2012-10-08

VeggieTales: League of Incredible Vegetables – Super Hero Fun With Larry And The Gang

by Yo Snyder

[Catch the premiere of The League of Incredible Vegetables for free this Friday, October 12, in the HUB at Calvary Albuquerque. Visit Parchments Bookstore on Facebook to find out more.]

If there’s one thing The
Avengers
has taught us it’s that if one superhero is fun, more of them are
even more fun. That’s a lesson VeggieTales is certainly taking to heart in
their new release; The League of
Incredible Vegetables
. After so many years of Larry getting to have all the
super hero fun as Larry Boy, this time Bob, Mr. Lunt and the rest of the gang
get to get in on the fun as well; but does all of that fun add up to fun for
viewers?

Now, being a serious comic book and super hero fan, I feel
that perhaps I took this VeggieTales a bit too seriously. I thought the
build-up to the introduction of the League of Incredible Vegetables would be,
well, more of a build-up. Instead, it’s quickly determined that this caper is
too much for Larry Boy to handle (who seemed a bit more bumblingly inept than
usual), and the League was quickly called in. Eventually, though, I relaxed my
inner super-hero-nerd-critic and just sat back and enjoyed the fun, which is
always the best way to enjoy VeggieTales. Especially when they do their spoofs;
you just cant take them too seriously.

That being said, I still felt like this one got off to kind
of a slow start. There a few gags that fell flat, and a couple times when I was
expecting a big punchline that never materialized. Plus some of the zip and
energy between the characters seemed a little flat. However, the second half
following the Silly Song with Larry Boy did much better, with some fun little
in-jokes (like a subtle Angry Birds reference) tossed in here and there to
liven things up a bit. The overall story focuses on overcoming fear, which left
me nostalgic for the classic Where’s God
When Im Scared
with the delightful “God is Bigger Than the Boogey Man” song.
The songs in this one aren’t quite as catchy, but the message is still just as
relevant; with God on our side, we dont have to be afraid. Truthfully, I was
kind of surprised VeggieTales went back to the well to tackle this topic again,
but the last one was so long ago, it was probably the right time to address it
again with a more contemporary super hero flair.

I should also keep in mind that these really aren’t made for
me. While VeggieTales has always retained some humor and appeal for adults, it’s
really aimed at the kids. All of my analysis of plot and character development,
faithfulness to established super hero team-up tropes, and all the rest of that
stuff is pretty meaningless in the face of what’s most important; do the kids
like it? Mine, 7 and 10, thought it was great. They immediately asked when we could buy it. My wife also commented that
between this one and the recent Penniless
Princess
, VeggieTales seems to have rediscovered some of their more classic
feel, if that makes any sense. I’ve noticed that as well, recently. The
quality definitely seems to be on the upswing, and theres no denying that it
all looks better than ever.

The League of
Incredible Vegetables
doesn’t quite have all the elements to make it a new
classic, in particular I think the weaker songs and weaker villain (I miss Mr.
Nezzer), keep it from attaining that status, but it is a fun one. Super heroes
are always fun, and it’s hard not to smile seeing Bob suffer from Super Hero
Syndrome after discovering the fun Larry’s been having all these years. And if
you leave with a smile after watching VeggieTales, I’d call that mission
accomplished.

Score: 5 of 7
(probably 6 of 7 if youre under 12)

Thanks to Parchments Bookstore and Big Idea Productions for providing the material for this review.