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I don't remember the year, I don't remember whether it was Christmas or her birthday and I don't remember which VeggieTale it was. But as I sat and watched it with her, I remember thinking, "Wow! This is different — this is really cool." And I've been hooked ever since.
VeggieTales appeal to all ages — they're basic enough for little kids and clever enough for big ones. The humor is clean and witty. The tunes are catchy with silly lyrics and the colorful characters are unforgettable.
VeggieTales are the creation of computer animator Phil Vischer and writer/director Mike Nawrocki. They started Big Idea Productions in Phil's spare bedroom in 1993, when computer generated animation was still vastly unheard of.
Pixar's now famous Toy Story — which largely gets the credit for all the CG breakthrough — was not even on the horizon.
And in 1993, when Bible stories were barely past the felt-board stage, Vischer created a cast of animated vegetables led by a silly cucumber and his straight-man tomato friend loosely played off the Abbott and Costello comedy team.
VeggieTales are goofy, fun and never get old. Silly Songs, a VeggieTale standard, get stuck in your head and become part of your family's identity. These vegetables are definitly good for you.
Big Idea Productions' new feature move — "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" — opened in theaters across the country Friday.
Maddie, 14, and her friends already have the movie's rousing theme song memorized.
We love VeggieTales at our house and look forward to this latest effort from the talented folks at Big Idea.
The following synopsis appears in the movie website's press room:
This new adventure stars Larry the Cucumber, Mr. Lunt (an onion) and Pa Grape as three moping misfits trying to prove to the world who they really are. They want to be heroes — how hard could it be?
Working at The Pieces of Ate Dinner Theater, busboys Elliot, Sedgewick and George — Larry, Mr. Lunt and Pa Grape — dream of the day when they can ditch their dishrags and star in the big pirate show. But with Elliot's timidity, Sedgewick's laziness and George's lack of self-confidence, it seems as if the day to prove who they really are will never come.
Pirates is an allegory, an illustration, a parable, Vischer says. Each character illustrates a fatal flaw: Larry fears everything. Lunt lacks self-motivation. And Pa Grape has no backbone to move on a good idea.
That all changes when a series of events drags them back to the 17th century — and into the belly of certain danger. Now, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything must each face their fears — becoming unlikely heroes in a battle to rescue a royal family from an evil tyrant, and themselves from living the life of common couch potatoes.
Clearly it's not a Bible story, but it is an allegory on heroism, human desire and God's call. Three despondent wannabes learn to believe in themselves by believing in someone beyond themselves.
The movie defines a hero as someone who does what's right "even when it's really, really hard."
More important, it says that God calls us to great adventure. And if we respond, He'll equip us for every task.