1 Stars Out Of 5
This is One to Throw Back
December 29, 2010
Little Shepherd is the story of a boy struggling with the complexities of growing up, finding courage, and developing faith. Unfortunately, in order to tell the biblical Christmas story -- which doesn't manifest itself until the final seconds of the video -- the storyline utilizes a good deal of sarcasm and negativity by the little shepherd's father and sister; some pretty ruthless fighting, teasing and even theft by the little shepherd's sister; as well as some pretty scary wolves who show up snarling and attempting bodily harm to the sheep and Little Shepherd at intervals throughout the story. The only beacon of light is the grandfather who occasionally attempts to counter all the pessimism by encouraging Little Shepherd to believe the Messiah will come.
Our family was unimpressed and disappointed with this video. Another reviewer stated that the family in the story is so true to life. However, what we saw neither depicted our family dynamics true to life, nor did it leave us with a sense of love, peace, hope or joy. For us, the overbearing tone felt throughout this video was in fact negative. The only biblical content is in the final minutes when the shepherds come to the stable, see the baby Jesus and finally believe. So the ultimate message at the very end is one of joy and hope, however, the method of bringing you there is not particularly enjoyable.
Bottom line: This is not a keeper. The story left our children confused and uninspired. It left my husband and I sad that the plot fell so short of the mark on what COULD have been a really encouraging and uplifting story from a young shepherd's perspective. Furthermore, the wolf scenes are too scary for younger children - during the second appearance of the wolves, our five-year old covered his ears, turned his head away and refused to watch it further; our 3-1/2 year old cried and had nightmares for weeks.
If you are looking for a truly wonderful children's Christmas video, please consider The Very First Noel (CBD# WW901290). It is inspired; musical; funny; sticks to an authentic, biblical storyline; utilizes humor and rhyme; has amazing animation; and is appropriate for all ages, including toddlers and preschoolers. That one is worth its weight in gold!