"VEGGIETALES: MINNESOTA CUKE AND THE SEARCH FOR NOAH’S UMBRELLA"
by Kevin Carr
|| MOVIE: *** (out of 5 stars)
DVD EXPERIENCE: ***1/2 (out of 5 stars)
Studio: Big Idea
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Following the classic “VeggieTales” style, this DVD stars Larry the Cucumber as Minnesota Cuke, a children’s museum curator who is also a part-time detective hired to find Noah’s Ark. During the search, Minnesota Cuke learns about the mysterious Noah’s umbrella, and he must face a dastardly and villainous gourd who wants the treasure all for himself.
WHAT I LIKED
Although the entire “VeggieTales” line is a Christian-based children’s series, it is entirely accessible to the mainstream audience, and that is one of my favorite things about these videos. They’re not heavy-handed, and while they have a Christian message, they aren’t overbearing or too pushy. I’ve seen lots of Christian-based videos in my time, and most of them are just preaching to the choir, if you pardon the pun.
The tale of Minnesota Cuke, like most of the VeggieTales stories, serves a Christian purpose better by welcoming new viewers and puts the entertainment value first, which makes the series reach a much larger audience.
This story is cute, and with the Gourd as the bad guy, it’s a hoot to watch. There’s plenty of things that kids can learn while watching this, from the Biblical tale of Noah’s Ark to lessons on teamwork and faith. Finally, there’s plenty of music in the show, including the new silly song “Sippy Cup,” which makes the video appealing to younger viewers.
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
The only real problems with the VeggieTales video series is the animation quality. When it first came on the scene, the animation was pretty impressive. But after the millennium came and went, the simple geometric CGI has lost some of its punch.
This family-friendly DVD set-up includes an audio commentary by the directors, plus sing-along songs with Larry. For the budding artists, there are tutorials on how to draw Minnesota Cuke and Julia, as well as an art gallery of the characters. Finally, parents can access a discussion guide on the disc to bring out the lessons.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE
Fans of the VeggieTales line.