VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy

  • Review Date: October 21, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 45 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Veggies delight in a holiday story about forgiveness.
  • Review Date: October 21, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 45 minutes

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

Introduces the classic Christmas story of the Little Drummer Boy, along with some spiritual lessons.

Positive messages

A basic premise of this story is that feelings of anger and a refusal to forgive must be replaced by love and forgiveness ("God forgives us so that we can forgive others"). It's stressed that every good story has some bumps along the way.

Positive role models

Parents and grandparents are portrayed as loving, caring, and responsible. Aaron (the Little Drummer Boy) learns a valuable lesson about forgiveness. On the flip side, Ben Haramid, a greedy, manipulative character, speaks with an African-American dialect.

Violence & scariness

Roman soldiers burn down the Little Drummer Boy's home as he watches, and his parents disappear. Later, a chariot runs over and injures a pet lamb who ultimately survives.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

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

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Christian-themed movie considers some weighty human emotions, such as loss, anger, greed, forgiveness, and love, accompanied by lots of humor and music. In one scene, Roman soldiers burn down the main character's house, and his parents disappear. The boy is angry and inconsolable but ultimately finds new faith and learns about forgiveness, love, and redemption. Expect some threat to the life of a dear pet, as well as a stereotypically African-American dialect from a negative character.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Junior Asparagus (voiced by Lisa Vischer) is angry at his friends. He mistakenly believes that they've ditched him after they'd all agreed to go Christmas caroling together. To calm him, Junior's grandfather reads him the story of Aaron, The Little Drummer Boy. Long, long ago not far from Jerusalem, Aaron (also Vischer) gives up on humanity after his home is burned down by Roman soldiers and his parents disappear. He vows never to be with people again. Accompanied by his drum and his only friends -- a lamb, a donkey, and a camel -- he journeys through the desert. But his plans for solitude are interrupted. It's the first Christmas Eve, and the desert is filled with travelers: a troupe of entertainers, shepherds, and three wise men. After a series of misadventures, Aaron joins the others to follow the Star of Bethlehem to the manger. There, with only the gift of his music to give the Baby Jesus, Aaron witnesses a miracle and learns about love and forgiveness. In the present, his grandpa's message is not lost on Junior, and the boy's Christmas spirit is renewed.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

This holiday entry from VeggieTales is an engaging, vibrant, and often humorous musical tale. Careful to note that the drummer boy's story is not biblical, the Veggie team delivers its own take on the child with the gift of music and integrates him into the story of The Nativity with warmth and sensitivity.

 

The music is wonderful, particularly the very funny song delivered as an interlude midway: "The Eight Days of Polish Christmas Dishes." Given that the story is religious by its very nature and contains some heavy thematic material (loss, forgiveness), the team has managed to make an entertaining and accessible film for families looking for original Christmas entertainment.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the importance of forgiveness. How do you feel when you're angry and unforgiving? How do your feelings change after you've accepted someone's apology? How do you feel after you say you're sorry?

  • Can you tell that this movie is produced by a Christian organization? How? Are the messages in this movie only for religious viewers?

  • The VeggieTales' "Eight Days of Polish Christmas Dishes" is a parody or spoof of a familiar holiday song. What's the point of parody?

Movie details

DVD release date:October 4, 2011
Cast:Lisa Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Director:Brian K. Roberts
Studio:Big Idea
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:45 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Educator and Parent Written bychristian-witness June 28, 2012
AGE
4
QUALITY
 

very good

Christian program
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

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