12 August 2014

Movie Review: "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush" ("VeggieTales")

Rated: G (Canadian Home Video Rating)
Starring: Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki
Released: June 25, 2005 (DVD)
Minnesota Cuke (played by Larry the Cucumber) has been one-upped all his life by Professor Rattan (Mr. Lunt); so much so, that Minnesota considers him a bully.  When the adventurous cucumber gets wind of a hairbrush that belonged to the Biblical strongman Samson, he sets out to beat Rattan to the punch...but is Minnesota seeking power for the wrong reason? Meanwhile, Larry sings a Silly Song about a pizza delivery gone terribly wrong.
Based on the Minnesota Cuke computer game.

The Good
Big Idea may not have the budget of, say, Pixar or Blue Sky, but it's nonetheless amazing what they can do with computer animation.  This nine-year-old, straight-to-DVD production looked absolutely fabulous on my iPad and iMac, both of which are much newer.  The details of the characters and settings are quite minute.  The film itself makes a good point about how you should really treat your enemies; something I wish I had known when I was younger.  Instead of just being a comedy, though, Minnesota and other characters find themselves in peril at times, much like the title character in the film series that obviously inspired this.  The Silly Song pokes fun at emotional ballads; the first one that came to mind was Pearl Jam's "Last Kiss," although Larry's tune is much less tragic and definitely more humorous.

The Bad
The only two complaints I have are rather minor: First off, since this is a parody of Indiana Jones, viewers of Minnesota Cuke would have to be familiar with the Lucas/Spielberg creation...which isn't exactly kid stuff.  (I tried watching Raiders of the Lost Ark a few years ago, and was so disturbed by the Ark of the Covenant scene, I never watched any of the movies in the series again.) Also, maybe I'm just too tenderhearted, but, I would have liked the Silly Song to end with Larry getting his pizza after all.

Just over a week ago, I reviewed a VeggieTales film for the first time ever on this blog.  Since I'm trying to get into more non-Disney-Channel entertainment, I hope to be watching more soon.  The VeggieTales series has a following outside of the Christian realm; people everywhere know about Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, and "The Water Buffalo Song".  Why is that? It's because these aren't just cut-rate, direct-to-video animated films; they're actually well-crafted, and put in dashes of humor that aren't just for the kids.  What's not to like?

Score: 4.5/5

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