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VeggieTales: It's a Meaningful Life
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that VeggieTales is a series of animated movies and TV shows for kids based on Christian beliefs. This movie reinforces the idea that each person is special and that God has a plan for everyone. The messages of appreciating what you have and finding your own specialness are prominent throughout, and intermingled with specific references to God and religion. There are no scary moments; the only action takes place on a football field, and though the main character is injured, he is never in danger and recovers quickly.
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What's the story?
In this homage to It's a Wonderful Life, Stewart Green (played by Larry the Cucumber) finds out that happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. Stewart misses his chance to make the winning touchdown in a very important football game. Bumble, who does catch the ball, has a successful football career and becomes rich and famous. Disappointed and feeling unlucky, Stewart settles for getting married, having children, and running his town's toy company, but he always wonders how his life would have been different if only he'd caught the ball. It's up to Stewart's family, the poeple who work for him, and a magical ride on the "What If?" train to teach him about what really matters and show him how special he is.
Is it any good?
There are lots of clearly stated, positive messages in this adventure, as well as some clever parodies of celebrity endorsements and the lure of fame and fortune. The story is enhanced by the usual charming VeggieTales' musical numbers and characters. This is one of the VeggieTales in which religious beliefs (specifically God's love, God's plan for you) are featured throughout, so parents may need to be prepared to answer questions and discuss their own views in a way kids can understand.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about regrets. Stewart took a ride on the "What If" train. What would have been different for him if he had caught the football and made a touchdown? How would other people's lives changed? What purpose do regrets serve? Do you have any regrets?
Bumble is a famous character who tells people to buy certain products. Do you think famous people really believe in the products they're selling? What do they receive for their efforts? What kinds of marketing do you notice in your daily life? What makes it effective?
How do you deal with disappointment? Do you discuss disappointments with your parents and ask for their help?
What are the things that make Stewart really happy? What are some of the things that make you happy? Describe a time with your family that made you very happy.
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