25 May 2015

DVD Review: "VeggieTales: Moe and the Big Exit"

Rated: Not Rated (US) / G (Canada)
Starring: Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki
Released: March 3, 2007 (DVD)
Synopsis: In this Western-style follow-up to The Ballad of Little Joe, Moe (Larry the Cucumber) is saved from death as a baby and raised in the home of the Mayor, while his people are enslaved.  After Moe grows up, he is called on by God to lead his people out of their bondage...but, the Mayor isn't budging.  Will Moe succeed in saving them, or are they doomed to being enslaved forever?
Based on the Biblical book of Exodus.

The Good: Well, the animation is great; the characters and locations are very detailed.  There were also a few cute moments; I thought Zippy the buffalo was adorable.  However...

The Bad: There wasn't much else to like about it.  For one, it went on way too long; most VeggieTales videos are about half an hour, but, this one was over forty-five minutes, and felt like it was two hours.  The narration was also annoying, especially when the narrators felt the need to repeat what they'd just spent the past few minutes singing.  No Silly Song was present, which was just unthinkable.  Also, though the episodes in this series usually make the Bible stories more kid-friendly, this particular one implies the death of children, which could freak some little ones out, and very well might have earned a "PG" from the MPAA, which isn't typical for Veggie videos.  For some reason, the producers don't want the viewers to hear God talk directly, which takes away from what should be a poignant moment.  Even the subtitles were rife with errors and lagged a time or two.  This definitely isn't what we've come to expect from Big Idea.

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: Kissing. 4/5
  • Nudity: None. 5/5
  • Language: A bit of name-calling. 4/5
  • Violence: Some slapstick; the implied deaths of babies. 3/5
  • Drugs: None. 5/5
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The implied deaths of the babies; the villain is a bit intense at times; the various plagues. 2/5
  • Other: The entire film takes too much liberty with the Bible story, more so than usual for this series. 4/5
Conclusion: For about two decades, VeggieTales has been the most recognizable name in Christian kiddie entertainment.  People everywhere, even outside of the faith community, know about Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato.  The various videos and DVDs have sold in the millions, and animation studio Big Idea has continued to crank them out.  Though most of the episodes are rather fun and exciting, this one was not.  It's not the worst one I've ever seen--I don't think The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment! will ever lose that title--but it definitely wasn't up to the usual standard.  Unless you're a die-hard VeggieTales fan, I would suggest purchasing another episode or another Christian DVD entirely.

Score: 1.5/5

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