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 VeggieTales in the House is the second series to feature this friendly cast of produce whose faith-based adventures teach kids about strong character and positive behavior. You need not know their previous work -- including their large trove of movies -- to instantly love what they do here, but those who do will notice some aesthetic changes to the characters' appearances that can be distracting to longtime fans. Regardless, the stories' solid messages are the show's most valuable feature, and parents will appreciate the examples they set through endearing tales and original songs. Older kids may think the show juvenile, but if they watch they'll relate to the lessons. Religious references are mostly limited to the reading of a Bible verse that relates to each story and a reminder of God's love for kids in the audience.
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What's the story?
VEGGIETALES IN THE HOUSE continues the adventures of Bob the Tomato (voiced by Phil Vischer), Larry the Cucumber (Mike Nawrocki), and the rest of the Veggie gang. In contrast to previous installments set in limited spots with a house, here the characters' stage includes multiple rooms and incorporates furniture and other features. Combined with the characters' slightly altered appearances, this gives the show a fresh new feel. Each episode comprises two stories in which characters face moral dilemmas and usually take the wrong path, thereby complicating matters for themselves and those around them. As they come to terms with their mistakes, they must make amends and commit to better choices in the future.
Is it any good?
Two decades of entertaining kids with Christian-based messages and bouncing, talking produce has served the VeggieTales franchise and its fans well. VeggieTales in the House builds on that foundation, expanding the Veggies' horizons and dreaming up new stories that cleverly illustrate the value of strong moral character. It's hard not to be delighted in both what this group teaches kids and how they go about it, with humor that appeals to parents and fun songs that will have younger kids singing along. What's more, even those of little religious inclination should find the stories worthwhile since outright references to the Bible or to God are limited.
If a fault can be found, it's in the slightly disconcerting animation changes that mark this series as a newcomer to a franchise whose characters are truly beloved among fans. It doesn't detract from the stories' messages, of course, and they're still cute as can be, but loyalists may find the character updates unwelcome and unnecessary, particularly given the franchise's longtime success. Even so, VeggieTales in the House is a delightful, family-friendly series with strong lessons and endearing characters.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the day's lesson. How did the characters' behavior cause problems for them? Is it always easy to recognize the fault in our actions? How does making mistakes help us learn and grow?
If you've seen previous VeggieTales stories, compare their style to this show's. What differences did you notice? Why do you think these changes were made? Which do you prefer?
To what extent does this series reflect your family's expression of faith? Were you familiar with the central Bible concept? Can you relate it to a personal experience? What role does faith play in your life?
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