Saturday, October 26, 2013

VeggieTales Review: Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas

Stars: 3 out of 5
Pros: Good story and moral
Cons: Missing much of the earlier fun; do we really need another Christmas entry?
The Bottom Line:
Christmas VeggieTales
Does not improve on others
Still good for the kids

"We Found It on the Internet.  How Could It Be Dangerous?"

I love Christmas.  I have way too much Christmas music; and I collect Hallmark Christmas ornaments.  Still, there is such a thing as too much Christmas, and Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas proves it.

Ironically enough, it's not the story I'm talking about (although the plot involves over decorating).  I'm actually referring to the fact that this is the latest in I don't know how many Christmas shows that VeggieTales has done.  While the message is still good, I feel like they've run out of Christmas shows to do.  After all, last year was the first in several we hadn't gotten a new Christmas story from them.  No body does Christmas shows every year.  These must be some of their better sellers to keep cranking them out.

This particular story revolves around a mall.  Every year, Larry and the French Peas play elves in the mall who record what all the kids want for Christmas.  It's a job that Larry takes very seriously.

However, the Spring Valley Mall has been losing sales, and in an attempt to increase shoppers, the mall has hired Bob the Tomato and Mr. Lunt to come in and decorate it.  They are going all out, and it is going to look spectacular.  But Larry hears part of a story from a little girl who is trying to help someone.  Will he be able to track her down and help?

Now don't misunderstand me - there is nothing wrong with this story by itself.  The reminder of the need to share God's love, a love He demonstrated at Christmas, is great.  We should always be reminded to share with others.

However, it just doesn't have that Christmas spark.  Honestly, I'd rather see this message is a regular story for the series.  And I'd rather see more regular stories for the show period.

Speaking of sparks, this one certainly doesn't have the warmth and humor of the earlier ones.  Since Phil Vischer took a less active role in the series, it hasn't been a good, and this is a perfect example.  Kids will still certainly enjoy it, but it doesn't have the same appeal to adults.

Even the silly song, "Wrapped Myself Up for Christmas," isn't as funny as the premise promises.

Then there's Si Robertson's cameo as the narrator of the story.  I know this isn't the first time they've done stunt casting for voices in the series, but I'm not a fan of Duck Dynasty, so this one felt superfluous to me.

I realize I'm sounding very harsh, and this disc truly isn't that horrid.  The story is entertaining, and computer animation is good, and the voice talent is still great.  I certainly can't argue with the moral of the story.  I just really really wish they'd stop with the idea that they need to release a new Christmas story every fall.

So if you have kids who love VeggieTales, go ahead and get Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas.  But adult fans like me won't need to rush out to add this to their collection.

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