New God Squad DVD available online
A new resource for young people is now available for sale online—the first episode of a new 3-D animated DVD series entitled God Squad. The series, targeted to kids ages 8-14, revolves around a church youth group made up of teens from all walks of life.
It is at once fun, funny, and filled with strong Christian values. In this premiere episode titled Shoot a Five, Yell “Fore!” Write Down a Three! the group visits Big Ted’s Mini-Golf and Salvage Yard. Big Ted’s is home to some of the worst holes of mini-golf in North America. But while the kids are there, they learn a valuable lesson about truth, the armor of God and why Lewis has itchy feet!
More than just quality Christian entertainment, it is the product of the hard work and talents of Josh Cowing and Kevin Cook, who are long-time Pasadena Tabernacle soldiers and youth workers. “We found ourselves constantly looking for culturally relevant, high-quality product for our kids, and repeatedly coming up short,” Josh says. “There was plenty of material out there for young children, thanks to Veggie Tales and the like, but when we considered what older kids were interested in, we recognized that there was a gap in what was available to them. So we decided to fill it.”
Josh wrote the script; Kevin provided all of the animation, and the pair collaborated on the rest. They founded a company called Monkeypunk to begin work on the series, and it wasn’t long before they had drafted many of their friends at the Pasadena Tabernacle into helping as well, providing character voices, technical assistance, and plenty of moral support.
Richard Brown provided problem-solving and professional advice at key points throughout the process. As a result, every aspect of the series, from conceptualization to production to distribution is the direct result of the efforts of Salvation Army soldiers.
“So much of the characters and their interactions are based on our own experiences as youth leaders at the Tab,” said Josh. “What I love about the episode is that although our characters are far from perfect, they’re very willing to learn lessons from their actions, and show real growth as a result.”
The DVD also contains several additional features, including Spanish subtitles, audio commentary provided by Josh and Kevin, and most notably an interactive feature called “Flashpoints,” which when turned on will display an icon on the screen during the viewing of the episode. When the viewer activates the icon, they are taken to a series of questions about what they’ve just seen, which are meant as discussion starters. This is intended to allow youth leaders the chance to use the episode not just as entertainment, but as a teaching opportunity as well.
“It was important to us as youth leaders that the DVD have a teaching element to it as well, since that was a big part of why we started this project in the first place,” explains Kevin.
The DVD retails for $14.99, and is for sale online at www.monkeypunk.com.