Friday, October 19, 2012

Don't Take to Kindly: "VeggieTales: Lyle the Kindly Viking" (2001)

I have been a fan for a few years of the VeggieTales series, but this installment is the weakest yet.

Normally this cute series will reenact a Biblical story, but dress it up with running jokes, goofy songs, and physical (computer animated) slapstick. Usually introduced by a talking tomato and Larry the Cucumber, my kids always enjoyed them.

Archibald the Asparagus runs this episode, and everything is kind of fun until his very slow take on "Hamlet," entitled "Omelette." How many children are going to get that? There is a silly song from Larry in the middle, but it sounds amazingly like all the other songs from Larry. My then three year old was asleep by the time the story of Lyle the Kindly Viking came on, aping yet another child-obscure reference- Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. This section is not as annoying as a real Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, but there is not anything new offered this time around, either.

Both stories involve sharing, and that point is made abundantly clear, but this video was not the laugh riot that earlier entries have been. I look forward more to the video release of the theatrical film than sitting down to watch this again.

My TV and VCR work fine, but the picture on the video had a washed out quality to it. I am spoiled by other VeggieTales' crystal clear animation, and funny takes on Bible stories. "VeggieTales: Lyle the Kindly Viking" is a real letdown. (* *) out of five stars.