Friday, August 8, 2014

VeggieTales Review: Celery Night Fever


Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great message in fun story and songs
Cons: Weak Silly Song
The Bottom Line:
These divided friends
Must come together again
But can they forgive?



Groovy Lesson in Forgiveness

Maybe it has happened before, but right now I can’t think of a time that VeggieTales covered a lesson a second time.  But that’s the case with Celery Night Fever, the latest offering from this long running series.  And with how long it has been running, I’m only surprised they haven’t circled back around to forgiveness before now since they last tackled this topic in their second video.  Anyway, this is a great new story.

We open on the countertop as Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are about to introduce the new story.  Only they are interrupted by Jerry and Jimmy Gourd who are upset because Larry ate the entire pie that the trio had made together and were supposed to share.  (And since Jerry and Jimmy and their appetite were introduced in that long ago third episode, I find it appropriate.)  Jerry and Jimmy are furious and say they will never forgive Larry, but Bob thinks he has just the story for them.

And so we roll film to hear the story of Laura Carrot who is fighting to save Celery Park from a developer.  After Junior Asparagus doesn’t follow through (again) with his part of the plan to save the park, she breaks off her friendship with him and tries to come up with a new plan on her own.

That plan involves her grandfather (Larry the Cucumber, and I don’t think I want to know how that is possible).  See, back in the day he was one of the leads in The Groovy Brothers, a disco band who got their start in Celery Park.  If Laura can reunite the band, maybe they can raise the funds to buy the note from the developer.  But why did the group break up?  Will it keep them from coming back together?  Can Laura save the park?  And what about her friendship with Junior?

The story really shows how unforgiveness can keep you apart from people you love, and I like that.  The actual forgiveness part seems to happen pretty quickly and for no real reason, but that’s a minor complaint.  Overall, the message is clear and strong without being too preachy.

Along the way, we get plenty of fun moments, most of which the adults will probably enjoy more than the kids.  There are lots of references and throwbacks to the 70’s since this is a disco themed episode.  While still not the peak of the series, I grinned several times throughout the story.  Heck, I got a huge kick out of Archibald being one of the other members of the Groovy Brothers.  Plus they brought Kalil back as well.

The music certainly adds to the fun.  There are quite a few new songs, and they are all good.  Several of them have a disco flavor, and they will get stuck in your head, so be forewarned.

Unfortunately, the new Silly Song is the weak point of the disc.  “Perfect Puppy” actually does star Larry and Bob as Larry is anxious to get a new puppy.  (I really thought it might star Achmetha who has been obsessed with puppies since Esther.)  It’s amusing, especially at the end, but it’s not one of the better ones.

One word of warning.  There is a brief interview with Terry Crew, who plays the onion developer who is trying to buy and close the park.  As he is talking about how excited he was to get the call to play the part, he takes the Lord’s name in vain.  Now if you read my blog regularly, you will see positive reviews of plenty of things with swearing in them.  However, in something aimed at Christian kids, this was a surprise and totally out of place.  But if you just avoid that special feature (and it’s easy to do), you’ll be fine.

On the whole, Celery Night Fever proves to be entertaining and it shows why we need to forgive others.  Kids will definitely enjoy it and be singing the songs before you know it.

4 comments:

  1. Jimmy and Jerry's appetite was introduced in the episode "Are you my neighbor!?!"

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    Replies
    1. Yep. That's the second episode I referenced.

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    2. That's the third episode not second.

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