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VeggieTales (1993-2009, 2019-present)

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VeggieTales (1993-2009, 2019-present)
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🎵🎶 If you like to talk to tomatoes,
If a squash can make you smile,
If you like to waltz with potatoes,
Up and down the produce aisle...
Have we got a show for you!🎵🎶
Genre: Christianity culture
Musical
Animation
Comedy
Sketch comedy
Running Time: 30 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: December 21, 1993 - March 3, 2015 (original)
October 22, 2019 - April 1, 2022 (revival)
Created by: Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki
Starring: Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki
Lisa Vischer
Bridget Miller
Chris Olsen
Kristin Blegen
Cydney Trent
Megan Murphy
Seasons: N/A (A few videos were released per year)
Episodes: 59 (Videos released)

VeggieTales is an American series of children's 3D computer-animated television shows, videos, and feature films featuring anthropomorphic fruits and vegetables in stories conveying moral themes based on Christian culture. It's had three TV series; in 2014 with VeggieTales in the House, 2017 with VeggieTales in the City, and 2019 with The VeggieTales Show.

Summary

Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are an unlikely duo in a world of talking vegetables. The two friends learn about honesty, kindness, and forgiveness.

Why God Made It Special And He Loves It Very Much

  1. The show is really entertaining, creative, and funny, it also manages to do a good job with its various lessons, like God, and without getting too preachy.
  2. It was best known for being one of the first computer-animated direct-to-video series to be made entirely using Softimage in the 1990s and then Maya in the 2000s. Rendering was also made in Mental Ray and then V-Ray.
  3. The CGI animation is really appealing to look at, and making this show entirely in CGI was a good decision.
    • It looks very cute, adorable and wonderful in The Toy That Saved Christmas onwards, especially in The VeggieTales Show where it looks really fresh and clean by 88 Pictures after Prana Studios shut down.
    • In fact, the CGI animation in the late 1990s was also done entirely using Softimage 3D that allows the animators to animate the scenes in Alias Wavefront PowerAnimator, which can then be rendered in LightWave 3D.
    • In fact, what's more, is that the CGI animation in The VeggieTales Show is even more incredible and vivid. Compared to the original series, it was a major improvement.
  4. The characters designs are very cute and adorable (despite the character designs being a bit confusing).
  5. Plenty of lovable, funny and memorable characters such as:
    • Bob the Tomato.
    • Larry the Cucumber.
    • Qwerty.
    • Junior Asparagus.
    • Mike and Lisa Asparagus (Junior's parents).
    • Phil Winkelstein.
    • Archibald Asparagus.
    • The Scallions.
    • Mabel and Penelope.
    • Pa Grape.
    • Ma Grape.
    • Tom Grape.
    • Rosie Grape.
    • Lovey Asparagus.
    • Palmy.
    • Laura's parents.
    • Laura Carrot.
    • Lenny Carrot.
    • The Peach.
    • Scooter Carrot.
    • Jimmy Gourd.
    • Jerry Gourd.
    • Grandpa George.
    • Mr. Nezzer.
    • Mr. Lunt.
    • Asparagus Singers (Natalie, Kizzy and Nicole).
    • The French Peas (Christophe, Jean-Claude and Philippe).
