ANAHEIM, California — James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family, released exclusive new content to “Building a Family Legacy” on VidAngel, a family-friendly streaming service known for popular series like “DryBar Comedy” and “The Chosen,” the #1 crowdfunded media project in history.
“Dr. Dobson has had such an impact on America and the world. We’re just honored to capture some bookend images and thoughts from his life on contemporary society,” Neal Harmon, CEO of VidAngel, told The Christian Post during a sit-down interview in Anaheim, California. “The majority of our audience — 86 percent — say that they’re very faithful people, and so we think they’re really going to enjoy this content.”
“Building a Family Legacy,” available later today, is a collection of eight films and videos that feature highlights from decades of Dobson’s teaching on parenting, marriage, and leaving a legacy of faith. The series is going to be rereleased on VidAngel with exclusive new original content on contemporary issues like social media and gender debates.
Ryan Dobson, son of James Dobson and host of the Rebel Parenting podcast, told CP that “Building a Family Legacy” spans 40 years of his father’s filmed teachings rooted in timeless biblical truths, from his famous “Strong-Willed Child” film to his recent “Your Legacy” film.
“In the first film in ‘Building a Family Legacy,’ my dad tells all these stories,” he shared. “He talks about being with Pistol Pete on the basketball court; he talks about my great-grandpa coming to the Lord at a revival meeting after running from Him for so long; he talks about wearing out the toes of his shoes because he was on his knees praying so often; he talks about finding the Lord at three, at one of his dad’s revival services.”
“I’ve seen it 30 or 40 times now. I cry watching my dad come to the Lord with his dad in a revival service, and how he remembers being in the car, pondering the decision he had made.”
VidAngel, Ryan Dobson said, is the perfect platform to release the series, as the streaming service’s mission aligns with his father’s passion for providing quality, wholesome content for families. The entertainment app allows families to filter blasphemy, language, nudity, violence, and other content from movies and TV shows streaming on Netflix, Amazon Prime and other platforms.
“Neal approached me and said, ‘We don’t want to just create the next thing your family binges on; we want to create things that are good for your family,’” Ryan Dobson said. “My dad’s work is something that remains relevant and continues to impact millions today, including myself as a dad. It’s made me think about intentional parenting to my own two children.”
James Dobson, now 82, has publicly thrown his support behind VidAngel on his “Family Talk” radio series, calling it a “fantastic service” that is “needed in today’s crazy world.”
“I told my dad, ‘Hey, remember how we couldn’t watch ‘Goonies’ or ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’ because they take the Lord’s name in vain? Well, now we can with VidAngel,” Ryan Dobson said. “I was explaining it to him, and he was like ‘This is great, this is exactly what’s needed today.’ He’s a huge proponent of it.”
Harmon told CP that “Building a Family Legacy” is “very complementary” to “The Chosen,” the first-ever multi-season TV series about Jesus’ life, streaming exclusively on VidAngel. He recalled how after VidAngel, along with director Dallas Jenkins, pitched the concept to followers online, they raised a staggering $11 million from roughly 16,000 people around the world —a new crowdfunding record for any media project.
“Every single streaming platform has surged in numbers because of a breakthrough original series,” Harmon said. “We wanted to make a show that was a must-watch for VidAngel subscribers, and we believe that’s what ‘The Chosen’ will be. We believe it’s going to explode our subscriber growth because it’s an incredibly powerful, well-done series that we’re really excited about.”
People of faith, Harmon said, need to have a voice and a platform — not necessarily to preach, but where they can enjoy entertainment without worrying about being exposed to negative or damaging content.
“People who value faith and values need to be able to enjoy quality entertainment,” he said. “And they should be able to enjoy it on a scale that can compete with big studios because big studios know how to make things beautiful and compelling, but they don’t represent the viewpoints of many Americans.”
“Through projects like ‘Building a Family Legacy’ and ‘The Chosen,’ we want to inspire and uplift families, but also give them the quality content they deserve,” he added.