It is autumn, a time of brisk winds, crisp leaves, orange pumpkins, steaming mugs of cider and bustling football stadiums. Yes, 'tis the season for high school football, so this was a good time for Big Idea to come out with Gideon: Tuba Warrior, a re-telling of the Biblical story that casts the always lovable Larry as the hero whose trust in God allowed him to defeat the ruthless Midianites despite being hopelessly outnumbered. It was also high time for another Bible story, since the last video to draw directly from the Bible was Duke and the Great Pie War, which featured tales inspired by the stories of Moses' early life and of Naomi and Ruth. After the highly fantastical, eye-popping, hilarious LarryBoy and the Bad Apple, this installment is a little more sedate but an especially appropriate one to show in Sunday school.
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Though the overall tone of the video is fairly serious, the counter-top scenes are a hoot as Bob finds his show hi-jacked once again, this time by the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (and are getting bored as a result). Consequently, we get a lot of eye-rolling and angry glares from him, particularly since the new hosts have little idea how to proceed, but he's a good sport and helps them out when they find themselves stuck - even to the point of performing an impromptu karaoke silly song that turns disastrous when the lyric sheet is destroyed and improperly reassembled. Aiding him in this are the French Peas, who provide the heads for cardboard cut-outs featuring ukelele-playing turtles and seem to be inspired to some extent by the Wiggles, though that famed children's band is Australian and these guys are Hawaiian (though they still retain their French accents). While Bob does not appear in either of the stories (except for a cameo as a balloon in a parade), he's one of the best things about Gideon: Tuba Warrior... even if he is rather inclined to grumble.
The hi-jacking by the pirates is a way to remind viewers of the eccentric trio before their upcoming movie, to which Pa Grape alludes at the end of the video. Of course, the movie isn't coming out for more than a year, but still, it can't hurt to raise a little awareness. The Pirates also played a big role in Jonah, which sadly didn't do so well at the box office. Hopefully this time the veggies will meet with more success on the big screen! Mr. Lunt's only participation in this video is in the counter-top scenes, but crusty Pa Grape has key roles in both stories.
The first story concerns George Muller, an Englishman who provided shelter for hundreds of orphans during the 19th century, always trusting in God to deliver their daily needs. I recall reading about him in my Precious Moments Bible, and it is inspirational to learn how, on mornings when there would not be a crumb left in the cupboard, someone from the town would drop by with an unsolicited donation. Going to an inner city church that serves the community every week, I've witnessed similar situations in which, when the money was just about to run out, someone would offer some much-needed aid. So George Muller's story is a good illustration of the power of prayer. Archibald Asparagus plays George, and there's not much humor to the role aside from some very perplexed reactions to the wild postulations of a tabloid reporter who comes to call (Pa Grape). As far as I know, the reporter is an invention, but he serves a significant role as a skeptic and he also provides some giggles with his headlines about dolphins, aliens and giant staplers. Junior Asparagus, incidentally, appears in this story as an orphan but doesn't have anything to say, but the adorable Annie (here named Emily) steps into prominence. Another noteworthy aspect of this story is the singing of a traditional hymn, His Eye is on the Sparrow.
As usual, the title story is the longer one, and it shows how Gideon comes to defeat the Midianites after receiving a visit from an angel (Pa Grape). An unassuming tuba player bullied by his football-playing brothers, he is quick to believe that the angel is a messenger from God but reluctant to embrace the responsibility of being a warrior. As in the Bible, he asks for a series of signs involving dew and lamb's wool before accepting his charge. But once he assembles an army, his faith is tested as he is instructed to decrease his number of troops. (In one instance, the litmus test is whether his soldiers can withstand the brain freeze of a grape slurpee, perhaps a reference to Josh and the Big Wall, another Biblically based story in which a hero played by Larry faces off against an ominous enemy.) In spite of his uncertainties, Gideon decides to trust God, and amazing things happen.
Also appearing in this story are the French peas as Gideon's brother, Mr. Nezzer as a prominent Midianite with thick red facial hair (and, at one point, curlers), and Jimmy and Jerry Gourd as a pair of over-enthusiastic announcers who give the play-by-play on Gideon's victory parade. Unsurprisingly, brass instruments play a large part in this story, including a rather lengthy, stylized song in which Pa Grape sings about God's faithfulness while French peas provide big band accompaniment and an adrenaline-pumping instrumental marching band number that helps to send the Midianites packing.
Gideon: Tuba Warrior isn't the funniest Veggie video around, but its focus on trusting in God makes it an ideal choice to show to children in a church or religion class setting. And with a Pirates Who Don't Do Anything movie and a Lone Ranger parody video on the way, it's clear that Big Idea hasn't lost any momentum in bringing kids that classic combination of "Sunday morning values, Saturday morning fun."
Where's God When I'm Sca-a-ared?
God Wants Me to Forgive Them?!
Are You My Neighbor?
Josh and the Big Wall
Very Silly Songs!
The End of Silliness?
Rack, Shack, and Benny
The Toy That Saved Christmas
Dave and the Giant Pickle
Larry Boy! & the Fib from Outer Space
Larry Boy! & the Rumor Weed
Lyle the Kindly Viking
Esther - The Girl Who Became Queen
King George and the Ducky
The Ballad of Little Joe
An Easter Carol
The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment
A Snoodle's Tale
Sumo of the Opera
Duke and the Great Pie War
Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush
Lord of the Beans
Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler
LarryBoy and the Bad Apple
Veggie Tunes 2
Junior Glow Light
Dress-Up Mix-Up Larry
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