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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What 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."
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?
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