Reviewed by: Douglas M. Downs
First our 2D animated good guy tamed “The Angry Eyebrows,” then he matched egos with “The Alchemist.” Now, “I am that hero,” Larryboy, must face his most villainous villain ever—The Yodelnapper—in Big Idea’s new cartoon series.
From the creators of the best-selling video series “VeggieTales”, comes the third installment in this new all-cartoon feature. It may not be 3D computer animation, but these valuable lessons are lifted out of some imaginative storylines and the veggiesilliness is unmistakable.
Alright, my cub-reporters… here is the latest scoop on this new adventure featuring the greatest superhero and crime fighter of all time. (--“How does that introduction sound Larry?”—“Fine, Doug” replies Larry—“I couldn’t have said it better myself. By the way, how would you like a job in Bumblyburg? After all, I do know the mayor.” Doug, thankful for the offer, politely declines. “Thanks Larry, I think I’ll keep my day job for now.”)
There are some spiritual lessons that are difficult to communicate to children. One of those life-values is materialism. It is so easy for any of us to become collectors. I was watching a special recently on the rapid rising success of the DVD format. The industry expert declared that the accelerated growth of this medium has not been the result of just the technological breakthrough, but because people are creating DVD collections.
Jesus once declared “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26). Jesus also stated in Matt. 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
It doesn’t take long to find out what someone’s passion is. I’ve witnessed young children begging their parents for another Barbie, another Hot Wheels, another video game, another pack of cards, etc. The truth is the Bible says more about money and greed than it does on prayer and heaven. Our “life” book exposes an area that can bring tremendous lifelong bondage or a life of blessing if it is yielded to the Lord.
Even Larryboy, as our story opens, can’t wait to get his hands on the latest doll in the “Hula” series. His heart won’t rest until he adds “HulaHedi” to his collection. In act one of our engaging story, Larry accidentally creates a monster out of crazy clay while dashing through the crowd in a local department store to claim his prize. The monster is later tamed by music. This plot point has two powerful symbolic lessons.
Firstly, unbridled materialism can be monstrous. It is much easier to curb those appetites early. I have heard parents declare in counseling sessions “we can no longer afford ($$$) the cost to encourage our child’s behavior.” We must resist the temptation to bribe or nurture instant gratification while strolling through your local “Wallyworld”.
Secondly, just as only Saul’s spirit could be soothed by David’s music, greed and materialism must be conquered and not pacified. We know that Saul’s heart sadly never did change. While Larryboy is dealing with the monster, all of the “HulaHedis” are sold. It is now the job of his butler and confidante Archie to help Larry through this crisis. Archie announces to Larry that Einger Warblethroat is in town for a concert. He is one of the great yodelers of all time. Little does our unsuspecting hero know, but Greta Von Gruesome is kidnapping all the yodelers in the world. Before Einger can begin, she comes in and “steals the show” (pun intended). Larry must seek advice from Professor Bok Choy and conquer this new villain. The rest of this zany episode provides plenty of discussion material for parents and children. I really enjoyed the cartoon short at the end “A Polar Pickle.”
This Veggie is a great pick and worth the price of the DVD. My youngest son has already watched the special feature segment on how to draw Junior Asparagus several times—who knows. I know this: there seems to be no end to the creativity from the staff at Big Idea.
Thanks again for another great resource in the never-ending quest to help teach children values.