VeggieTales in the City
By Joyce Slaton,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
City life teaches moral lessons in sweet animated series.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Social-emotional lessons are explicitly stated: "If you treat people with respect, they'll keep coming back," says one responsible business owner. The lessons are often laced with religious notions: "People matter to God, and they should matter to us, too," says the same businessman.
Episodes are written around moral lessons such as "be polite" and "do what you say you're going to do." The climax of each episode generally revolves around a character making a mistake and then making amends. The show's mild villains are often coded as "unattractive," which seems to perpetuate the idea that beauty is connected with morality.
Positive Role Models
Main vegetables Bob and Larry are unfailingly polite, kind, and responsible (they'll tell you a lesson at the end of each show about it, too); even the "bad guys" of the show are generally only selfish or thoughtless, not actually evil.
Violence & Scariness
Mild storylines occasionally have cartoonish explosions or slapstick, such as characters running into walls. A girl plays superhero and wields a large staff that she twirls and spins, exclaiming she could smack things with it (or push things out of reach). Even when villains hatch evil schemes, no one really gets hurt -- they might get knocked down or have a pie vaporized.
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No cursing, but occasional insulting language: "doofus."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that VeggieTales in the City is a continuation of the popular children's animated VeggieTales franchise with the same characters in a different setting. Bob (a tomato) and Larry (a cucumber) and other vegetables have adventures with villains who may threaten mild violence such as knocking other vegetables over or vaporizing someone's pie. The baddies are either carted away to jail or taught moral lessons by the end of each episode, often connected with Christianity. Villains are frequently made "unattractive," with spots, moles, harsh voices, and irregular features, which may perpetuate the notion that physical attractiveness and moral uprightness are connected. There's no cursing, but villains occasionally use insulting language such as "doofus."
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VeggieTales in the City
Based on 5 parent reviews
Proselytizing not ok
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Veggietales In The City Tv Series review by Logan Strohl
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What's the Story?
"There's a great big city where each day begins/With exciting new adventures for our veggie friends!" That's the way each VEGGIETALES IN THE CITY episode starts, clueing us in that we're going to see all the vegetables we've come to know, in a big, bustling city that brings new exploits for tomato Bob (Phil Vischer) and cucumber Larry (Mike Nawrocki). The big city is full of tall buildings, traffic, and friends both new and old. Sometimes the vegetables make mistakes, such as being impolite or caring about money more than friendship. But at the end of every show, the vegetables have learned a lesson, sung a song, and become better friends. As on every VeggieTales movie or series, Bob and Larry always sign off by saying, "Remember kids, God made you special, and he loves you very much!"
Is It Any Good?
Best for young children, this entry in the VeggieTales canon is much like its predecessors: sweet, lovable, and filled with moral and Christian lessons. Kids like the talking vegetables, bright colors, and easygoing adventures that are low- to no-menace: There are no scary monsters or deadly villains here, just not-so-nice guys who, say, treat customers rudely because they don't realize how important it is to be polite. "People matter to God, and they should matter to us, too," a friend explains to Bob and Larry, who manage to find a way to show the rude business owner that being kind is good for business and good for the soul.
Of course, there are plenty of kids' shows eager to impart lessons to kids -- why is this one worth watching instead? Because it's a little sharper and more fun than treacle-y cartoons. When a hipster ear of corn (you can tell she's a hipster because she has a red bob and a cool-cat drawl) visits the too-rushed restaurant, she leaves before she even gets inside because the word on the street is that the owner is impolite: "That's, like, the opposite of polite! Uncool." Not only that, but the show's voice actors are relaxed, not squeaking, shouting, or whining like some shows. The hijinks are so low-stakes you won't need to watch with your child -- but VeggieTales in the City is high-quality enough that you may not mind.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about how VeggieTales in the City differs from other versions of the long-running VeggieTales series. How do the characters feel about the city? How does the setting change the story? What about the types of characters Bob and Larry run into?
How do Bob, Larry, and the other veggies show integrity and self-control in their actions? What other character strengths are important to develop?
- Premiere date: February 6, 2017
- Cast: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Lisa Vischer
- Network: Netflix
- Genre: Comedy
- Character Strengths: Integrity, Self-control
- TV rating: NR
- Award: Common Sense Selection
- Last updated: February 17, 2023
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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