Jennifer Bogart | Alberta, Canada | 02/26/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"What do a zany inventor named Jacques on a mission to bring back the boo-boo birds to Boo-Boo-Ville and heroes of the faith Abraham and Sarah have in common? Other than making appearances on the latest VeggieTales DVD, Abe and the Amazing Promise, all three characters have important lessons to learn in patience and perseverance.
Hey - Abraham and Sarah aren't characters; they are real people. Yes they certainly are. However, any viewer familiar with the VeggieTales series will recognize that when Bible people are rendered into the biblically based VeggieTales they become fictional characters. There is no doubt about it.
It shouldn't be a surprise when show hosts Bob the Tomato and Jr. Asparagus transport themselves into the Old Testament via the power of imagination to interview Abraham (or Abe for short), that they find the details of his life abbreviated, and altered from those we're familiar with. Ur is a retirement community everyone loves, Ishmael, Hagar and other politically incorrect family members are conveniently absent. The storyline is simple, brief and punctuated with a frenetic nurse, cranky French peas suffering in the desert sun, and Jr. having a hard time waiting for his mom's chocolate chip cookies. Children will grasp the high points: Abe and Sarah left Ur, they waited for a baby, for a long time, the baby finally arrived, God keeps His promises, be patient - but won't hold onto much else.
Moving along on the disc we come to a new Silly Song entitlted "Sneeze if You Need To", performed by Larry the Cucumber as the Sneeze Doctor, with Bob the Tomato starring as the tormented patient with a sneeze at the tip of his nose. While I can certainly sympathize with Bob - who hasn't felt a sneeze coming that wouldn't arrive - this Silly Song fell short of the VeggieTales standard offerings. Many of the Silly Songs I'm familiar with have been the catchiest, most entertaining songs I've heard - prompting many spontaneous bursts into song by myself and my youngsters. I just can't see that happening with "Sneeze if You Need To". It's easily forgettable with the only memorable moments being the sneeze related trivia shared within the context of the song.
Thankfully the second story segment on Abe and the Amazing Promise is excellent. Larry stars in "Blunders in Boo-Boo-Ville" as Jacques; an amateur inventor whose need for speed leads to haphazard inventions that are less than fully functional. When the Mayor of Boo-Boo-Ville threatens to shut down the annual festival do to lack of boo-boo birds, Jacques is set upon a course of action involving the development of patience. The repercussions of his new mind-set have resounding, lasting effects upon his character, work, and relationships. Combining an unusual goal, fun songs, a tad more depth and a meaningful take away lesson, this segment was without a doubt my favourite on the disc.
Of note to long-time series fans is the fact that this installment of the series is the first full-length episode directed by John Wahba. While John and I don't always share the same sense of humor, my five-year-old certainly appreciated his unique touch. But really, if the punch line in a children's song segment doesn't work for me, but my daughter points out that it's one of her favourite parts - her opinion likely has more weight than mine.
Wahba's emphasis seems to be more focused on bringing to life a film that plays to a child's sense of imagination and humor, rather than engaging in the asides and in-jokes for adults that adult fans are used to finding sprinkled throughout the VeggieTales series. As a result adults are generally finding this installment lackluster, and are typically expressing similar concerns regarding the Abe and Silly Songs segment. In all honesty we don't purchase these discs for ourselves - my kids and yours will still be greatly entertained by the antics of their favourite animated vegetables. My two-year-old started laughing hysterically and dancing during the opening theme song - she loves these guys.
As always, the VeggieTales DVD itself was superb. Sparing parents and advertising susceptible children from interminable numbers of previews, most were relegated to the bonus features, with only a sprinkling included before the feature. Subtitles that perch near the speaking character and the 5.1 surround sound are the most notable viewing options. The list of fun and informative bonuses is quite lengthy. Parents will appreciate the behind the scenes glimpses that include a full length studio commentary track that plays over the film, art gallery and discussion guide. Children will dive into the video trivia game, interactive storybook, Silly Song sing along and how to draw segments.
I'm thankful that the team at Big Idea adopted the character trait of patience for one of their full-length installments. It's a virtue that most children, and many adults, can use more of. Whatever the weaknesses of the first half of the film, by the end of the 45 minute play time, and with a couple of relevant Bible verses, Bob and Jr. drove their message home."
Not their best work but still good
mrs. dani | lexington, sc United States | 02/21/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Someone mentioned in an earlier review it seemed as though this was not written by the same person that wrote the other Veggie Tales...they are right. Phil Visher usually wrote all of the stories for Veggie Tales. Since he lost control of Big Idea (I highly recommend his book "Me, Myself, & Bob" that tells what happened) some others have taken turns at writting. Not a good thing.
While very good as far as children's videos (Christian or otherwise) it fell short of the Veggie Tales quality. The animation was great, the story line was a great idea but fell short of what it could have been. Of course, all Veggie Tale fans will want to have this, but if this is your first Veggie Tale or you are short on cash, do what a fellow reviewer suggested; get Snoodle's Tale, an Easter Carol, or Lord of the Beans."
Love the second story "Blunders in Boo Boo Ville"
mom | 02/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Love the second story "Blunders in Boo Boo Ville". The Abe story was just ok. If you have a kid that loves musicals and loves dancing, this is the veggie tale for you. The Boo Boo Ville story is much like a musical. Silly song was ok, but now I can't get it out of me head!!! I also would recommend VeggieTales "Snoodles Tale" Very Cute!"