Pk adores Veggietales. I think we have almost all of the DVDs (just doing a quick count, I saw 32 on our shelf and I know that there are a few others kicking around the car). It's hard to explain the appeal to people who haven't watched them but to the millions who know and love Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber understand. There is something truly wonderful about Veggietales.
As a parent, it's easy to love Veggietales. For Dh and I, the list of strengths is long - no violence, no questionable plot lines, no toilet/underwear humour, always an emphasis on good character and often on Christian ideas/stories/morals, colours and music that really engage children. Pk is much like her mom was as a child (I was taken crying from every Disney movie I ever saw in the theatre - I couldn't stand animals being hurt or killed or the imminent threat implied in so many films) and it's very rare that Veggietales scares Pk. For us, though, what we love best about Veggietales, from a purely selfish standpoint, is that they are so intelligent. Many are spoofs of other stories with brilliantly subtle elements that children miss but make it possible for adults to enjoy the stories, too. The minds behind Veggietales are BRILLIANT and I wouldn't have thought that I would say that about talking vegetable stories. Veggietales are also not targeted at a particular gender, meaning that we can buy them reasonably sure in the knowledge that they will be enjoyed by the entire family at some point.
Today was a huge day for Pk. I "liked" Veggietales on Facebook a while ago and not that long ago, Pk was looking at my newsfeed over my shoulder and saw that there was an ad for a new film coming out. Her favourite VT of all time is "The Easter Carol" and when she saw the ad for "Twas the Night Before Easter", she was ecstatic. Today was the day - release day and our trip to our local Christian bookstore to buy her a copy.
To say that she was excited was a massive understatement and the second that we walked in the door, she had her copy in her hand and was walking towards the cash. It was nice to be able to get her something that brought her so much pleasure.
So, did the film live up to expectation? Pk liked it although, when I asked her about it, she said that she liked it "a little bit" but that the big rabbit was scary (there's a big bunny robot that causes a few problems). I asked if she liked it better than "The Easter Carol" and she replied that "Easter Carol" is still the best. Dh and I thought it was decent (with most of the things that we like about VT) but, to be honest, it's a bit flat. I believe that Big Idea (the production company) was taken over a couple of years ago and it seems to us like there is a greater push on marketing and churning out new titles and just a bit less brilliance to the shows. The plotline to this story is much like "The Star of Christmas" and while it was enough for Pk, we found that there was something missing. I hope that VT aren't losing their magic because they truly are something special
The jury is still out as to how Pk truly feels. If it's a really good one (like Gideon, Esther,Dave and the Giant Pickle, Joshua, The Easter Carol and the silly songs DVDs) we will be watching it in a the car a lot in the next little while (we have a DVD player in the car and while I feel a bit guilty about t.v. in the car, given that most places we drive to are a minimum of 20 minutes away, I don't feel as guilty as I probably should). I think we saw "The Easter Carol" at least 30 times before she asked for something else in the car. I am not sure that this one will stand up to that much viewing.
I feel a bit like we are being manipulated into needing to buy the next big thing but on the other hand, it could be so much worse. At least it isn't something that makes us cringe...