If you like to talk to tomatoes, if a squash can make you smile, if you like to waltz with potatoes up and down the grocery aisle … have we got a show for you!
Anyone who knows me will not be surprised to learn that I do, indeed, enjoy talking to tomatoes and dancing in the grocery store. Consequently, the children’s television show “VeggieTales” was a favorite from the moment it hit our home.
Picture, if you will, computer animated vegetables who act out Bible stories. Sounds a little strange at first, but go with me on this one. The creators of this series have great senses of humor, and they put that humor into each and every episode, forming something so off the wall and unique, you can’t help but smile.
Some of my favorite episodes include “Josh and the Big Wall,” which tells the story of the battle of Jericho, and “Esther,” which is slightly less funny and yet poignant in the telling. The stories are rewritten a little to make them understandable for young children, and I have to admit, I’ve learned a lot, too. One thing I’ve really appreciated is how the more frightening parts of the Bible are toned down just enough to keep from scaring the children, only retaining enough of the story so none of the history is lost. This was especially apparent in “Esther.” Rather than stating that an entire nation of people would have been slaughtered in the streets, we’re told that they are going to be sent to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. This conveys to the child viewer that the Jews were in danger, but not enough information to give them nightmares. As they grow older, parents can then introduce them to the true historical facts of the story.
Over the years, the series has broadened to include spoofs on classic literature as well. A Gilbert and Sullivan tribute, “Lyle the Kindly Viking,” is often on my lips as I do my housework. I enjoyed their version of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” as well as “The Sumo of the Opera.” Even in episodes that don’t hearken directly back to the Bible, solid moral values are presented and we see how the word of God is present in every situation.
We own at least fifteen VeggieTales movies and will continue to purchase them until we have them all. This is entertainment that teaches our children, that makes us laugh too, and it’s one of the only series we allow our children to watch on Sunday. Give VeggieTales a try – maybe they’ll become a regular dish at your house, too.
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