Talking vegetables turn 20
With four children under the age of 10 in our household, the VeggieTales movies are a somewhat a staple of our entertainment diet. The series was begun in 1993 by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki (who provide some of the voices for the characters).
VeggieTales is popular with Christian families because they have no bad language. My favorite character is Larry the Cucumber, and my favorite movie has to be Larry Boy (a Batman spin-off). My favorite silly song is Pizza Angel.
Some Christians, however, say VeggieTales teach Bible stories the wrong way, which is a valid concern to raise. Some critics, such as writer Cathy Mickels over at the Christian Post, have even stronger words concerning the movies’ potentially corrosive effect on kids and biblical accuracy in general.
While VeggieTales creators feel at liberty to take creative license with biblical stories and add a “creative twist,” parents cannot take a chance that their children can discern the difference. Because of this reason, we typically stick to the episodes that are spoofs other movies or storylines, such as Indiana Jones (Minnesota Cucumber) and Lord of the Rings (Lord of the Beans). Parents whose children watch the Bible story episodes would need to make sure the children know that Gideon’s band did not drink “slurpies” and that David did not take someone’s rubber duckie but his wife.
Be that as it may, one advantage to VeggieTales is that it is entertainment for the whole family. There are references in the movies that are subtle that parents can understand and enjoy, but they are not gross or inappropriate. VeggieTales offers a light hearted way for families to laugh together.
I simply would admonish the creators of VeggieTales to keep focused on the Bible’s values and Jesus Christ Himself. While entertainment for families is good, we all need the Gospel in the end, not just a good laugh. I, for one, continue to be a fan in large part and hope the next 20 years of creative work is as good as the first.