    • Goliath.
    • Annie Onion.
    • Percy Pea.
    • Li'l Pea.
    • Buzzsaw Louie.
    • Art Bigotti.
    • Madame Blueberry.
    • Miss Achmetha.
    • Apollo Gourd.
    • Khalil.
    • Charlie Pincher.
    • Hope.
    • Grandma Gourd.
    • Petunia Rhubarb.
    • Ellen.
    • Ermie Asparagus.
    • Sara Crewe.
    • Bruce Onion.
  6. It teaches plenty of Biblical lessons and great morals that are not jammed down your kids' throat at all.
  7. Amazing and well done voice acting.
  8. The stories are really interesting and entertaining. What makes them better is that they are based off of real bible stories.
  9. Many great and memorable episodes and specials such as:
    • Where's God When I'm S-Scared? (1993; which started the original series on a high note)
    • God Wants Me to Forgive Them?! (1994)
    • Are You My Neighbor? (1995)
    • Rack, Shack, and Benny (1995)
    • Dave and the Giant Pickle (1996)
    • The Toy That Saved Christmas (1996)
    • A Very Veggie Sing-Along! / Very Silly Songs! (1997; despite being a clip show)
    • Larry-Boy and the Fib from Outer Space! (1997)
    • Josh and the Big Wall! (1997)
    • Madame Blueberry (1998)
    • Silly Sing Along 2: The End of Silliness? (1998; despite also being a clip show)
    • Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed (1999)
    • King George and the Ducky (2000; despite King George's behavior (read BQ #5))
    • Esther: The Girl Who Became Queen (2000)
    • Lyle the Kindly Viking (2001)
    • The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown (2001)
    • Jonah Sing-Along Songs and More! (2002)
    • The Star of Christmas (2002)
    • The Wonderful World of Autotainment (2003) (depending on your view)
    • The Ballad of Little Joe (2003)
    • An Easter Carol (2004)
    • A Snoodle's Tale (2004)
    • Sumo of the Opera (2004)
    • Duke and the Great Pie War (2005)
    • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush (2005)
    • Lord of the Beans (2005)
    • Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler (2006)
    • LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (2006)
    • Gideon: Tuba Warrior (2006)
    • Moe and the Big Exit (2007)
    • The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's (2007)
    • Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue (2008)
    • Abe and the Amazing Promise (2009)
    • Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella (2009)
    • Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving (2009)
    • Pistachio: The Little Boy That Wouldn't (2010)
    • Sweetpea Beauty: A Girl After God's Own Heart (2010) (depending on your view)
    • It's a Meaningful Life (2010) (depending on your view)
    • Twas the Night Before Easter (2011)
    • Princess and the Popstar (2011)
    • The Little Drummer Boy (2011)
    • Robin Hood and His Not-So-Merry Men (2012)
    • The Penniless Princess: God's Little Girl (2012)
    • The League of Incredible Vegetables (2012)
    • The Little House that Stood (2013)
    • MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle (2013)
    • Merry Larry and the True Lights of Christmas (2013)
    • Veggies in Space: The Fennel Frontier (2014)
    • Celery Night Fever (2014)
    • Beauty and the Beet (2014)
    • The Best Christmas Gift (2019; which started the revival series on a high note)
    • God Wants Us To Make Peace (2020)
