Feb 13, 2015

Review: VeggieTales: Very Silly Songs (1997)

I feel like King Théoden when I say this; how did it come to this? I've been dreading the day that I'd have to see this particular entry to VeggieTales because of the fact that it's a sing-a-long video. The songs in VeggieTales have always stuck out like a sore thumb among many other sore and rotten thumbs. I just couldn't imagine that by seeing these songs a second time, I'll like them any better. My courage was hanging by a single thread as I started this 30 minute horror and I faced the very distinct possibility of breaking my streak of finishing every movie I had ever started. It would be so easy to quit wouldn't it?


Genre: animation, short, musical
Directed by: Mike Nawrocki, Chris Olsen
Produced by: Chris Olsen
Written by: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Music by: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Elliot Hunt
Running time: 30 minutes
Production company: Big Idea Productions
Distributed by: Lyrick Studios, Word Entertainment
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Lisa Vischer, Jim Poole, Mike Sage, Dan Anderson



Larry the Cucumber (voice: Mike Nawrocki) is super excited because he is going to have a part in making the very first VeggieTales workout video. After a rough start, Bob the Tomato (voice: Phil Vischer) straightens the record and tells Larry that they're actually doing a sing-a-long video. So begins a look back at all the VeggieTales "greats."


I can't even describe to you how annoying the opener with Larry is as he's trying to do a workout video. So I won't. Mike Nawrocki is a co-director for Very Silly Songs and I'm guessing he got free reign to make the character he voices as irritating as he wanted. 

The big thing about Very Silly Songs that I unfortunately discovered is that it starts with the VeggieTales theme song. You can just imagine my horror. It was bad enough back in 1993, and it's just as bad this time around. What makes seeing it again particularly chilling is that I'm probably getting to the point where it appears in every single VT video. Not a nice thought now is it? I really fear for my TV's well being in the near future.

Like typical sing-a-long video, there's text that appears on the bottom of the screen with highlighting on the words so that you can follow along. I did indeed try to sing the lyrics (don't laugh) and it was honestly quite difficult to follow. Words seemed to pop up at the last possible instant and the music isn't very well written as I've so often complained about. That makes singing these songs a lot more difficult than you'd think.

The songs in VeggieTales hardly sound like songs at all and it made me realize that as bad as the writing is, you got to credit the voice actors who somehow are able to sing these lyrics. I tried a couple more times to get it right, but I wasn't able to do it without getting all mixed up. I'll admit that I'm not very musically inclined, but my girlfriend actually is. She didn't fare much better than I did. 

The other big complaint I have in regards to Very Silly Songs is the re-writing of "The Bunny Song" which has been re-titled "The New and Improved Bunny Song." The original song was met with a storm of controversy because kids liked it so much despite the "bad" lyrics it had. We're talking all sorts of naughty things like not going to church, school and not loving one's parents. 

So naturally, the song was completely re-written and you can see the two versions here if you want. The original song wasn't meant to be taken seriously, I mean it was being sung by the bad guy who is of course going to say bad things. Parents got in a tizzy I guess and the message that was there before has now been completely erased. I don't even think that the song would work in the context it was used in originally.

Anyhow, I slogged through yet another VeggieTales video, made even worse by the fact that it's a sing-a-long and I don't know why. For science maybe? To think that I have another sing-a-long VT only a couple video later is a frightening thought. I won't give up though. If Théoden can carry on despite impossible odds against a horde of orcs, I can do the same thing against an army of videos featuring annoying vegetables. 



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