Many people ask what it is about VeggieTales that makes them so lovable and wonder why children love them and learn from them so much. This is a very important question as many youth leaders use VeggieTales in their lessons for young
The question isn’t so much what it is that they can learn from VeggieTales, but why they learn from them. The veggies retell Biblical stories which is nothing new for Christian children’s programming. It’s been done for years in many different formats.
What really tends to hook the children into loving the veggies are the silly songs. They are usually “Silly Songs with Larry,” but there have been some variations from that norm and other veggies have taken on the task of singing a silly song on different DVDs (episodes) of VeggieTales.
However, by taking a closer look at the shows, it probably really is not all that hard to see why they are so much fun and why children (and even teens and adults) can love the veggies so much.
Larry is a cucumber and it is not right to say he is an idiot. However, he is the young, lovable, uninformed, and creative one. He is smart, and people can tell that he is smart. It is just that he is also very naïve.
If it weren’t for his friend, Bob the Tomato, he probably wouldn’t learn much at all. However, Larry does learn things. He just tends to put his own spin on them and then keep them that way in his mind, yet it seems to work just fine for him.
The silly songs are just that – silly. In fact, they are very silly. When Larry sings them, he can often get himself into trouble.
Archibald is an asparagus and he supposedly runs the show, VeggieTales (yes, the real name and the name of the program ran by the characters is the same). Thus, Larry has gotten himself into trouble with Archibald quite a few times.
However, the silliness is so much fun that that children love it. This silliness does not end with the silly songs. It does not even end at the counter top where Bob, Larry, and sometimes other veggies talk.
The silliness continues into the retellings of the Biblical stories. The creators and producers of VeggieTales do an amazing job of retelling Bible stories without any killing happening in them, but always telling about how God loves us and helps us.
Many of the stories contain obvious anachronisms that will make even the smallest children laugh. It seems that they know things such as flashlights and televisions did not exist in Biblical days. Yet, they do exist in Biblical days in VeggieTales, even when electricity doesn’t exist (a joke that is sometimes used in VeggieTales).
Then, those characters that are naïve also stay naïve with the characters that they play in the stories. This is cause for great comedy.
The silliness introduced by the silly songs weaves itself right into the retellings of the Biblical stories and keeps the attention of viewers of all ages.
Young children will continue to watch and laugh at the same gags, which are introduced at the very beginning with Larry having to play the tuba for the theme song and then falls over from being tired and flowers come out of his tuba.
Older viewers can watch for the jokes that refer to cultural references they may know or try to figure out what other influences have entered into the retelling of the Biblical story.
While things may get extremely silly at times, a good lesson is always being conveyed. Thus, VeggieTales is a great tool for ministry with young children.