Thursday, March 28, 2013

VeggieTales Review: God Made You Special

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: All the classic stuff is still wonderful
Cons: The new material is only okay
The Bottom Line:
Some classic segments
Strung together with new stuff
Good but you don't need

And He Loves You Very Much

Since the beginning, VeggieTales has closed every episode with a reminder that "God made you special, and He loves you very much." Some of the videos have focused on this phrase more then others. And this disc, entitled God Made You Special, sets out to collect the best of those self-worth stories on one disc.

For the uninitiated, VeggieTales is a series of Christian DVD's aimed at kids. They use computer animated talking vegetables to teach Biblical truths. Along the way, there are some great songs and lots of great laughs for parents and kids alike.

I usually skip the VeggieTale collection DVD's. For some reason, I bought this one. And I've had fun taking this trip down memory lane.

This DVD features three classic Veggie stories, two silly songs, and one all new tale.

First up, "Dave and the Giant Pickle" reminds us that God can use us no matter how big or small we are. The classic story of David and Goliath gets the Veggie twist here when Dave (played by Jr. Asparagus) takes on the giant pickle (played by a giant pickle). This story has lots of great jokes as well as a decent retelling of the Bible story.

Then comes "Bob's Vacation," the new story on the disc. In it, a misunderstood phone conversation sends Bob off on his vacation depressed. Does Larry really think so little of him? And can Larry answer the fan mail and water Bob's plants while he's gone? Or will the other Veggies get in the way?

Frankly, I found this story disappointing. It really wasn't that funny. It was also sort, underdeveloped, and rather obvious. Very rarely do I feel that the show talks down to kids, but I felt that here. So those buying this video solely for the new story will be disappointed.

Then we go way back in time for "The Gourds Must be Crazy" from the third Veggie video ever. This is the story that introduced Jimmy and Jerry Gourd, in fact. The crew of the USS Applepies must figure out a way to avoid being hit by a giant popcorn asteroid. Maybe those new guys who are always eating can help. The Star Trek jokes are great, even if they will fly over the kids' heads. And while this story is really fairly simple, it is entertaining. It concludes with the classic song "I Can Be Your Friend."

Finally, we come to "A Snoodle's Tale." In this story, told in classic Dr. Seuss style, we learn of one snoodle who set out to discover why he was created. After some nasty encounters, he sets out for solitude. Will he find it there? This is still one of my favorite Veggie episodes ever, and it still holds up. The reminder of how special we are to our Creator is powerful no matter what your age.

The series is well known for their silly songs, songs that really have no point other then fun. Here, we get to enjoy the classic silly songs "Belly Button," a boy band song in which Mr. Lunt laments the fact that he doesn't have a belly button, and "Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps," which teaches the all important lesson "When you go a little loopy, better keep your nurse well paid." These songs are always good for a laugh.

In between the segments, we get new introductions by series hosts Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber along with various Veggie characters. These scenes are short but fun. Additionally, there are some "veggie on the street interviews" after each of the classic segments. They're basically kids talking about the plot we just saw of restating the lesson. Not that entertaining or worth seeing.

However, the classic stories and songs are still as wonderful as they were when first done. Granted, we do really get to see how far their computer animation as progressed as we go back and forth in time. But everything is so entertaining I really don't care about that. I absolutely loved watching these segments again. And since that made up most of the 75 minute running time, I did enjoy most of the disc.

While there are good stories here, there's little reason to buy this disc. Die hard fans already have the best parts elsewhere. Buy God Made You Special only if you are a collector or you don't already have the classic stories presented here.

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