A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that some of these TV episodes aren't the same "VeggieTales" you'll find on DVD and video -- they're a newly edited version. The morals remain as strong and clearly (if not subtly) presented as ever, but the biblical verses and stories are gone. It's also worth noting that the main characters always seem to be male.
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What's the story?
In VEGGIETALES, every "VeggieTale" is a short story with a distinct moral, acted out by a cast of plump, appealing animated vegetables. Each story is framed by a brief introduction and a farewell from the two lead veggies, Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. The stories are funny and clever (even when the lesson is being delivered), and the songs are catchy. Some of the newly edited TV tales (not all episodes are edited for TV), unlike the best-selling video and DVD series, deal with basic moral tenets, such as forgiveness and the Golden Rule, rather than biblical stories and instruction. The lessons at the hearts of these episodes are the kind that should be palatable to viewers of any -- or no -- religious persuasion.
Is it any good?
Because the morals usually veer toward the obvious, VeggieTales will probably be most amusing for younger kids or, perhaps more accurately, less sophisticated viewers. It's not the lessons themselves that older kids might object to; it's more the fact that you can see them coming a mile away, and even the best songs can't make getting there any more exciting.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the messages of each episode. Try stopping halfway through to find out whether kids have caught the moral before the show spells it out -- it's a good way to gauge their ability to predict a story as well as how well they can distinguish right from wrong. Then you can get into the finer points of each story. What do you think the character needs to do to get his friend back? Do you think he should act that way? (And so on.) Families who've watched the original VeggieTales videos and DVDs may want to discuss the differences between those and the TV version (for those episodes that have been edited).
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