Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Review: Veggie Tales: St. Nicholas -- A Story of Joyful Giving

What follows is the one star review I just wrote on Amazon.com for the latest Veggie Tale...

First, let me say we are big Veggie Tales fans, or perhaps I should say Classic Veggie Tales fans, as more and more of their more recent offerings have fallen flat for us.

We were hopeful for this latest Veggie Tale, especially since it started off with the premise that Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would explain who Saint Nicholas really was. In the beginning, the story does just that, showing Nicholas' life as a young boy in ancient Greece, and is in fact fairly accurate through Nicholas becoming an orphan.

It is Nicholas' (young) adult life that the Veggie Tales team takes creative license with. Had this not been a story about an actual historical figure AND one that was claiming to set history straight, I would have had no problem with the ensuing silliness. But instead of sharing the story of how Nicholas helped 3 daughters with no dowry money by throwing sacks of coins through their window late at night, the V.T. team puts Nicholas in ridiculous disguises, the last looking basically like a modern day Santa Claus. Not only do they manage to get a red fur-trimmed suit into the ancient Greece setting, but they also add snow, trips down chimneys, and a "sleigh" and "reindeer" into the story. Granted, Larry the Cucumber is trying to make it more "Christmasy" but in doing so, he's gone right back to confusing children as to who St. Nicholas actually was.

So once again, I can only recommend a book instead of a video. If your children are ready to hear the true story of St. Nicholas (as my 6 and 4 year old were), then I can only suggest Santa, Are You For Real? by Harold Myra.

I certainly hope the V.T. team can return to their roots. This video (even its "silly" song) left us sorely disappointed. Here's hoping I can return it to my local Christian bookstore...

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