VeggieTales: 'Twas the Night Before Easter

 
(i)

 

More scriptural content than some other VeggieTales.
  • Review Date: March 4, 2011
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2011
  • Running Time: 47 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Introduces the idea of a "homeless shelter" and describes some of the people it serves. Serves as a complement to religious instruction.

Positive messages

Many positive messages, including that we can earn forgiveness by admitting our mistakes and setting things right. Several religious messages: the purpose of church is not to impress but to serve, and the importance of Easter is remembering that Jesus came to serve mankind and gave his life to save many. There's also some subtle messaging that some might interpret as being anti-art.

Positive role models

No villains here. Everyone is well-intentioned, if sometimes misguided. And even the misguided among the Veggies do learn lessons about values and behavior.

Violence & scariness

During a play's finale, the theater collapses and turns to rubble; no injuries. A speeding bus, trying to make it to church before sunrise, encounters many threatening obstacles on the road, but everything turns out fine.

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 VeggieTales DVD -- one in a series of animated children's stories based on Christian beliefs -- is more explicitly religious than some other VeggieTales titles. Religious messages and scriptural quotations appear throughout the story. There are a few suspenseful moments -- for example, a rollicking race on a robot-pulled bus to get to church before sunrise on Easter and a building's collapse at the end of a musical show -- but nothing is scary, and no one is injured. 

What's the story?

TV reporter Marlee Meade (played by \"Petunia Rhubarb\") quits her job because she wants to give more to the world and help others. Her quest to save an old theater and put on a musical show called Up with Bunnies finds her in competition for talent and time with the local church and its upcoming Easter sunrise service. Marlee's misadventures and stop-at-nothing attitude get her in big trouble and teach her important lessons about honesty, how to truly help others, and the real meaning of Easter.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

In usual entertaining VeggieTales fashion, 'TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE EASTER combines upbeat musical numbers and a simple story with positive messages and Christian values. And there's always some pop culture parodies for the grown-ups -- in this case, a reality TV show called America's Got British Judges and a visit to a Broadway-style musical. And Melinda Doolittle, a talented American Idol finalist, lends a thrilling gospel sound to celebrate an Easter beyond egg hunts and chocolate bunnies.

While all VeggieTales movies include faith-oriented content, in this instance, the film contains frequent and specific biblical messages to encourage and strengthen the faith of the very young. Though some viewers may disagree when a young theater fan who believes that "theater has the power to give people a vision of something bigger and more important in life" is shown the error of her ways and learns that what is truly important is serving others, Jesus, and the church.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about holidays. Why do people sometimes overlook the true meaning of holidays and focus on more superficial elements? What are some different ways that families celebrate the same holidays?

  • What is the purpose of the VeggieTales series? Do movies or TV shows have to appeal to a broad range of audiences, or is it OK to target a specific group of people?

  • Talk about some of the messages in this movie. Which resonate with you most, and why?

  • One message the movie seems to express is that the theater (and perhaps the arts in general), aren't as powerful or as important as one character initially thought. What do you think about the role of the arts in our lives? What do you think the filmmakers were trying to say with this plot element?

Movie details

DVD release date:March 8, 2011
Cast:Melinda Doolittle, Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Director:Mike Nawrocki
Studio:Big Idea
Genre:Family and Kids
Run time:47 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of VeggieTales: 'Twas the Night Before Easter was written by

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

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Teen, 16 years old Written bylovzhisdad October 20, 2012
 

Phil Vischer does it again!

This movie has a great message for kids about what Easter is REALLY about!
What other families should know
Great messages
Parent Written byAmyLieu April 6, 2012
 

Not the best for the Easter message, but a good cartoon show

I love all veggietales, some are better than others. I am not in love with this Easter one, I like the prior Easter for the message. But my 4 year old son LOVES this show! He loves the huge robot bunny & watches it over and over again laughing out loud.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Adult Written byEli05 October 31, 2012
 

A big favorite in our house!

My daughter loves this movie. She watches it all year round and it teaches great lesson.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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