John Bunyan’s Christian allegory gets light-handed but soulful treatment.
This animated app relays Bunyan’s story in a somewhat breathless fashion, evidently to underscore the import of the proceedings. But it wasn’t necessary, for though this is a considerably pared-down version of the original, it retains its propulsive nature in a color-saturated, near–3-D format. Here is Christian, carrying his heavy load; no mention of sin is made, so the story can be read as a simple morality play, though the episode with the cross, staying on the narrow path and the quest for the City of Zion belie its Christian roots. Still, the overarching themes are the importance of doing the right thing, behaving with grace and learning how to navigate a world that is a minefield of trouble and temptation. All the singular characters are present: Christian’s traveling companions Faithful and Hopeful; Formalist and Hypocrisy; the Worldly Wiseman and the Evangelist; Discretion, Prudence, Piety and Charity. So too the great places of Vainglory, the Valley of Humiliation and the Valley of the Shadow of Death. The narrative energy and constant happenings keep users thoroughly engaged, while the characters, as drawn for the screen, have strong personalities, and the landscapes have good visual appeal.
A gratifying introduction to one of the most notable pieces of religious literature. (iPad storybook app. 5-10)