(Facebook/The Adventures of Toby)
Winner of the 2009 Christian International Film Festival's Best Animated Film, "The Adventures of Toby: Making Friends," which features a young boy getting a personal tour of history and creation by Jesus Christ, has been released on DVD in the U.S.
The South African animated film centers around Toby, who is a rambunctious child searching for adventure. The film follows Toby through his discovery of God and their resulting journey together.
In the film, Jesus is portrayed as a hip, young, soul-patch-sporting man who seems as comfortable reading the Bible as riding a skateboard. He and Toby journey through time and space all the way back to the time of creation, granting Toby the ability to see how God made Earth and all of His creatures -- including Toby himself.
As Toby builds a friendship with Jesus, he learns about his own heart, and he discovers that the Bible can grant him strategies and techniques to deal with life's trials and tribulations.
The film's screenwriter and director, Candice Argall, shared with The Christian Post in an email that her film "captures how complex and compelling a friendship with God can be. Our aim with this short film is to show another side to God – the heart-side, that aches to be our friend."
"The Adventures of Toby" was born out of Argall's real life. Shortly after attempting to explain Christ to her own young son, Argall awoke in the middle of the night with a vision for the film in her head. She knew God was calling her to make this film.
The film employs a mix of several types of animation to keep visuals popping and engaging. The filmmakers used a combination of 2D, 3D and Claymation to tell their story. Watching God's creations jump off the screen from 2D to 3D to clay figures helps give a sense of the animals God conceived springing to life from His imagination.
"'Making Friends' is a fresh, funky take on an old, old story," Argall shared.