Monday, April 9, 2012

VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men (DVD)




Biblical purists need to relax, and "There is no God on Sesame Street."

VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men (DVD)
VeggieTales (www.veggietales.com)
Publisher: Big Idea Entertainment
Length: Approximately 50 minutes

I like VeggieTales use of classic stories to convey spiritual truths. Initially, they may have resorted more to Bible stories, which got them into trouble with those who did not like the liberty they took with Scripture. Biblical purists will have a harder time complaining when classics are used to illustrate biblical values.

This DVD starts with a coming attraction that captivated my interest. Various individuals involved in making The Penniless Princess: A Story of True Worth, slated for release in August 2012, discuss the story, which is adapted from A Little Princess by Frances Burnett.

The fascinating analysis shows the commitment and professionalism that goes into each VeggieTales production; not least of which is the communication of spiritual values. In a recent article for Christianity Today, VeggieTales’ founder Phil Vischer points out why this is important, “There is no God on Sesame Street.”

VeggieTales deserves applause for introducing children to God and Christian values. They do it in a way that is entertaining to little ones and adults. The stories follow a simple but effective formula: start with timeless values derived from Scripture and mix in excellent production and witty humor.

Robin Good also starts with a bonus short, “Lenny & The Lost Birthday,” starring Junior Asparagus, which almost steals the show from the main attraction. Bob the Tomato narrates this lesson on worth. It is so well done that I would have been satisfied with this alone.

However, if I had stopped there I would have missed plungers that become arrows and seeing the terrible dungeon of despair. In Robin Good fundraising from the rich during tough economic times (note the social commentary on current events) leads Robin’s men to take up stealing, something Robin is against because stealing is wrong. Robin feels the hurt of being abandoned by his men, but it leads to the central theme, which is no hurt is too big for God. Psalm 55:22 directs us to cast our burdens on God, and He will sustain us. In this story, and in the bonus short, we learn that the best way to handle disappointment and hurt is to give it to the Lord.

What would a VeggieTales episode be without a Silly Song with Larry? It is unthinkable. “Bubble Rap” is the newest Silly Song, which is found here and on If I Sang a Silly Song … (DVD).

VeggieTales is getting better with age, which says a lot, since from the beginning they set a high standard. The commentary on The Penniless Princess is a treat, and the themes conveyed in the short and the main feature are a treasure.  

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