continues to do a miraculous work in us. But movies like Maleficent do not stir our children to follow Jesus or do right. If anything, it promotes the opposite.
[**Disclaimer: I believe it's every mother's duty to take a stand against anyone, husband included, when it comes to films where nudity, excess violence, gore, horror, etc are involved. It's the same as protecting a child from an intruder, burglar, predator, etc.]
One of my consistent prayers for my kids has been that the Lord would give them very heavy consciences. That their sense of right and wrong would be so relentless and intense that it would drive their path to the foot of the cross all the days of their lives. That they would see wrong for what it is - sin - and turn away from it. That movies that they see now and when they’re grown would only drive the wedge further into the ground between right and wrong. And they would continually choose right.