Just because my kids aren’t little anymore doesn’t stop me from going to movies made for kids. Last weekend I saw The Kid Who Would be King, where the main hero was 12 years old and the only adults who got to see any action were Rebecca Ferguson, playing Morgana, and Sir Patrick Stewart, playing Merlin. The plot was straight-forward—bullied, insecure Alex pulls a sword from a broken wall in a construction site and discovers that the sword is King Arthur’s Excalibur, a rather comical Merlin shows up to tell him it’s his destiny to destroy Arthur’s long-imprisoned half-sister Morgana before she can take over the world, Alex brings together his friends and enemies to fight Morgana, and he learns much about himself in the process.
The battle scenes at Alex’s school are pretty funny with a crowd of young students, outfitted with swords, shields, and pieces of armor, fighting undead warriors with whatever tools they can find—including their teachers’ cars. The only people who can see what’s happening are those who have been knighted by Alex, and he conveniently forgets about all the adults at the school and in the town when he chooses his army. But it’s a kid’s movie, meant to inspire kids that they can be heroes too, and having adults interfering in the battle plan just wouldn’t do.
At one point in the movie, a discouraged Alex thinks he needs to grow up and stop believing in fairy tales. Luckily, he changes his mind and regains his nerve, or the movie would have had a very sad ending. But for many people, believing that kids can do anything to change their world is just a fairy tale; to think that any person can stand up for what’s right and actually make a difference is a fairy tale. But that’s why we need fairy tales and fantasy stories and kids’ movies like The Kid Who Would be King—so we can dare to believe and dare to make a difference.
I have always loved fantasy stories. Heroes with special abilities fighting supernatural bad guys. Characters from different backgrounds drawn together against a common enemy. Choices between taking a risk or playing it safe, sacrifice or surrender, bowing to evil or standing up to it. Those are my favorite tales. And I didn’t stop loving them when I grew “too old for fairy tales.”
Stories like these have played a special part in my life, and I hope they always will. Reading about orcs and elves or watching superheroes battle alien monsters brings out the kid in me. It reminds me that there are mysteries in our universe and forces we cannot see or fully understand. There is an epic story being acted out all around us, a story written by the loving creator of the universe. Sometimes it takes the eyes of a child to see that.
So be a kid. Believe. Join the story. You’re never to old to have a part.
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Stories are a metaphor for life. That's a deep way of saying we can learn life lessons from stories we read or watch on stage or on big or small screens. When viewed through a Christian worldview, even secular films and books can tell us something about our Christian walk. Here you will find a collection of blog posts with lessons I have learned from stories. I hope you enjoy them!