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VeggieTales Presents: LarryBoy Adventures
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 there are two versions of VeggieTales' LarryBoy Adventures: Those available on DVD, in which the moral is openly based on the Bible, and those offered in this TV series, in which the moral may be the same, but its biblical origins are less obvious. The morals themselves are hard to argue with, no matter what your religious bent.
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What's the story?
The TV version of VeggieTales and its sibling series (which are separate from the DVD releases) -- 3-2-1 Penguins! and LARRYBOY ADVENTURES -- offers the modern equivalent of Aesop's Fables, spelled-out moral and all. LarryBoy represents the brand's attempt to reach (and keep) a slightly older audience by offering a superhero series in veggie form -- even including mild cartoon violence and evil super-villains -- and losing the musical numbers that added charm to the original Tales.
Is it any good?
The spelled-out morals that form the backbone of every Larryboy episode -- like "He who exalts himself shall be made humble, but he who is humble shall be exalted" -- haven't been made more subtle to accommodate that older target audience. Kids who are sophisticated enough to follow the sometimes-intricate storylines (complete with secret formulas, elaborate town-takeover plans, and gadgetry) are also sophisticated enough to realize that they're being preached to. But if your child doesn't mind hearing a moral hammered home a few times in the midst of watching a mildly amusing superhero cartoon with a little action, then there's certainly no harm to be found in LarryBoy Adventures -- although it's still the weakest of the three shows.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the show's proverbs and homilies are limited by the adventure story. Of course it's better not to put down others just to build yourself up -- but isn't it even better not to put down others, period? There's nothing wrong with the morals the series presents, but life is sometimes a little more complex than the episodes' black-and-white rules would suggest. Kids, is it always easy to follow rules? Why or why not? On a lighter note, kids will enjoy thinking about how the veggie characters function without arms or legs.
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