    • A Lifetime Supply of Joy (2020)
    • The Power of Love (2020)
    • It's Cool to Be Kind (2020)
    • A ShakeSparagus Play (2020)
    • When Being Good Means Giving Up (2020)
    • Little Things Matter (2020)
    • Patience Takes Practice (2020)
    • Being Gentle Makes You Great (2020)
    • LarryBoy and the Cape-Coat Caper (2020)
    • The Wonderfulness of Wisdom (2020)
    • Forgiveness Brings the Fixing (2020)
    • A Tale of True Courage (2021)
    • Samson's Bad Hair Day (2021)
    • The Giving-est Day (2021)
    • The Good Shepherd (2021)
    • The One and Only You! (2021)
    • LarryBoy and the Angry Eyebrows Trouble (2021)
    • Don't Give Up On Doing Good (2021)
    • Don't Stop Believing (2021)
    • LarryBoy and the Emperor of Envy (2021)
    • Naaman Takes a Bath (2021)
    • LarryBoy and the Menacing Mushroom (2022)
    • LarryBoy and Awful Alvin's Grudge (2022)
    • The Grumble Cure (2022)
  10. Catchy and/or heartwarming songs such as:
    • Theme Song (If You Like To Talk To Tomatoes)
    • God is Bigger (Than The Boogie Man)
    • The Water Buffalo Song (Everybody's Got a Water Buffalo)
    • King Darius Suite
    • Oh, No! (What We're Gonna Do)
    • We've Got Some News, King Darius
    • Fear Not, Daniel
    • You Were In His Hand
    • We Are The Grapes Of Wrath
    • Some Veggies Went To Sea
    • The Forgiveness Song
    • Busy, Busy
    • Love Your Neighbor
    • The Hairbrush Song (Oh, Where Is My Hairbrush?)
    • I Can Be Your Friend
    • Good Morning George
    • Think Of Me
    • The Bunny Song (check BQ #5 for more detail.)
    • Dance of the Cucumber
    • Stand! (For What You Believe In)
    • Love My Lips
    • Big Things Too
    • Can't Believe It's Christmas
    • Grumpy Kids
    • Oh, Santa!
    • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
    • It's Laura's Fault
    • Larry-Boy Theme
    • Promised Land
    • The Lord Has Given
    • The Song of Cebú
    • Keep Walking
    • I'm So Blue
    • Stuff-Mart Suite
    • His Cheeseburger
    • The Thankfulness Song
    • The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps
    • Rumor Weed Song
    • I Love My Duck
    • I Must Have It
    • There Once Was a Man
    • The Selfish Song
    • Endangered Love (Barbara Manatee)
    • The Battle Prelude
    • Haman's Song
    • The Battle Is Not Ours
    • Lost Puppies
    • Larry's High Silk Hat
    • Share of Friends
    • Do the Moo Shoo
    • Happy Ki-Yi Birthday
    • Dream of a Dozen Cactus
    • Oh Little Joe
    • I'm Blue
    • Mayor's Dream
    • Another Easter Day
    • 113 Years Ago
    • You Didn't Listen Ebenezer
    • Boids
    • Hope's Song
    • I Want to Dance
    • Sport Utility Vehicle
    • What We Have Learned
    • And many, many other songs!
  11. There are also good dubs of the show.
  12. A lot of pop culture references such as Madame Bovary, Saturday Night Fever, The Avengers, Star Trek, etc. And unlike some other pieces of media, it works pretty well here.
  13. There were many, many iconic moments, including lines like "Cause you're his cheeseburger! His precious cheeseburger!" and "I Am That Hero!"
  14. In 2019, it spawned "The VeggieTales Show" which put the series back to its roots after the Netflix era almost ruined it.
  15. It also spawned two theatrical films, both of which were pretty good.
  16. It teaches very good life lessons here and here, similar to another kids' show in the 1990s.

