Jun 4, 2015

Review: VeggieTales: King George and the Ducky (2000)

I think I kind of accidentally, on purpose forgot about VeggieTales because it's been a while since the last time I've seen one. Can you blame me though? It's like mentally preparing yourself to go on a run. The hardest part is actually starting. Once you're moving your feet though it's not that bad. It's the same thing with VeggieTales. Once you got Bob and Larry lecturing you from their familiar counter top, it's not so bad. With a bit of gritting your teeth anyway.


At a Glance

Genre: animation, short, comedy
Directed by: Mike Nawrocki
Produced by: Jennifer Combs
Written by: Phil Vischer
Music by: Kurt Heinecke
Running time: 30 minutes
Production company: Big Idea Home Entertainment, Inc.
Distributed by: Word, Lyrick Studios, Sony Wonder
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: N/A
Box office: N/A

IMDb entry
Rotten Tomatoes entry

Starring: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer, Lisa Vischer



King George (voice: Mike Nawrocki) loves bath time and he loves his rubber ducky even more. He spends so much time taking baths with his ducky that he just can't be bothered to perform his other kingly duties. This is a big problem since the kingdom is currently in a pie war with another kingdom. Louis (voice: Phil Vischer) does what he can to hold the fort but it isn't easy. King George spots another ducky that belongs to young Thomas (voice: Lisa Vischer) and he just has to have it no matter the consequences.



There's something more off with King George and the Ducky. There's always something off with VeggieTales, but it's seriously a problem with this one. Take the opening for example that has Jimmy (voice: Phil Vischer) and Jerry Gourd (voice: Mike Nawrocki) pretending to be Bob and Larry. It's a segment that's supposed to be bad to a certain extent, but it goes beyond that. It's seriously embarrassing to watch. It gets worse with the poor excuse of a story which features one of the worst Swedish accents I've ever heard. Bob and Larry eventually intervene with a proper story, making the whole thing a complete waste of time.

What you notice about King George and the Ducky is that Big Idea has really improved in the animation department. No longer is VeggieTales a jagged mess. Colours pop out more naturally now and backgrounds seem of much better quality. It's been a long-waited change. The last few videos like Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed have shown short examples of improvement, but KGatD is the culmination of all that. King George and the Ducky is still far from being a beautiful piece of animation, but it's almost passable now.

I'd also say that there's been an improvement in the production values of the songs. The instrumentation in Endangered Love which is the Silly Song of the episode for example is a lot richer compared to the early days of VT. It's annoying beyond belief, but richer which is something I guess. Other songs are almost as annoying, but it could certainly be worse.

I'm not too impressed with the story however as it strikes me as pretty lazy. I also can't get over how much I hate it when King George says the word "ducky" either. I hate typing it even. The humour seems non-existent too which is a little peculiar. King George and the Ducky is just, well empty and barren. It feels like a placeholder to be honest and that isn't cucumber cool at all.

I believe that Big Idea was working on a feature-length VeggieTales film at this point which eventually became Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. That's obviously a pretty big deal for a small studio like Big Idea and I'm sure it took a lot of their time. KGatD was an opportunity to experiment with better animation for that feature film, but unfortunately also skimp out on the writing. The better production of King George and the Ducky values make it relatively easy to digest I suppose, but that's not enough to hide the undercooked script that can't be excused.



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