Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything"

I watched the VeggieTales' most recent movie today. Then I watched it with the commentary. Yes, it's true. I'm that big of a fan of Phil Vischer. "Who?" you may ask. Phil is the origninator of VeggieTales. "The guy" who began Big Idea Productions and first created Larry, followed quickly by Bob.

There have been some questions in the Christian community about the value of VeggieTales. Some people say that you can't tell a part of the Bible stories and not the whole thing, completely accurately. I'm not sure about you, but I don't know how DeLaynie could handle the story of King David and Bathsheba as is. Try explaining adultery to a preschooler. I think it makes good sense to present them with a starting point that you can use as they get older. No cartoon, after all, takes the place of parents and church in a child's upbringing. It's merely meant to supplement the education that they receive from their adult influences. There is also the issue of there being no Jesus in VeggieTales. I find this valid, but it is a pretty big question, "What vegetable plays Jesus?" There really isn't a way to play it respectfully. It would be nice if they did something to at least talk about Him, though.

Back to "The Pirates...". As I was watching the commentary (or watching the movie and hearing the commentary), I could tell that my man Phil was pretty annoyed with some of the changes made by Universal. Specifically, a song that was added in a tavern. When I first saw the movie, I was shocked that Phil Vischer would have written it, but concluded that he must have since he was the writer according to the credits. I was relieved to discover that he didn't like it either.

At another point the director (who was apparently the go-between for Universal and Big Idea) said something about "sometimes less is more" in defense of scene that was cut. To which, Phil responded, "and sometimes more is more." This was quickly followed by nervous giggles all around. They couldn't really hide their true feelings about the situation, which is the only reason that I sat through the entire commentary.

All-in-all, it's a good movie, though the Universal fingerprints are embedded through the entirety. If they would have left it alone, I'm sure that it would have been better. Phil made the comment at the end of the commentary, "Most people don't notice that the heroes never defeat the bad guy. An outside power, who is the one who called them into the story to begin with, is the one who really saves the day. That's what makes this movie distinctively Christian." And that is I why I'm a Phil Vischer fan more than a VeggieTales fan.

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