Bad Qualities

  1. While the late 1990s CGI animation is mostly cute, adorable and wonderful, the CGI animation in the early-to-mid 1990s hasn't aged too well and it often at times has animation errors like objects clipping through something and other minor mistakes, with one major example being the inconsistent lighting and rendering in "Are You My Neighbor?".
    • Even the CGI animation in the early-to-mid 1990s can also be rubbery and/or wonky at times, and most of it is stiff and robotic with weird facial expressions. This could be more evident from Where's God When I'm Scared? to Dave and the Giant Pickle. Since The Toy That Saved Christmas, the CGI animation became more fluid and smooth, thanks to the technology upgrading to Softimage 3D.
  2. The series started going downhill after Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie flopped at the box-office. Phil Vischer, the creator of the series, sold his company Big Idea Productions to Classic Media. As a result some episodes after Jonah like "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!", "Sweetpea Beauty" and "It's a Meaningful Life" were a bit mediocre compared to some of the better episodes, despite the 1st one being fun. "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!" suffered from low-quality jokes, recycled music and rushed CGI animation and graphics, even for 2000s standards. But the show itself was still decent and didn't decline in quality until 2009. Some episodes like "Sweetpea Beauty" and "It's a Meaningful Life" looked like they were made by Hawaii Animation Studios which focused on the pre-rendered CGI animation and thus looked low-quality for 2010s standards.
  3. Some of the dubs, especially the Persian dub, were pretty mediocre.
  4. While the voice acting is very good for most of the dubs, the Arabic dub was not well received.
  5. Some episodes were either bad, mediocre, or had some fatal flaws, including:
    • "God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!" lacked a Silly Song and its stories were more over-the-top and nonsensical than what the series would eventually become. Strange and weirder moments such as Sunny the sun and one of the trees being personified in "The Grapes of Wrath", which is something you'd expect from a pre-Code Fleischer cartoon of the early 1930s. Phil and Mike started to tone down the weirdness after production of the video had ceased.
    • While "Rack, Shack, and Benny" was a great episode, "The Bunny Song" had to be altered in later prints, because of the lyrics “I don’t go to church. And I don’t go to school!”, or “I don’t love my mom, or my dad”. Since the song was catchy, it had to be altered instead of removed.
      • Speaking of the episode, although it was based off of the Biblical tale of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the Book of Daniel, the plot had Mr. Nezzer attempting to burn the trio alive for refusing to sing the Bunny Song. This could have gotten Mr. Nezzer arrested for commiting a crime of murder (although the trio survived the fire by getting rescued by an angel prior to the story being based off of a Biblical tale).
    • The episode "LarryBoy and The Fib From Outer Space" and the episode "LarryBoy and the Rumor Weed" , although both are exciting in any way, received a lot of letters from parents criticizing it for a few flaws, such as Larry being too serious, some dark and intense scenes, such as the Fib catching Junior and the Rumor Weed catching Alfred, Larry stating he is going to die if he and his Larrymobile crashes into a water tower (as well as Alfred, who is Archibald Asparagus, telling him to stop yelling at him), as well as mnearly eaten by the enlarged Fib and about to crash into the ground. Plus, LarryBoy didn't save the day or defeat the villains, but other characters such as Junior and Laura did (for Junior, he defeated the Fib by telling the truth about breaking the Art Bigotti plate, as well as encouraging the others to say nice things about Alfred to defeat the Rumor Weed with Laura with the help of his dad). Fortunately, the third LarryBoy episode (the Bad Apple one) finally depicts LarryBoy defeating the Bad Apple.
    • "Very Silly Songs" and "The End of Silliness?" were both examples of clip shows.
    • "King George and The Ducky" received some criticism for Larry's behavior when he played as King George, since many fans hated to see Larry be selfish and mean (it could be because viewers always thought Larry wasn't the person to do such thing) although it was part of the episode and the main characters are only playing as the story characters.
    • Some of the episodes from after 2009 also had flaws, mostly because of the show going downhill a bit. Lots were still decent, but not as good as the episodes that came before.
    • It's series finale, "Noah's Ark" (which ended the original series on a sour note), wasn't too good as well since it was the beginning of the Netflix series design era, as well as other flaws.
  6. The Netflix adaptations, VeggieTales in the House and VeggieTales in the City were poorly received.
  7. The character designs, while cute and nice, can be a bit confusing.
    • Junior Asparagus doesn't even look like an asparagus, instead he looks more like broccoli, or an artichoke.
    • Madame Blueberry is said being a blueberry, but she looks more like a plum.
    • Larry the Cucumber is as short as a zucchini.
  8. Christianity is a very patrilocal religion, since VeggieTales is a Christian show, this made many people uncomfortable from the late 2010s to the early 2020s.
  9. The podcast series, Very Veggie Silly Stories was very bad.

Episodes With Their Own Pages

Trivia

  • It was first pitched to Nickelodeon in the early 1990s back when the network was searching for its first cartoons; however, while Nickelodeon liked the idea, they refused the show, because they didn't want to air CGI cartoons at that time (they still didn't have it until Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius aired).
  • Contrary to popular belief, VeggieTales wasn't the first half-hour long CGI show, as that record was claimed by the Incredible Crash Dummies, which aired on Fox Kids a few months before the first episode was released to Christian bookstores in 1993. However, Crash Dummies was Canadian and wasn't entirely a series, making it the first half-hour long entirely CGI series produced in the United States, a year before ReBoot.
  • It was one of the first series to be animated entirely in CGI.

Videos

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