Mar 15, 2015

Review: VeggieTales: Josh and the Big Wall! (1997)

There's not much for me to say before I begin my review of what is the ninth video in the dishearteningly long VeggieTales series. Maybe it's time I just give up. That would be the easy thing to do, but I just can't. I've come this far already and I'm not about to let a bunch of vegetable driven Bible story re-tellings stop me. 

I suppose the only thing of note here is that Josh and the Big Wall! was the final time Chris Olsen was involved with VT in some capacity. His time with VeggieTales all started with The Toy That Saved Chritmas as a co-director and a producer. Continuing in the same positions from then on, He was basically only around for a year. I never really noticed that much of a difference with him or without him, so it's a non-issue I guess.

edit: I've noticed that Chris Olsen still has some more VeggieTales projects that he's involved in. He just simply neglected to make his IMDb profile as complete as it could be. 

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Genre: animation, short, family
Directed by: Chris Olsen, Phil Vischer
Produced by: Chris Olsen
Written by: Phil Vischer
Music by: Phil Vischer, Kurt Heinecke, Mike Nawrocki
Running time: 30 minutes
Production company: Big Idea Entertainment
Distributed by: Lyrick Studios Video, Anderson Digital
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, Chris Olsen

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Synopsis


The Israelites after having been liberated from Egypt by Moses are banished to the desert for forty years due to questioning God's ways. Joshua (voice: Mike Nawrocki) has become the leader of his people and the time has come to finally go onwards to the Promised Land. However, the city walls of Jericho halt them in their quest of taking over Canaan. Only with the help of God can they ever hope to overcome this challenge.

Review


Larry the Cucumber (voice: Mike Nawrocki) is absent for the usual introductory counter top address due to apparently being tired from the last VeggieTales episode where he starred as Larry-Boy. That would usually be good news, but Junior the Asparagus (voice: Lisa Vischer) has taken his usual spot which isn't much of a reason to celebrate. Lisa Vischer seems to find a way to dial up Junior's annoyingness factor even more than usual, so that's definitely a problem.

The opening segment is a bit longer than usual and this has the effect of screwing around with the pacing of Josh and the Big Wall! slightly. After the first song, it cuts directly to the Silly Songs with Larry segment. You can't just do that. I need time to recover from these VT songs and going directly to a song with public enemy #1 Larry is just a cruel joke.

What I will say though is that the first half of Josh and the Big Wall! contains songs that actually aren't that bad. That's a bit of a scary statement to make for me because there's the possibility that I'm just getting used to these poorly written and irritating excuses for songs. I don't think that's the case because the latter half of Josh and the Big Wall! has some pretty unbearable songs, so we're good. In a manner of speaking anyway.

The message of this VeggieTales entry is all about obedience and doing things God's way. That's a good lesson sure, but what surprised me is how preachy JatBW ends up being. I'd rate this one has one of the preachiest of all the VeggieTales I've seen so far and that ain't cool. There's nothing wrong with wanting to work in a Christian message, but not like this. I point my finger at the Junior monologue close to the climax as being the prime problem here.

Nothing's changed with VeggieTales so far and I guess I shouldn't expect anything different. The animation is still horrible, the songs are still hard to stomach and the humour is a cringefest. Larry was less annoying overall which is nice I guess, but when one leak is plugged in VT, five more are sprung.

Rating


3.5/10