How to Speak to Your Children About ‘Shazam!’

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Why it is worth speaking about: Although Shazam! aims to be practically nothing far more than a goofy and entertaining superhero blockbuster aimed at younger viewers, there are various overtly Christian themes that offer parents an opening to speak about theological subjects.

Note: The rest of this write-up consists of spoilers. None of the revealed information and facts will lessen your enjoyment of the film, and it will prepare you to have a robust discussion just after seeing it with your youngster.

What it is about: Billy Batson, a 14-year-old foster kid, is selected by the wizard Shazam to be the subsequent “Champion of Eternity” and defender of humanity. By saying the magic word SHAZAM! Billy is transformed into an adult-costumed superhero who has the energy of seven heroes: the wisdom of Solomon, the strength of Hercules, the stamina of Zeus, the courage of Achilles, and the speed of Mercury. (His actual powers incorporate bulletproof skin, super speed and strength, and the capability to fly and shoot lightning from his fingers.)

Demons referred to as the Seven Deadly Sins inform Thaddeus Sivana, who is bitter more than not getting selected as the champion 40 years earlier, that if he kills Billy/Shazam he’ll obtain further energy.

Only by discovering he wants to cease focusing on himself and use the energy of his foster household is Billy in a position to defeat Sivana and the Sins.

Ideas and Characters You Have to have to Know

To help in your discussion, right here are the characters you have to have to know.

The Superheroes

Billy Batson/Shazam (Asher Angel/Zachary Levi) — The superhero alter ego of Billy Batson.

The Shazam householdClose to the finish of the film, all of Billy’s foster siblings obtain equivalent superpowers.

The Villains

Dr. Thaddeus Sivana — As a boy Sivana was summoned by the wizard Shazam (Djimon Hounsou), but was not selected mainly because he was not “pure of heart.” He as an alternative decides to obtain energy via evil indicates.

The Seven Deadly Sins — The Sins are a group of ancient, potent demons that represent the worst elements of human behavior: Pride, Envy, Greed, Wrath, Sloth, Gluttony, and Lust. These demons have the energy to take manage of people’s bodies, forcing them to indulge in the sins they represent. At the starting of the film, the Sins are imprisoned in seven stone statues at the Rock of Eternity. Sivana frees them, and when they are place in the Eye of Sins (which replaces Sivana’s ideal eye), it offers the mad scientist the very same powers as Shazam. When the demons are released to fight individually, even though, Sivana loses his powers.

The Supporting Roles

Frederick “Freddy” Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) — Billy’s foster brother and sidekick. Disabled, nerdy, and lonely, Freddy desires to develop into a superhero as well (which he at some point does).

Billy’s other foster siblings — Mary Bromfield (Grace Fulton), Pedro Peña (Jovan Armand), Eugene Choi (Ian Chen), and Darla Dudley (Faithe Herman).

Billy’s foster parents — Victor (Cooper Andrews) and Rosa Vasquez (Marta Milans).

Speaking Points and Discussion Concerns

Purity of Heart — Billy is selected to be champion mainly because he is supposedly “pure of heart.” But all through the initial half of the film we see him acting in a way that does not appear pure. Getting pure of heart can not imply getting with out sin or never ever carrying out something incorrect, given that Jesus mentioned: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Matt. five:eight). Speak to your youngster about Psalm 24:3–4 and what it indicates to be pure of heart. As John Piper explains:

You can see what David indicates by a “pure heart” in the phrases that adhere to it. A pure heart is a heart that has practically nothing to do with falsehood. It is painstakingly truthful and no cost from deceitfulness. Deceit is what you do when you will two factors, not a single factor. You will to do a single factor and you will that persons feel you are carrying out one more. You will to really feel a single factor and you will that persons feel you are feeling one more. That is impurity of heart. Purity of heart is to will a single factor, namely, to “seek the face of the LORD” (Ps. 24:six).

The Deadliness of Sin — Since the most important villains are demons who embody the seven deadly sins, it can offer an chance to talk about the subject in a exceptional way.

