For plenty of Christian families, their children had the opportunity to watch a computer-animated kids’ show called VeggieTales while growing up. The main characters Bob and Larry often narrate different stories in each episode, and talk about what’s important in Christian theology, including some short Bible verses and things to teach kids moral lessons. There are even several episodes where they’ll ask questions to prompt the viewers to ponder about certain things in life.
How to Bond Over VeggieTales
If you have any Christian friends, go up and ask them if they have any recommendations for TV shows and cartoons they grew up watching. If they mention VeggieTales, get their opinions on what they like or dislike about the episodes and characters. Engage in a conversation and watch a few episodes together. As a college/university student, the objective is to build up your friendships over VeggieTales, and by doing so, you’re off to a good start.
But, you might be wondering: What exactly has watching VeggieTales done for Christian children?
It seems like we really need to binge-watch and see what conflicts are introduced in the episodes. To get your mind running on the episodes when Bob and Larry star as characters in the stories they narrate, there are moral lessons and points that will be repeated. Why do these veggie characters (actually, there are fruits too) not do certain things if they want to be good? Basically, there’s probably a comment or question to provoke the viewer and ask them whether they’ve ever been bad in life and did bad things. Essentially, Christian children are taught not to do things that range from stealing, lying, and even attempting to harm others. Aspire to be good people, kiddos.
A First Experience with VeggieTales
One of my friends recently hosted an after-event in one of the campus apartments to watch VeggieTales. I was excited to hear about this after-event since I had never watched VeggieTales before. Knowing that multiple people would want to attend this after-event, you would have to expect a crowd of 20-30 students to come and sit in one room.
Note that your legs will get tired from sitting, but the endurance is worth spending a few hours for an after-event. It was quite a crowded space to fit people in who wanted to watch the show together while my friend was setting up the episodes for everyone. The ironic thing is that we had a vegetable platter with baby carrots, broccoli, peppers, ranch, and a few more veggies. We passed the platter around for everyone to take whatever they wanted to eat while watching. It’s somewhat funny to remember how we went and munched and snacked on vegetables, despite how crowded the apartment was!
Looking at VeggieTales from a Creative Perspective
VeggieTales is a computer-animated show that has a variety of themes, such as charity, family, empathy, and heroism. At some point, you’ll see royal figures, characters on a western journey, and restoration of land, property, and more. Some episodes do start off with the characters pilgrimaging through the desert-looking town full of saloons, restaurants and homes. Other episodes centered on the wild west will have the characters set in the middle of nowhere. You might expect a duel or burglary to go on, most likely something that will get our innocent characters in trouble.
We don’t need to know the exact time period each episode is set in, but the references to certain characters and historical events might give us a clue to connect the dots. The significance of providing different scenarios is to experiment on creativity, mainly in accordance to the biblical verses that will be displayed in acts that push the characters to teach the audience to act respectfully, and to reflect on whether you’ve ever been bad. Perhaps some of the veggies can show you indirectly that they’re going through the process of being heroic (sorta) in their own ways.
The Modern Hero: A Superb Veggie
Because Bob and Larry are the storytellers, they have to come up with something that can teach you, the viewer, to avoid doing bad deeds. So, that leaves us with the question of what conflicts are shown in some of the episodes. Whether you are Christian or non-Christian, it’s obvious that you really shouldn’t do things like theft, and some VeggieTales episodes have villains who plot stuff like this. Really, those evildoers will go a step ahead just so they can talk about scheming innocent veggies—and fruits. Though, sometimes the fruity characters are the real villains of the show.
One episode that stood out to me is called Larryboy and the Bad Apple. The main star is obviously Larry, but he gets to become a superhero and has an advisor named Alfred to keep him from drowning in temptation. Pretty cool to have a superhero veggie come in, but some superheroes have a weakness and Larryboy’s powers are hindered by eating chocolate. Mmhmm, delicious chocolate puts even the greatest hero in a bind, but who can resist the temptation to eat something you love? Meanwhile, an evil Apple is scheming against the citizens of Bumblyburg by using a gadget that grants her the powers of a spider. The bad Apple spends time plotting her revenge for her ancestor, who was overthrown for his treachery in the past. She wants all the glory to herself once she achieves her revenge, rather than being willing to split the credit with her wormy accomplice.
Temptation is the real challenge everyone in the town of Bumblyburg needs to overcome. For Larryboy he seriously needs to stop it by giving into his guilty pleasure of eating chocolate if he wants to concentrate on being a superhero made in God’s image. The Apple makes her way in in order to create threads of each character’s desires when she pays them a visit, so even Larryboy is a target for the Apple’s badass brainstorming. Thus, the Apple’s charisma and her way with words play right into the inner desires as she and the worm attempt to bring back an attraction called Apply’s Funhouse. Through the webs of temptation, the one who can bring Larryboy back to his senses is his butler, Alfred. After all, the citizens of Bumblyburg are reminded over and over again that giving in to temptation will keep them from being the characters God wants them to be.
Benefits of Watching VeggieTales
The awesome thing when it comes to watching VeggieTales is hilarious storytelling. Even a non-Christian can enjoy the humor embedded in Bob and Larry’s self-inserts in these tales. Despite being a kid’s show, you’ll get entertainment from the songs the characters will sing, which provides a musical performance done by vegetables. Not every character is a fruit, so we can’t forget that they’re ironically incorporated in the wrong universe. The wrong veggie-verse, that is! Bob’s a tomato and we have other fruity characters just like the bad Apple, but isn’t it a bit hypocritical for this cartoon’s name?
I know some of you might be laughing on the side when you think about how much VeggieTales isn’t all about vegetables. Even so, I’ll admit it’s not bad to watch any of these episodes. Larryboy and the Bad Apple is a commendable guilty pleasure episode where I, too, have had the urge to do things, including pigging out on my favorite foods, listening to songs on repeat for several minutes before doing what I need to do, and I know a majority of you might do things like binge-watching. How’s that for instant gratification?
One last thing I would like to mention is that VeggieTales might inspire some people to write fanfics or create their own stories. Some people might even get inspired to draw some fan art, paint rocks featuring their favorite VeggieTales characters, etc. Someone might just reflect on their favorite memories of the series, so there is some kind of VeggieTales legacy that could happen. Heroes are overrated for being cool, but those like Larryboy have their own flaws. His love for chocolate gets the best of him, so Alfred is usually around to remind him that he shouldn’t eat too much. It’s relatable to people who can’t help themselves, and if you’re like Larryboy, too much sugar can cause a sugar coma to happen to you. Whether you’re Christian or not, you can still watch VeggieTales, and see that no matter what time period each episode is set in, the order is always restored. The biblical verses that Bob and Larry will present to the viewer explain how bad things people do can be transformed into good qualities!