Zathura Movie Guide

Youth Specialties
November 17th, 2005


Optional Activity #1:

Have kids bring in their favorite games from childhood or raid the Sunday school closet and set up multiple games in your youth room. Have all the games being played at one time and then (at the youth workers discretion) randomly choose kids to switch places. When you’ve taken away the “playing to win” idea you are left with kids “playing to have fun.”

Optional Activity #2:

Meteor Shower Game.

Mark off a  4’ x4’ square on the floor with masking tape.  Pass out lots and lots of newspaper to your group and have them make paper wads (meteorites).  One at a time, have a volunteer stand in the square.  The rest of the youth take turns throwing meteors at the one in the center. The player in the square may dodge the meteors or bat them away with his/her hand.  Any meteor that hits the student is one point.  The student at the end of the game with the LEAST number of points in the winner.

Bonus Idea: Serve homemade sugar cookies as a snack but instead of topping them with sprinkles, use pop-rocks.


Genesis 4:1-16

Genesis 32:9-33:10

Luke 15: 11-32

Colossians 3:12-14

Before you begin asking questions read the scriptures from Genesis and Luke.  Because the story of Jacob and Esau is so long, summarize it for your group and then pick up the story around chapter 32.

The Questions:

  1. What was your favorite game when you were a little kid? Why?
  2. Did you ever cheat at a game?  Did you win?  Have you ever cheated and got caught? What happened?
  3. Is cheating at a game a big deal?  What about cheating on a test?  Cheating on a spouse?
  4. Are you a “read the instructions first” kind of person?  Have you ever stopped a game in the middle to check the instructions?  Talk about that.
  5. What was the hardest game you ever played?
  6. Did you ever turn the board over and storm out of a room during a game?
  7. Have you ever played a game without keeping score?  What happened?
  8. In the game LIFE by Milton Bradley you cannot win the game unless you are married, have children, and retire with the most money.  How is the game of LIFE like the game of “life?”   What are some of the things that life throws at you that can make you lose a turn or set you back?  What counts as a “win”?
  9. If Monopoly was like your life…. What is a hotel on boardwalk?
  10. If your life right now were a poker hand…what would you be holding?
  11. Of these four: Monopoly, Chess, Hungry Hungry Hippo, or Sorry…which one is the best representation of your life right now?  
  12. What board game (NOT VIDEO GAME) is representational of your relationship with God at this point in your life?  What would you like it to be?
  13. At what point does sibling rivalry become a problem?  What about Cain and Able?  Have you ever been that mad at someone in your family?
  14. Why do we sometimes treat family in ways that we would never think of treating total strangers?
  15. Which character do you most identify with in this movie?
  16. Talk about a time when you felt like you were the six year old sitting and watching everybody else have fun.
  17. Walter keeps using the phrase “so unfair” every time he doesn’t get his way.  Is he being treated unfairly?
  18.  Why do you suppose that he thinks he is?  Have you ever known anyone like that?  Any adults?  Why are some people just never satisfied?
  19. Walter and Danny keep pushing right up until their father explodes.  Do you know where your parent’s “limit” is?  Talk about a time when you went right up to that line and then went over or backed off.
  20. Read the scripture passage from Luke.  Ask: Which of the two brothers is most like you?  What if we are both the brothers and God is the “father”?  How does the lesson of the story change?
  21. Have you ever wished for something bad? Do you believe wishes come true?  Is wishing a waste of time?
  22. When was the last time you actually wished on a star?  A birthday cake? A Wishing well?  Why does it seem like our culture gives a whole lot of opportunities for people to make “wishes”?
  23. There’s an old phrase that goes “I can put wishes in this hand and [crap] in this hand.  Which hand is going to get filled first?”  What do you think that means?
  24. The “astronaut” says, “There are some games you can’t play alone.”  What do you think he means?  What are some figurative examples?
  25. The lyrics to Love Me Like A Rock are available on  Why do you think the filmmakers chose to use this song as their music behind the end credits?
  26. Take a look at the story of Jacob and Esau. Would you have forgiven your brother if he tricked you out of your inheritance?  If you had stolen from a relative and then run away for 20 years, could you ever go back?  How hard is it to ask someone for forgiveness?  Why?
  27. In the Hebrew culture people believed that certain areas of the body were the source of certain emotions and feelings.  The pelvis area was the sources of all pride.  When Jacob wrestles the angel his “pride” is dislocated.  How does this bit of information change the story?  Why did Jacob need to have his pride dislocated?  Could he have gone forward if he had not wrestled with the angel?
  28. Think about a broken relationship in your life. (You don’t have to say it out loud).  What do you think needs to be dislocated in you in order to have that relationship fixed? (Again, you don’t need to answer out loud).
  29. Read the scripture from Colossians: If you were told that this verse is the “instruction book” to living life…could you cheat?  How would a person cheat if these were the rules?   What would count as “winning the game”? 
  30. How did Danny and Walter apply these instructions to their relationship?

Closing Prayer:

God, this game you put before us seems so complicated. That’s probably because we spend so much time making up our own rules. Your son said we need to love you, and love each other.  Help us to do that. Help us to treat each other like we want to be treated. Help us to get through this life without feeling like we need to cheat or have been cheated.  We know that a “win” is a closer relationship with you. Amen.

Youth Specialties

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in the YS Blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of YS.