A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What 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.
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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?
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.
Talk to your kids 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?
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