Hey, everyone. "Moriarty" here with some Rumblings From The Lab.
I know nothing about this.
The poster does absolutely nothing whatsoever to convince me to see the film, and I don’t actually have the nerve to even click on the trailer link on the Apple Trailer Site. Still, I’ve heard from seemingly rational adults that this series of videos has a particular charm. Sure enough, this review is actually coherent and sincere. Check it out...
Hey, Harry! I've been a huge fan for almost...geez, can it be 5 years?...but this is the first time I've been in a position to see something that might be of interest to AICN.
While out in LA last week, I got a chance to see Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. I don't know how much you know about Big Idea and the Veggie Tales franchise, but ever since Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber made their debut, they've been selling videos and merchandise like hotcakes. At the end of 2001, they'd sold 20 million videos. Their first big film is set to premier in October, but attendees at the Christian Booksellers Association convention were given a sneak peak at a film the creators described as 99 percent finished.
To start off with, I should say that I'm a moderate fan of the series. For the most part, the animation isn't as high quality as the work coming out of places like Pixar, but the writing is witty and not overly preachy, though their morality does peak its way through. Larry's Silly Songs are some of the funniest things out there, and for a newcomer, I'd have to recommend the Ultimate Silly Songs DVD. Where else can you find a cucumber singing his way through a Chinese menu?
At the start of the screening, Phil Vischer, one of the creators and voices, explained that this was the dream from the beginning of the Veggie Tales franchise, to put out a major motion picture. This script, apparently, has been written and rewritten since the beginning of his creative partnership with Mike Nawrocki, the voice of Larry the Cucumber. They clearly were delighted with the production so far; they acted like kids who couldn't wait to get onstage for their dance recital. In any event, the lights dimmed, and the show began.
The story starts as Bob the Tomato navigates a vanload of veggies to a Twibbo concert. A singalong, a family of mad porcupines, and a run-in with a clothes line later, the group finds themselves in a dilapidated seafood restaurant. Here, Laura the Carrot and Junior Asparagus happen upon the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, who offer to tell the quibbling kids a story about compassion. Whoa! Story time. Cue Jonah, the dancing camels, and assorted dancing vegetables for the first big production number of the film.
Up till this point, the film feels preachy and forced. The shots seem slow and less than energetic, which, frankly, was a disappointment considering their earlier work. All of this turns around with the appearance of Khalil, the worm. Or Carlisle, as Jonah insists on calling him. Very funny dialogue, and the songs get more energetic and entertaining as the film rolls along, especially with the wild gospel choir number in the belly of the whale. The best part of the film (and if you're a silly song aficionado, this is a big spoiler) was the final song underneath the credits, which does its best to explain the reasons behind having a song underneath the credits to begin with. That was, by far, the funniest thing I've seen in a film in a long time.
Overall, Big Idea is best when it isn't focused so much on preaching their brand of religion, but giving us their own unique and twisted look at the real world. Kids will like this film, the video will do well, and plenty of stuffed Larry the Cucumber dolls will be sold. Parents, however, will probably snooze during the first half of the picture, which is a pity, because the second half has enough good laughs to make it almost worth the price of admission. It's a pity, because just like so many religious films with passionate creators, the overly spiritual bits are the parts that are the most forgettable.
Thanks for keeping up such an amazing storehouse of info for us teeming masses!
If you use this, just call me LarryBoy.
Ahem. Vegetables are... plants... right?