VeggieTales: Merry Larry & the True Light of Christmas

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
VeggieTales: Merry Larry & the True Light of Christmas Movie Poster Image
Simple, faith-based look at the true meaning of Christmas.
  • NR
  • 2013
  • 47 minutes

Parents say

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Kids say

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational value

Meant to inspire and entertain, not educate.

Positive messages

Promotes the "true" meaning of Christmas: giving, loving, and helping others. This faith-based story advocates letting God's "love shine through you."

Positive role models & representations

Christina, a little girl with an unselfish mission, inspires everyone else in the story (who are all well-intentioned but have lost sight of Christmas's true spirit) to remember what's really important about Christmas: giving of ourselves and helping others. The featured Veggies who associate the Christmas spirit with lights, decorations, candy, fireworks, and spectacular effects ultimately learn that Christmas's brightest light is found within each of us.

Violence & scariness

Light cartoon action in several scenes. A few characters lose their balance and tumble to the ground. A train speeds through a mall, scaring some kids and knocking things down. A bit of suspense as the Veggies race to prevent a fireworks display from exploding near a house.

Sexy stuff
Language
Consumerism

Veggie Tales is a vast franchise of faith-based television programs, DVDs, and toys. The DVD includes a link for the sale of related products.

Drinking, drugs & smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that in Veggie Tales: Merry Larry and the True Light of Christmas "The Veggies" (led, as usual, by Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato) hope to inspire children to remember the true spirit of Christmas: to be loving, to be giving, to be helpful, and to "let God's love shine through you." A few cartoon tumbles, a race to prevent fireworks from exploding, and a funny misunderstanding provide the gentle action and mild suspense. The creators of this clever, entertaining, widely advertised brand of children's films and products encourage children to believe in God and good deeds and, in this episode, to honor the birth of Jesus Christ.

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What's the story?

In MERRY LARRY AND THE TRUE LIGHT OF CHRISTMAS, there's excitement in Spring Valley. Veggie Philip (played with gusto by Bob the Tomato) and Veggie Reggie have a fabulous opportunity: They've been asked to decorate the entire Spring Valley Mall for Christmas! There's no end to the lights, the sparkle, the dazzle they can create. There's even a glimmering train and a massive fireworks display. Only the mall's Christmas Elf (played winningly by Larry the Cucumber) is doubtful. Isn't there more to Christmas than shine and spectacle? Enter Christina, a little girl who comes to the mall hoping only to raise money and find helpers for an elderly neighbor whose home is nearly falling apart. It isn't long before Phillip and Reggie, aided by the Christmas Elf and the discovery of an ancient creche (a replica of the Nativity), really do find the holiday's true meaning.

Is it any good?

Simplicity, humor, clever music and songs, and a desire to inspire good works and faith are the trademarks of The Veggie Tales. This entry is no exception. There's a pervasive gentleness and an earnest wish to connect to kids in a positive way. Some entries in the Christian series are more religious than others; because this episode is about Christmas, the values are very clearly tied to God and the birth of Jesus. Still, the underlying message is about giving, helping, and "loving thy neighbor," which works in any season.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can discuss ways in which giving and helping are satisfying. Describe how you feel when you give a gift to someone you love. How is that different from the feelings you have when you receive such a gift? Are both meaningful to you?

  • How can you and your family be giving and helpful at Christmas time? Plan one activity with your family to make a difference in someone's holiday experience.

  • What do you think is meant by the phrase "Christmas spirit"?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love the holidays

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