Sunday, July 28, 2013

VeggieTales Review: MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Fun and funny while teaching a good lesson
Cons: None
The Bottom Line:
Travel to Scotland
For a fun adventure and
A good lesson, too.

"Tighten Your Kilt Belts."  "Kilt Belts?"

Don't ask me why, but I was less than thrilled when I saw that the summer VeggieTales release would be MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle.  I just didn't think it would that that good.  But, fan that I am, I bought it anyway.  And I must say I enjoyed it.

In answer to a letter the VeggieTales gang has received from a kid whose interests are different than his friends, Scooter steps up to tell a story.  That's right, Scooter the Scottish Carrot.  So is it any wonder that the story takes us back to ancient Scotland?

Well, okay, as they freely admit, it's an alternative universe Scotland where The Barber-barians are just a gorge away from the Romans.  While the two areas used to be friends, harmless pranks got out of hand and now the two sides feud.

Into this world comes MacLarry (Larry the Cucumber as voiced by Mike Nawrocki).  His father is Chog Norrius (voiced by Henry Haggard), the leader of their clan.  But all MacLarry seems to do during his initiations is mess things up.  That's because he's not a good barber or prankster or definitely not a good prankster barber.  Instead, he wants to be an inventor.  But even his inventions don't seem to work right.  Discouraged, he sets out to find his hero, Archimedes.  Will he find him or will he cause an even bigger crisis in this war?

There was nothing especially noteworthy about the story.  It pretty much followed the plot points I was expecting.  But what made it fun was the return of the trademark Veggie humor.  There were site gags and puns aplenty.  Several of them were throw away lines I just loved.  And some of them would even go right over the heads of the kids but be caught by their parents.

The official theme according to the front of the box is "A lesson in getting along with others."  I can see that, but it is rather broad.  Instead, I think the lesson is more about accepting others for who they are.  The lesson comes through in the course of the story without preaching, always a plus in this series.  And the Bible verses they share at the end talk about how God has given us each gifts.  Very true.  And learning to accept others as compliments to us is always a good thing no matter what age in life we are.

Yes, there is a silly song.  It's even appropriately themed.  "Kilts & Stilts" finds Larry singing in a Scottish accent from atop a pair of stilts.  I didn't think it was that great, but then they kept changing the style Larry was singing in.  All this upsets poor Scooter, which was a real hoot to watch.

The animation and voicework?  It continues to be good.  It's still not big budget, but it is good enough to pull us into the story and that's all it really needs to do.

Really, MacLarry & the Stinky Cheese Battle is just a fun story with a moral we can all learn from.  I'm definitely glad I went ahead and bough it.

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