- Two swear words are used in this film: “Jesus” which is spoken so softly you can easily miss it, and “damn” which comes through loud and clear.
- One part of the film almost seems to suggest that we can talk to and see our loved one who have died in the sunshine on the water, the stars in the sky, etc. This is somewhat akin to the belief that, after people die, their spirits can inhabit animals, objects, etc. This thinking is incompatible with scripture where it teaches that after death, our spirits are with God in heaven or the other place.
- When the grandfather is breaking into a facility, he says “I’m going to go to hell for this”. This could be a good opportunity to clear up a misconception about hell. People don’t go to hell for doing something slightly naughty but perhaps with a good heart. They go to hell because they reject God’s offer of salvation and willfully choose a life apart from God.
Synopsis: Oddball is a dog who seems to create trouble wherever he goes and fails to do anything worthwhile. The town leaders barely missed voting him to be put down. Is Oddball worthless? Or is there something he can do that will change not only his life but that of the whole town?
Talking Points after the Movie
1. Almost everyone in town wants to get rid of Oddball; they see him as worse than worthless – they see him as trouble!
Share with each other – was there a time in your life when you felt unwanted or devalued by those around you?
2. Emily wanted to keep the penguin sanctuary going no matter what. Her mother, who had died, had started the penguin sanctuary and it was her passion; this was Emily’s way of keeping her mother’s memory alive. In this story, not giving up worked but there are times in life when it does not work well at all.
Is there a time when it is right for Christians to give up on something they feel is important? When would that time be? How could you know if you were giving up just because it was hard or because that was what God was leading you to do?
3. One of the powerful statements in this film is “they never forget where their home is because they depend on each other”. Together look up Philippians 3:20. As Christians, our true home is in heaven with Christ, because we depend on Him.
What might be different about our lives if we saw heaven as our real home, to which we’d always long to return no matter where life moved us?
4. At some point in our lives, all of us will be around someone who is an “Oddball”. These are people who don’t seem to fit in, people who seem to fail a lot.
What are some things we can do as Christians to show the love of Christ to such people? How can you make a person like that feel valued and included?
5. Swampy Marsh, Oddball’s owner, Oddball’s protector, Oddball’s teacher, saw the possibilities in Oddball when everyone else only saw uselessness and trouble. This mirrors how God sees us in our sin. We, like Oddball, are stuck and we can’t make things better by ourselves and we keep messing up.
What does it tell us about God that He continues to work with us, to work in us, and refuses to give up on us?