Veggie Tales in the House Review
Should Fans Love It or Hate It?
Before I share my official review of Veggie Tales in the House (#InTheHouse) — which will explain what content in the new Veggie Tales (#VeggieTales) Netflix series is different than the old Veggie Tales — I need to confess that I discovered something a little, well, surprising, while investigating all of this.
It all started when Veggie Tales posted a cute pic of Bob the Tomato announcing that there was one day until their new Netflix show Veggies Tales in the House premiered. (It should be noted that Veggie Tales was started by Big Idea, then purchased by Classic Media, and then acquired by DreamWorks, who is now distributing this new show through Netflix.)
Reason to celebrate, right? “Yay, new Veggie Tale episodes!”
I was in a commenting mood on Facebook, so I dove into the melee. Then I saw the comments – person after person complaining about the redesign of their beloved Veggie Tales. Now, you might think I’m exaggerating when I say “beloved,” but I am not. I mean that word in its full definition of dearly, loved, and cherished.
These people were speaking of Veggie Tales as if it were something sacred.
And no one was happy about this re-boot. So I commented that I liked the redesign and was quickly shot down by a jury who “severely disagreed” with me. Yes, one person used the word severely. One person said, “I don’t like it and I don’t have to.” So there.
The “controversy” (I use that word lightly, trust me) has been going on since pictures first surfaced of the redesign. I can’t imagine this was the reception they were hoping for, but I think kids will make a kinder audience.
The redesign seems like a great move to me. This is Veggie Tale’s official answer on the new look:
The original characters were created more than 20 years ago and with the technology that was current at the time. Today’s technology allows for animation opportunities that didn’t exist in the early 90′s. Beginning with the new TV series we wanted to update the design with a timely look while keeping what is timeless about the characters we know and love. Bob and Larry are still Bob and Larry and VeggieTales is still VeggieTales. Our mission remains the same – to create faith-based entertainment for today’s generation and the generations to come.
Believe it or not, Veggie Tales has been around for 20 years! I guess this explains the strong love some people have for them. I grew up on Veggie Tales, but I’m in the minority (apparently) by saying, “bring on the redesign!”
We need to remember that, as nostalgic as we might feel about Veggie Tales, they are pictures of vegetables. Let’s not take this too seriously, folks. It has always made me laugh that Phil Vischer, when creating the characters, decided to use vegetables because they didn’t have arms, legs, or hands, which made them easier to draw when he first began using them.
My support for this re-boot comes from the fact that this generation of kids is not the same batch of kids that grew up 20-30 years ago. This generation is even more visually-minded. Is technology to blame? That’s a question for someone smarter than myself, but I will tell you that God foresaw this generation.
Veggie Tales, Hanna-Barbera, and Davey and Goliath all led the way to today. Thanks to their trailblazing, top-of-the-line technology is being used to teach our kids Bible stories and morals. Let’s give thanks for that rather than complain that it’s changing.
So will Veggie Tales survive? Check out these other cartoon redesigns who not only survived but found a new audience to love them! This is why I can now live vicariously through my daughter and buy myself “Strawberry Shortcake” dolls — oh, I mean buy HER the dolls.
We want to be where the kids are to reach them. Christian values and the Christian worldview — i.e. God exists, and because He exists this is how we should act — are clearly seen in this show, so let’s celebrate! We have a Great Commission from Jesus to reach the world, and if Veggie Tales in the House can help us do that, we should let them play a role.
P.S. Is your kid already requesting a puppy for Christmas? Have them watch “Puppies & Guppies” – the first episode of “Veggie Tales in the House.”
An Official Review of Veggie Tales In the House
The biggest change, besides the song, is the scenery; we get to move about the little Veggie Town in the life-size kitchen. The characters have more texture. The skin on Larry looks like a real cucumber! The eyes, which most people were concerned looked “creepy” aren’t really a problem at all. They blink and sometimes even go to the hilarious “puppy dog” eyes.
As far as the spiritual content: a Bible verse is shared near the end of the story (each story is 11.5 minutes long, two per episode for 23 minutes), which relates to the main idea of the episode.
While there is no “Silly Songs with Larry,” there appears to be at least one song in each episode which is up to the normal Veggie quality.
Those most familiar with Veggies will notice that Junior Asparagus’s voice is different — in a weird, awkward puberty way. He was originally voiced by Lisa Vischer (wife of the creator), but he is now voiced by Tress MacNeille. She is an industry veteran who works on top shows, and she is the current voice of Daisy Duck. I don’t know the reason for the change, but if your kids catch it, you can either go the puberty voice change route (i.e. he’s older now) or tell them he has a cold, as, apparently, some parents have opted to say when they’re trying to explain it.
One thing is unchanged: they end their show with that familiar scene of Bob and Larry on the counter saying, “Remember kids: God made you special, and He loves you very much.”
We love you too, Veggie Tales! Thanks for sticking around.