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 VeggieTales DVD is inspired by Ephesians 6:1-3, or "honor your father and mother." The DVD contains some very mild scary situations and some humorous product placement, but otherwise it's fine for preschoolers. Happily, the humor is often geared toward adults so that families can enjoy together. Non-Christians are invited too; the Bible quote comes only in the epilogue, and otherwise, the religious aspect is not discussed in the story itself.
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What's the story?
Kindly but lonely old Gelato receives an enchanted chunk of pistachio tree wood. With it, he carves a boy named "Pistachio," who promptly comes to life. Pistachio immediately ignores his father's advice, lies, and goes out into the world by himself, where a couple of swindlers try to cheat Pistachio out of his money. Pistachio learns his lesson, but too late; his father has been swallowed by a whale! Will Pistachio and his little friend Cricket the caterpillar ever find Gelato again, and if they do, will Pistachio learn to listen?
Is it any good?
Though the "listen to your father" message may come on a bit strong for parents, this is actually a charming, funny DVD with good animated production values and some cute songs. A good portion of the humor is geared toward an adult level, including a hilarious parody of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and a musical number called "Where Have All the Staplers Gone?" Those already familiar with the Pinocchio story will get an extra kick out of the parody aspect.
While the songs are short and catchy, they can be a little too obvious on the "honor your father and mother" lesson. (However, all religious references and Bible quotes are saved until the epilogue.) Interestingly, one of the main themes of Pinocchio is learning to tell the truth, and this DVD doesn't really exploit this theme.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the idea of honoring their mother and father. What does this mean? Will listening to a parent's wisdom, advice, and commands make someone a better or smarter person?
At what age is it OK for children not to listen to their father (or mother's) advice?
Is it hard for kids to believe that their parents may have things to teach them? Did you always feel that way?