Warner Bros. // 1985 // 26 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // April 14th, 2006
That dude was so stoned.
About 20 years ago or so, Hanna-Barbera put out these short bits of Biblical animation called The Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible. This episode focuses on the infamous encounter between diminutive shepherd boy David and the hulking bastard that was Goliath. It's an okay production. The animation isn't the greatest, but the story is complete and should prove entertaining for kids interested in animated Bible tales. There is, however, one slight alteration to the traditional narrative.
Here's the set-up: the Philistine army, the arch-nemeses of the blossoming kingdom of Israel, have squared off with their God-chosen foes for a huge battle that will likely end in mountains of dead bodies and soiled battle tunics. But instead of an all-out violence spree, the Philistines have a different idea in mind -- a one-on-one competition between the two nations' best warriors, the winner of which would earn his respective army a victory. And all with a minimal loss of life!
But the Israelites, under the auspices of Saul, a king who has fallen out of favor with the Almighty, shake in their boots at the sight of Goliath, this nine-cubit megaman who continually marches out as the Philistine-designate and taunts the Israelites. Can no one stand up to this roid-raging fiend?
Luckily, there is someone who's got the (literal) stones to take on Goliath: David, the little brother of one of the soldiers, who's shown up to make a cheese delivery run to the Israelite encampment. Finding their lack of faith disturbing, David challenges the Israelites to be men and face Goliath. None take him up on the offer. So David walks into Saul's tent and demands to be given the chance to throw down with the giant. The king reluctantly agrees, David gathers some rocks for his sling, squares off against the heckling Philistine super-warrior, and, well, the rest is history.
This cartoon has a twist. Here, three young kids involved in an excavation in the future (that would, presumably, be 1985) get sucked into some kind of time-warp and land in David's time, to witness all this going on. Huh? The kids buck up David and support his decision, then stick around to watch David smite Goliath with a well-placed stone to the forehead, with the wound graphically erupting in a torrent of blood (seriously). The Israelites would go on to rout the Philistines and David would begin his ascendancy to the throne. And with a solid day's work in the books, the futuristic visitors shuffle off to wherever they came from. What's the moral of the story? That three kids from the '80s -- not the God of the universe -- gave David the strength to kick Goliath's ass.
Like I said, the cartoon is fine, but I don't like how Warner Brothers has only stuck one of these adventures on a disc. Twenty-six minutes isn't a ton of entertainment, and the lack of extras offers no other bang for the buck.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Warner Bros.
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 26 Minutes
Release Year: 1985
MPAA Rating: Not Rated