Monday, October 27, 2014

VeggieTales Review: Beauty and the Beet

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Good lesson in an endearing and entertaining story
Cons: Might be too slow for some boys
The Bottom Line:
Who could love a beet?
In this endearing story
We learn should be all

“Sure.  Let’s Just Stay Here Because Nothing Bad Ever Happens at a Creepy, Dark Hotel.”

Last October, I bemoaned yet about Christmas story from the folks at VeggieTales and hoped they’d give us something new this year.  I was delighted this year to see them release Beauty and the Beet.  Yes, there are some Christmas lights and evergreens in the background, but this is a story that can be watched and enjoyed any time.

As Bob the Tomato is introducing this episode, Larry the Cucumber runs in.  He’s gotten an emergency letter (you can tell because it was handwritten – in crayon!) from a girl who is wondering how to handle the new mean girl at her school.  Larry has just the story and introduces their take on a familiar fairytale.

Mirabelle (voiced by Kelly Pickler) is the lead vocalist for her family’s traveling band, the Veggie Tones.  They are just starting out, but with a hit song, their fame is rising, and they’ve just been invited to perform at Vegetable Square Garden.  Certain this will make their career, her father (played by Larry the Cucumber), sets out just as a snow storm is hitting.

Unfortunately, the storm is worse than expected, and the family is stranded at a creepy hotel in the middle of nowhere.  With no money and no bus (don’t ask), they just clean and sing for a place to stay under the nasty eye of Mr. Beet, the owner.  However, Mirabelle feels the need to reach out to him with God’s love.  Can she melt the heart of this man?  Will they ever get out of the hotel?

As if the title didn’t give it away, this is obviously a take on Beauty and the Beast.  However, they have stripped out any romantic love and made it all about showing God’s love to others.  The familiar elements of the story make appearances in different ways that those familiar with the original will have fun spotting.  (No magic is involved, however.)  The result is very heart warming and really illustrates the lesson that God wants us to show His love to others and just how that can transform them – and us.

While the lesson is part of the story, this isn’t quite as funny as some of the previous entries in the long running series.  That said, there is one gag late in the story that is absolutely priceless.  It may be my favorite for the last several videos in fact.  I’m also not quite sure how boys will react to this one, although I certainly enjoyed it.

With Kellie Pickler voicing the lead character and the story revolving around singers, it should be no surprise that there are lots of new songs.  They are enjoyable and really fit into the theme of the story well.

And yes, there is a new silly song.  Every wondered about the birth of “Mac and Cheese?”  Larry sets the record straight as we go back to his great, great, great…grandparents and learn how this combination came to be.  It’s fun.

Speaking of fun, the one acknowledgement to the season is “Deck the Halls,” a Veggie Tones video that plays after the show ends.  It’s pretty funny with a few twists on the classic carol that everyone will enjoy.

Ultimate, Beauty and the Beet is sweet and endearing while reminding us that God wants us to love everyone, even those who are hardest to love.  It might not be as funny as some entries, but it is still a great lesson told in an entertaining way.

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