Monday, December 05, 2011

VeggieTales' The Little Drummer Boy

Not long after Michael was born, a round little tomato and his funny cucumber friend entered our lives. Michael, being 1, wasn’t terribly impressed, but Sean and I loved Bob and Larry instantly.  We can still sing all the songs from that first release, Where is God When I’m Scared?, and the story of Daniel, with Larry playing the lead, is my all-time favorite VeggieTales story.  “Oh no, whatcha gonna do? The king likes Daniel more than me and you…”

The vegetables were staples of our video diet for years. When I heard Bob and Larry were going to make an appearance at a local book store, I drove little Michael and Amy to meet them. Michael high-fived Bob and Larry; Amy hid, scared out of her mind. She much preferred her veggies confined to the crisper drawer and the TV.

Even though our kids aged out of the VeggieTales target market, we all still enjoy the cornucopia that is the veggies. So when I was given the opportunity to preview their latest offering, The Little Drummer Boy, I jumped at the chance. And last weekend, just like we did years ago, we gathered ‘round the television to check on Bob, Larry, Junior, and the rest of the Veggies.

The press release sums the plot up nicely: In this Veggie-version of a holiday classic, Junior Asparagus stars as The Little Drummer Boy, a lonely child who finds the true meaning of Christmas when he stumbles upon the birth of the baby Jesus. A story of generosity, hope and love, this timeless tale will warm the hearts of children everywhere!

I wasn’t sure what to expect, considering the original VeggieTales company had gone bankrupt and a new media outlet had purchased the rights to all the characters, stories and songs. Would a VeggieTales movie created under their leadership still bring a clear Christian message? In a word: yep.

There is still plenty for all to laugh at, and lots of references that only parents will catch (the camel in the Luke Skywalker land speeder is genius). And thankfully, there is a clear message that the baby Junior plays for is, as Magi Bob says, our, “Savior, priest and king.” Phil Vischer’s presence is still present.

And the Silly Song – The Eight Polish Foods of Christmas – is fabulous. It is an older song that we had on cassette (I know, cassette!) years ago and it was so fun to see it animated. Polish food is basically meat, wrapped in dough. The prune reference is priceless and informative at the same time.

VeggieTales’ The Little Drummer Boy is a fun movie and an even better conversation starter – what would you give? What can you give now?

Even non-VeggieTales fans will be won over by Junior’s little drummer boy and the message in the movie. The press release actually is true: The Little Drummer Boy is a story about generosity, hope and love. And, of course, a silly song about kielbasa, fried chruscikis and pierogis.