VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy

Movie review by
Renee Schonfeld, Common Sense Media
VeggieTales: The Little Drummer Boy Movie Poster Image
Veggies delight in a holiday story about forgiveness.
  • NR
  • 2011
  • 45 minutes

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

A lot or a little?

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

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 & representations

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
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 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.

User Reviews

Adult Written bychristian-witness June 28, 2012

very good

Christian program

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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?

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.

Talk to your kids 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

For kids who love holiday fare

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