VeggieTales: Larry Learns to Listen

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
VeggieTales: Larry Learns to Listen Movie Poster Image
Faith-based collection of stories about listening to others.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 70 minutes

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Kids say

age 2+
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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

No academic content, but a series of messages about the importance of listening to those who love you the most.

Positive Messages

The focus is on the value of listening and following instructions. In one story, the emphasis is on listening to parents because "they're older, wiser, and want what's best for us." The second tale is about listening to God because "He loves us, wants what's best for us, and is much, much wiser." Finally, Larry the Cucumber discovers that following instructions and/or getting help from friends is better than assuming we already know everything there is to know.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Initially, characters either think they don't have to listen, that they know what's best, or that they have nothing to learn. In all cases, they are shown the error of their ways and come to appreciate the importance of listening to those who have their best interests at heart. A parent is portrayed as caring, wise, and willing to sacrifice for his son.

Violence & Scariness

In Pistachio, some scary music plays as Pistachio and his father are caught in a storm at sea and swallowed by a very big fish; a canon vaults Pistachio into the ocean. Some tricksters cheat Pistachio out of his gold coins. In "Josh and the Big Wall," soldiers dump slushies onto the heads of the Israelites as they march around the Wall of Jericho.

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

VeggieTales is a thriving franchise with toys, DVDs, merchandise, etc.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this 70-minute DVD is made up of one brief musical story and two classic VeggieTales. Like all Veggie Tales these stories are based on Christian beliefs and principles, though only one of the three stories explicitly mentions God. This collection is oriented around the message that kids should listen to those who know more than them. Some mildly scary music accompanies characters caught in a storm at sea and swallowed by a very big fish. In one of the features, a Pinocchio-like character is enticed into disobeying his father by tricksters and gets into lots of trouble. In Josh and The Big Wall the Israelites are pelted with slushies as they attempt to make their way to the Promised Land. In the end, everyone learns from his mistakes.   

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Kid, 11 years old March 3, 2013

Just for kids

If I could put age 0, I would(:

What's the story?

This collection of faith-oriented stories about the importance of listening and following instructions includes Pistachio, Larry Learns to Listen, and Josh and the Big Wall. In Pistachio the little Pinocchio-like character refuses to listen to his father and gets into big trouble as he goes out to explore the world on his own. In Larry Learns to Listen, the Cucumber's long-awaited 5D Space Squadron toy is delivered but Larry refuses to read the instructions, assuming he already knows just what to do. The toy is nearly destroyed before Larry's friends encourage him to follow the written directions. Josh and The Big Wall recounts the Biblical tale of Jericho. After spending 40 years in the desert because they didn't listen to God, the Israelites make their way to The Promised Land only to be stopped at the Wall of Jericho by the soldiers who stand guard there. Given detailed instructions for entry by God's messenger, the Israelites continue to question God's orders and nearly make another big mistake.

Is it any good?

Pistachio and Josh and the Big Wall are creative, enjoyable, and present lots of positive messages about the importance of listening to others that even the youngest kids will understand. Pistachio is less overtly religious than Josh and focuses on the parent-child relationship. Josh's orders come directly from God and his messenger.

In the packaging of this DVD, it appears that "Larry Learns to Listen" is a full feature, combined with two classic stories. In fact, the one musical tale is less than five minutes long and the re-releases are approximately 30 minutes each.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about listening to people who "want what's best for you."  Besides your mom or dad, who are some of the other people in your life who you trust to have your best interests at heart?

  • What if someone tells you to do something and you know it's not the right thing to do? Would you talk to parents or teachers about it?

  • How do you feel when you're not listened to? What are some positive steps you can take to make sure you are heard when it's important.

Movie details

For kids who love fun stories

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