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In Iesodo, Jesus is for the birds. Literally.

Iesodo is a new animated DVD series for children that draws on stories from Jesus’ life. In it, Jesus is represented by Iesodo, a white dove, while a varied flock of followers represent the disciples. There is even a flock of legalists, the Hopis, who represent the Pharisees. Each 15-minute episode draws inspiration from stories in the Gospels.

According to the creators, Iesodo is a Japanese word that means “The Way of Jesus.” While the difficulty of pronouncing it makes the series title a bit intimidating for the uninitiated, the word is true to the stories. Each story teaches an aspect of what it means to follow Jesus. The first three DVDs include episodes centered on the themes “Believe,” “Love,” and “Faith.”

The animation is quite lovely, though compared to the rest of the flock, Iesodo looks exceedingly un-birdlike. There is swelling music reminiscent of The Lion King, and you can’t help thinking that the creators were looking to capitalize on the success of the animated film Rio. However, many younger children will find entertainment and some life lessons in these DVDs, which include bonus features such as songs and Bible verses. The series website offers coloring pages and craft ideas. (Zaya Toons)

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