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If you're a parent of younger kids and haven't gotten hooked on VeggieTales yet, this DVD will do the job. Created by Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer, who were friends in college, the VeggieTales are computer-animated vegetables who share amusing morality tales, most often derived from Biblical texts. But as it happens, the episodes on this DVD are not as overtly Judeo-Christian and may therefore be more accessible to anyone scared of being preached at too heavily.

Archibald Asparagus, wanting to bring some class to the operation, takes over and brings us a very veggie variation on Masterpiece Theatre. What he hopes will be a cultural tour-de-force instead ends up being a parody of Hamlet, where the greedy Prince Omelet hoards all the kingdoms eggs, for use in his favorite dish: "eggs cooked light and fluffy". When he learns the importance of sharing his grateful people name this dish for him.

In the second episode, my personal favorite, Archibald believes he is presenting a lost opera of Gilbert and Sullivan. In roughly that spirit we hear the story of Lyle, who perplexes his fellow vikings by sharing his loot with those from whom it was stolen. With rousing viking songs and a lesson about sharing, this is one of the high spots of the entire series.


Grade: (A)


See also:

    INFO: Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) (
    MOVIE SITE: Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Big Ideas)
    INFO: VeggieTales: Lyle, the Kindly Viking (2001) (
    FILMOGRAPHY: Mike Nawrocki (
    FILMOGRAPHY: Phil Vischer (
    FILMOGRAPHY: Tim Hodge III (
    VeggieTales Take Plunge With Big-Screen 'Jonah' (MICHAEL MALLORY, October 2 2002, LA Times)
    ARTICLE: Big Trouble at Big Ideas: Former workers worry that Jonah could sink the company. (Todd Hertz, 10/04/02, Christianity Today)
    What? Kids wanting more Veggies?: VeggieTales, that is*filled with spiritual nutrients, too. (Louise A. Ferrebee, January/February 1998, Christian Reader)
    What's Cooking: When Martha Stewart Meets the VeggieTales? (Otto Selles, July/August 2001, Books & Culture)
    -ESSAY: Rethinking VeggieTales (AgapePress)
    -ARTICLE: A 'VeggieTales' First Hits the Big Screen: Popular Wise-Cracking Vegetables Star in Animated Flick (Allie Martin, October 4, 2002, Agape Press)
    REVIEW: of Lyle (Mike Jackson, DVD Verdict)
    Jo nah Round Up (Idea Joy Blog)
    REVIEW: of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Jeffrey Overstreet)
    Jonah and the Asparagus: The new VeggieTales movie. (Rod Dreher, National Review)
    REVIEW : of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Douglas Downs, Christian Spotlight on the Movies)
    REVIEW: of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly)
    REVIEW: of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (E! Online)
    REVIEW: of Jonah (Claudia Puig, USA Today)
    REVIEW: of Jonah (James A. Smith Sr., Baptist Press)
    -REVIEW: of Jonah (Thomas E. Phillips, Journal of Religion and Film)