Lyle: The Kindly Viking (Veggie Tales)
Reviewed by: Brett Willis
Year of Release:
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”.
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).