Pros: Fun telling of the story of Joseph
This entry in the VeggieTales series was originally released in 2003. I hadn't watched it since it first came out, but decided to stick it in again in preparation for the newest release, Moe and the Big Exit, touted as a sequel. I remembered loving it the first time, and I wasn't disappointed.
But before we begin, a brief bit of background. VeggieTales is a series of computer animated videos aimed at kids. They use stories, songs, and talking vegetables to share Biblical truths. But don't expect dry, boring lessons. They are fun and entertaining for kids and adults alike.
After a couple episodes that broke with traditions, this one features a return to form. It opens with our hosts Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber on the countertop. Bob is all set to introduce a Bible story when Larry reminds him that he promised a Western story this time. After a brief bit of discussion, Bob agrees and so the Ballad of Little Joe begins.
Little Joe (Larry), is his father's favorite son. When his brothers (the French peas) sell him into slavery in Dodge Ball City, he goes to work for McPotiphar (Scooter, the Scottish Carrot). But just when he's made employee of the month, Miss Kitty (Madame Blueberry) frames him for stealing. Is God really still with him? What could God's plan possibly be?
Of course, anyone familiar with the Bible will recognize this as the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. Told in a completely fresh way, the theme of God working all things for good for those who follow Him comes through as loud and clear as it does in the original. (And yes, that is the verse that the computer Qwerty has for us at the end of the video.)
But it isn't a VeggieTales episode without some fun along the way. When Joseph gets his multi-colored vest (a birthday present from his dad), he models it while his dad describes it like on the runway. All the elements of the story have been transformed to the western setting. Joseph's dream is of cactuses, um cacti?, bowing down to him. Judah, the real name from the Bible, is changed to Jude here, and we get several "Hey Jude" jokes.
Since the video is only 35 minutes, the story has been shortened somewhat, but all the important elements are still here. And obviously, the temptation of adultery is changed to stealing, a change I think is appropriate given the target audience. None of the regular songs really stand out, but they are fun to listen to while watching.
That isn't true of the new silly song. This is the video that introduced the "Boyz in the Sink," VeggieTales version of 'NSync made up of Larry, Junior Asparagus, Mr. Lunt, and Jimmy Gourd. In "Belly Button," Mr. Lunt makes the dramatic confession that he doesn't have one. It's a music video, and looks and sounds just like something a boy band would have done. I dare you not to laugh (and have it stuck in your head for the next few days.)
And, if I may be allowed, a brief geeky moment. At the end of the video, Larry heads off to Danish Immersion Camp. Why do we care? Because they actually pick up on this and play with it in A Snoodle's Tale, the next video in the series.
Big Idea continues to fill their DVD releases with fun bonus activities for the kids and interesting behind the scenes stuff for adults. There's nothing unusual here if you've seen their other releases, but that's not a bad thing by any stretch since the usual includes an audio commentary, behind the scenes featurette, trivia challenge, and a couple family activities.
This DVD is a return to the fun of some of the earlier Bible stories done Veggie style. I enjoyed every minute of it and bet any Veggie fan will, too.
Other Veggie Tales Reviews:
Dave and the Giant Pickle
An Easter Carol
Gideon Tuba Warrior
God Made You Special
Holiday Double Feature
Larry-Boy and the Bad Apple
Lord of the Beans
Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella
Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush
Moe and the Big Exit
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
Pistachio: The Little Boy that Woodn't
Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving
Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler
The Star of Christmas
The Toy that Saved Christmas
Where's God When I'm S-Scared?
Wonderful Wizard of Ha's
The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree
Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - Soundtrack
Silly Songs with Larry
A Very Veggie Christmas
A Very Veggie Easter
And don't miss Phil Vischer's autobiography - Me, Myself, and Bob