Reviewed by: Brett Willis
|Featuring:||Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, Jr. Asparagus, Grandpa Grape|
|Producer:||Big Idea Productions|
This episode of Veggie Tales returns to an approach that marked the first releases—the use of themes based directly on Bible stories. The theme of this one is SELFISHNESS. It’s an adaptation of the story of King David committing adultery with Bathsheba, found in 2 Samuel 11 and 12. [As you probably know: David saw her bathing from his rooftop, called for her (although he had several wives of his own) and got her pregnant, tried to cover it up by bringing her husband Uriah (one of his Thirty Mighty Men) back from the war on leave, and finally killed her husband by sending him on a suicide mission because Uriah was too faithful to his King to take time to visit his own wife.] HOWEVER, the story is cleverly handled in a way that removes the “adult” material, and there’s nothing in the video pointing out that it IS about David. This leaves parents free to choose, based on their own children’s ages and maturity, how much (if anything) they want to add to the story as shown.
After a comic relief opening sequence in which Jimmy and Jerry the Squashes impersonate Bob and Larry and host their own story about selfishness, the actual tale of King George begins. The King (played by Larry the Cucumber) has no time to discuss important matters of state with his aide, Louis (Bob the Tomato), because he’s always in the tub with his rubber ducky (that is, with his current favorite rubber ducky; he has a whole closet full of them). But in the middle of singing “I Love my Duck,” as he looks down from his balcony and sees young Thomas (Junior Asparagus) bathing, he suddenly covets Thomas’ ducky as well. Louis advises the King that he can’t just take the ducky, because word would get out and that would disturb the whole kingdom. So the king decides to “do something about Thomas” also. The rest is a fairly close Biblical adaptation. Thomas is sent off to the Pie Wars, and his commander is ordered to put him in the front lines and then withdraw from him. A prophet (Grandpa Grape, with a flannelgraph) tells the King the story about the rich man and the poor man’s lamb, causing the King to condemn himself. The King repents, and does what he can to make the situation right. He confesses to God and also to Thomas (who is now a War Hero, but suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), and makes restitution.
The utter nonsense of wanting every ducky in the kingdom reinforces the lesson that being selfish can’t bring happiness. And the opening story by the Squashes has the same theme, so the concept is actually hammered home twice. At the end of the show there’s another comic relief cut as Bob and Larry are impersonated again, this time by the French Peas. The Silly Songs with Larry interlude, “Endangered Love,” pokes fun at Soap Opera addiction; Larry is shown fixated on his favorite star, Barbara Manatee. The computer graphics and all-around production values are the same high quality as in other Veggie Tales episodes. My daughter and the neighbor kids all ate this one up as soon as I brought it home. I recommend it highly.