A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that in spite of this tale being a parody of The Lord of the Rings, there's not much scary stuff here -- a couple of spills, some bad guys in the form of table forks with glowing eyes, and a villain who isn't very frightening. The music, which spoofs the movie trilogy's outstanding score, is the only really suspenseful element in this episode. In fact, continued warnings from well-meaning characters about the hero potentially meeting up with evil creatures in a land filled with woe or experiencing a difficult journey never amount to much. While this very funny entry in the Christian VeggieTales franchise is consistent in its purpose to deliver valuable life lessons to kids, the only religious reference comes at the very end of the story.
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What's the story?
Toto, a little flobbit in a kingdom of elves, magic, and warriors, has been given the gift of a bean, perhaps the most powerful bean in all the realm. Encouraged by some to use his gift to gain fame, fortune, and a life of ease, Toto decides instead to find out why he's been given the wonderful bean, and then to use it wisely. To his dismay, he discovers that only the Elders of the Razzberry Forest have an answer for him; the journey there would be difficult and fraught with danger. Undaunted, Toto sets out, accompanied by the Fellowship of The Bean -- a team of vegetables-at-arms who are eager to help the brave little flobbit on his quest.
Is it any good?
Consistently very funny, clever, and warm-hearted, this tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien provides the VeggieTales family with a terrific platform from which to deliver this episode's relevant message. The appearance of the basic story and iconic characters from The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit -- "Billboy Baggypants," "Randalf," "Ahem" (a great "Gollum" character) and all the little "flobbits" -- should entertain everyone on a variety of levels. For those familiar with The Ring Trilogy, it's a hoot.
Less religious than most of the entries in the VeggieTales franchise, this parable about wisely using the gifts we have been given goes down very easily.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about using one's gifts to help others. What gifts do you have? How do you use your gifts? What gifts do your friends or family have and how do they use them?
Do you think certain types of happiness are better than others? What makes you most happy? When you think back on all your experiences, what are some of the best ones and why?
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