Movie Review

Lyle: The Kindly Viking (Veggie Tales)

MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Reviewed by: Brett Willis
CONTRIBUTOR

Excellent!
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Family/All Ages
Genre:
Animation
Length:
37 min.
Year of Release:
2001
USA Release:
_____
Relevant Issues
Box art for “Lyle the Kindly Viking”
click for Kid Explorers
Adventures in the rainforest! Learn about the Creator of the universe by exploring His marvelous creation. Fun for the whole family with games, activities, stories, answers to children’s questions, color pages, and more! One of the Web’s first and most popular Christian Web sites for children. Nonprofit, evangelical, nondenominational.

Featuring: Voices of Lisa Vischer, Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, G. Bock, Pamela Thomas, Jim Poole
Director: Tim Hodge, Mark Vulcano
Producer: Jennifer Combs, Phil Vischer
Distributor: Big Idea Productions/Lyrick Studios

This episode of Veggie Tales reverts to a concept not used since the first few installments: two 15-minute stories rather than one 30-minute story. The video’s overall theme is Sharing.

Archibald Asparagus, getting in on the trend first seen in “King George and the Ducky” in which characters other than Bob and Larry tried hosting the show, has come up with a fine selection of material. Unfortunately, his assistants are the French Peas.

First, the Peas lose the script for “Hamlet” and the crew has to put on a substitute called “Omelet.” This is styled as a goofed-up “throwaway” story like the brief one that the Squashes put on in an earlier episode, but it’s actually quite good. The numerous Hamlet take-off lines are hilarious, but they don’t distract from the message.

The Silly Song with Larry, which Archibald insists is actually a Classy Song, is “Larry’s High Silk Hat.” It uses the melodies of “O Sole Mio” and “Funiculi Funicula” and the feather-and-chocolates motif from “Forrest Gump”.

Scene from “Lyle the Kindly Viking”
Jimmy Gourd reinterprets a famous speech in Shakespeare’s “Omelet.”

The title story, supposedly a lost work of Gilbert and Sullivan, features a little Viking (Junior Asparagus) who routinely gives back a part of what his fellow Vikings have stolen. Aside from being the right thing to do, this turns out to be a very good idea in a practical sense.

The animation, characterizations and storytelling are excellent as usual.

The lesson in this episode is really just another aspect of the anti-selfishness message in “King George”, but that’s OK. Sharing (as a manifestation of love) is extremely important. The 19th Century preacher, C.G. Finney, taught that the opposite of love is not hate but indifference and selfishness, and that selfishness isn’t just sin but is the entirety of sin. Everything we do is motivated either by unconditional love (mirroring the love of God) or by selfishness (sometimes very cleverly disguised). We must first experience the perfect love of God in order to be able to manifest that same love to others (John 13:34,35; I John 4:7-21).


Viewer Comments
What makes this series stand out from other good Christian shows like McGee, Davey and Goliath or Storykeepers? it’s the 3-D animation. it’s sad shows have to be all glitzed and glamoured up for our children to accept them nowadays—but if it works, then praise the Lord.
—Parker, age 50
All I can say is: Yipeee! The Veggies are back! This is a product worthy of Bob and Larry and the gang. After “Esther”, I was worried that Big Idea might try to give us another “serious drama” (a fatal flaw, when the actors are all vegetables). Instead, they’ve returned to the essence of what made them great, total silliness! I couldn’t be happier. Great Job!
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Timothy Blaisdell, age 36
…very humorous and very tongue and cheek. …a great message about sharing. …Lyle teaches the other Vikings a very valuable lesson about sharing. He tells the other Vikings that “Sharing may not get you more stuff, but it will get you more friends, which is even better.” Both adults and children will love this latest Veggie Tales Video.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 5]
—Lisa Sutter, age 24
This movie was BORING. Like King George and the Ducky, it literally put me TO SLEEP! Perhaps the creators of Veggie Tales need to take a break from creating new films until they have some new ideas, instead of producing inferior products, just to have something new to sell.
My Ratings: [Excellent! / 3]
—Mrs. Lewis, age 41, non-Christian