For younger youngsters, here’s a useful and easy definition of sin: “Doing factors our way as an alternative of God’s way.” Stroll them via many Bible stories—starting with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—to show that carrying out factors our way as an alternative of God’s way hurts and angers him, separates us from him, and leads to damaging consequences, which includes death. Clarify that Jesus died to take away the worst effects (our eternal separation from God), and that if we adore Jesus, we will prevent carrying out factors our way and as an alternative strive to do factors God’s way.

When the list of the “seven deadly sins”—pride, envy, greed, anger, sloth, gluttony, and lust—is not discovered in the Bible, Christians have discovered these are the ones we have a tendency to struggle against the most. Clarify what the terms imply and ask your youngster to feel of an instance of every single.

Overcoming the Sins — Billy is provided unique energy that makes it possible for him to overcome the Sins. By the finish of the film, the demons are recaptured and as soon as once more imprisoned. Clarify how we, relying on Jesus and filled with the energy of the Holy Spirit, are provided equivalent capability to fight against sin in our personal life.

In the Bible, Paul says that mainly because we are produced alive in Christ, we are to place sin to death (Col. three:five). Placing sin to death is consequently a each day job for all believers. As the Puritan John Owen famously mentioned, “Be generally at it when you reside cease not a day from this function. Be killing sin or it will be killing you.” But sin in our lives, like in the film, is a monster that is constantly defeated and however has the prospective to return time and time once more. Clarify that rather than “killing sin” as soon as and for all, we must—with the Holy Spirit’s help—continue to overcome its energy all through our lives.

The Significance of Family members — Billy keeps operating away from foster properties mainly because he’s browsing for his birth mother. When he finds her, on the other hand, he learns she abandoned him intentionally. This leads Billy to comprehend that he’s not alone he has currently has a household who loves him. Ask your youngster how Billy alterations when he discovers how he wants his new household.

Cautions and Issues

Shazam! consists of mild profanity and rude gestures (i.e., the middle finger). Billy and Freddy also enter a strip club (twice), even though the creating is only shown from the outdoors. There are also various deaths and some scenes (e.g., a surprising auto crash, persons getting eaten by demons) that may possibly be disturbing for youngsters beneath the age of 7.

Further Data

You do not have to have to know this stuff to love the film, but it may possibly impress your kid.

• In the film, Billy gets his powers by saying the name of ancient wizard Shazam, the final of the Council of Seven Wizards. But in the original version of the comics, the magic word that transforms Billy into a superhero—”SHAZAM!”—is an acronym of six “immortal elders”: Solomon, Hercules, Atlas, Zeus, Achilles, and Mercury. Solomon is the only genuine historical figure—the rest are ancient Greek gods (Zeus, Mercury) and heroes (Achilles, Hercules).

• Several funny recommendations are produced about what Billy’s superhero name should really be (“Captain Sparkle Fingers”), but they never ever mention what it in fact is—Captain Marvel—because that is the name of a Marvel Comics superhero (whose film is also in theaters). Definitely, Billy can not go about telling persons his hero name is Shazam, given that that is the magic word that transforms him back and forth in between getting a hero and getting a teen. Even though the character initial appeared in 1940, Shazam wasn’t applied as his official name in the comics till 2011.

• Since the film is set in the DC Extended Universe—the shared universe centered on DC Comics superhero films—Shazam exists in the very same globe as the current film versions of Superman, Batman, Wonder Lady, Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg.

• Due to censorship requirements in 1940s-era comics, the Seven Deadly Sins are also recognized as the Seven Deadly Enemies of Man. They are Shazam’s oldest enemies, obtaining appeared in the second situation of the comic in 1940.

• Shazam/Captain Marvel was the initial comic-book superhero to be adapted into film. He seems in a 1941 12-chapter film serial referred to as Adventures of Captain Marvel (you can watch it on line right here). The character was also in a reside-action tv unique in the 1970s and an animated series in the 1980s.


Other Articles in This Series: 

How to Speak to Your Children About ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’

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