This morning, I learned of a new film being released on DVD about the life of Pope John Paul II. The topic of the film is not surprising, as many films and even comics have documented the life of Pope John Paul II, but what is unusual is that this is the first animated portrayal of any Pope’s life.
According to the BBC’s coverage of the cartoon, it is geared particularly toward children. This got me thinking about how like Catholics, Jewish educators can use innovative, and specifically animated, means of reaching unaffiliated and unengaged Jewish families. Of course, there are the typical bible story cartoons shown in Hebrew Schools, but there are also mass market films, such as The Prince of Egypt, that are easily accessible to the general population.
How can we incorporate comics and cartoons into the fabric of Jewish education? Is it by showing the opening sequence of X-Men to open the topic of the Holocaust and using An American Tail to teach about the Jewish immigrant experience? What other ways can you introduce Jewish topics and stories into the discussion in a low-barrier, low-committal fashion?