Monday, November 24, 2014

10 Reasons To Love VeggieTales In The House!

So most of you by now are aware that a new chapter in the history of VeggieTales is starting on Wednesday on Netflix. And it's a sad thing that most people have mixed opinions on the new series. But having myself seen the first episode, I can reassure you that if you love VT (and I know you do), you will still love In The House! I'm here to present my review as a spoiler-free top ten list as to why In The House is awesome :)

1. The Character Designs
I know I know... this is what most peoples' mixed opinions are about! But as I clarified on my previous blog on In The House, the designs, while different, are actually really fun and charming! My favorite designs personally are of Jerry, Petunia, Junior, and Pa. I would've never imagined what Pa Grape would look like with eyes, but his new design is adorable! He reminds me of the Mayor in The Powerpuff Girls! Hehe :D All of the designs are really well-thought-out and an absolute delight, and tied together with the great voice acting and beautiful animation, it makes for a seriously amazing show! I understand it'll take some getting used to for some, but it most likely won't take long for them to steal our hearts the way they did back in '93 :)

2. The Music
Songs and VeggieTales go together like baby carrots and ranch dip, and if you worried that they would skimp on that in ITH, you have nothing to worry about! Every episode has a fun Silly Song-worthy tune that still maintains the charm and silliness of the 45-minuters' songs! Oh, and the new theme song! Talk about catchy! The ITH theme is upbeat and a whole lot of fun, delivering an entirely new sound to the show that still holds on to its roots. Plus, Scott Krippayne worked on it, so that should be enough to get you excited! What... just me? Anyway, the new musicians at the helm, Terry Scott Taylor and Robert Watson, really capture the spirit and sound of the Veggies we've always known in a whole new way!

3. The Art Direction Overall
There is so so so much detail in this world our Veggies call home! The new artists, with Joe Spadaford's guidance and supervision, have created a whole new world surrounding the countertop that is just too amazing, even in building the house's exterior itself! All of the locales are just loaded with attention to detail, Pa Grape's shop being one of the most detailed of the bunch. And not a single prop has been reused from the original series! That is quite the feat to truly build everything from scratch! And as if we need any more reasons to love it, the design overall calls back to the earliest VT episodes, with a wonky, slightly-lopsided charm that one might remember from Junior's bedroom or LarryBoy's mansion. Along with the character designs, the artists on this show have made it truly a visual delight!

4. The Laughs
The trailer showcased on the Beauty And The Beet DVD was chock-full of comic action and hilarious slapstick humor that got me giggling beyond belief. But if you were worried that the physical humor would tilt the balance between slapstick and one-liners, that is far from the case! One of the funniest lines I've ever heard in the history of VeggieTales was in the first five minutes of the first episode! The humor remains as it always has with VT, just a little faster-paced and bringing in a very wacky sense of comic action that kids (as well as adults) will love!

5. The New Characters
It may not seem that the VT cast has changed much, but a few new faces have already made their debut thus far. Aside from a very colorful array of background characters, with some corn and broccoli in the mix, we have primarily in the first two episodes Ichabeezer and Rooney. Do not be confused, Ichabeezer isn't Mr. Nezzer, despite the resemblance. He's a bit more of a grumpy old man than Nezzer is, though I could definitely see them being related. If he sounds a lot like Mr. Beet, then you'd be right, because he is indeed voiced by the great Rob Paulsen! Ichabeezer is very practical, kinda gruff, and very good at nailing the occasional bit of sarcasm (nothing VT wouldn't do already, of course). I do miss seeing Nezzer around, but Ichabeezer's an easy character to love, even if he doesn't come off that way.
We also get to meet his olivehound Rooney! Yes you heard it right... he's an olive-dog. I can't help but adore the concept they came up with, and they made quite the endearing character out of him! Boy does that Rooney love fetch... a little too much, perhaps, for Ichabeezer, as you will see XD
And while other new characters are currently unknown, we do get some new versions and voices of the original cast, including Petunia, Laura, and Madame Blueberry, who all happen to be voiced by the great Tress MacNellie. Petunia still keeps her roots as a very confident, but kind, girl, and I love the way she's played out in these first two episodes. She comes off in a way that makes her seem like she'd got it all together, but that trailer footage proves that she'll have a few off-moments :)
I could talk more about Laura, but she overall hasn't changed as much, except maybe that she's a bit more bubbly and excitable, which makes her all the more adorable. Madame Blueberry, however, deserves some discussion as well. Ms. MacNellie has made Madame a bit less French a bit more high-society-rich-lady, which is still very in touch with her character. Her role has been one of the most enjoyable to watch, especially since she's one of the main characters in the second episode. The characters may have changed in looks and in voice, but they are still true to who they've been since '95, '98, and '05, for sure, and I can't help but love them.

6. The Animation
I know I've already mentioned this, but seriously the animation really is great! It's very fluid, appropriately fast-paced, and, again, is dripping with charm and personality. What you might not've thought about concerning the new character designs is that they're actually made to animate a bit more realistically in some ways. Not that the originals weren't, but the characters were also built differently back then. Larry's super-bouncy personality is accentuated perfectly with the "bounciness" of the character animation and all of the animation itself! The cartoony-realistic feel just suits VT to a T!

7. The Pacing
ITH's faster pace is really a great thing. Not that there was anything wrong with the 45-minuters, of course, but this really does work well for the episode lengths as well as the overall feel of the show. That cartoony, or as Phil Vischer described it, Tom-and-Jerry-like, vibe just makes the show all the more fun, and will definitely appeal to kids and parents alike. It also makes the comedy punchier and all the funnier. While longtime VT fans may need to get used to it, I think you'll get into quickly. Plus, did I mention the well-placed goofy sound effects they use when necessary? Like that bit in the trailer where Bob and Larry's scream is a chicken squawk? Sue me, but I think that's pretty hilarious!

8. The Heart
Of course, all this great comedy, art, and storytelling would be nothing without the heart. And ITH does not skimp! The first two episodes artfully and awesomely teach about responsibility and the power of words in a way that only VT can do. They weave it into each episode masterfully and oh-so-originally! And there is no shortage of Bible verses, which I know we're all glad for after VT on TV skimped in that area. These amazing truths and heartfelt story moments mixed together makes for a truly strong-hearted cartoon, not just your usual Looney Tunes short (again, not that there's anything wrong with it... you know what I mean).

9. The Exposure
Just think about this for a second: ITH is a Netflix exclusive right now. One of a handful of Christian-value-based programs on the service. Just let it soak in as you realize how much exposure the show will get! How many kids and parents who may've never seen or heard of VT who will see it! How many lives just might be changed, even in a small way, because of this! WOW! ITH's new home on Netflix is the perfect place for it to be :)

10. The Quintessential Truth
Even though the show is structured differently than the 45-minuters, they always end with the most important truth, the one that VT has been telling and clarifying since its beginning... "God made you special, and He loves you very much!". THAT is awesome.

So yes, I am more than excited now to be a part of this new era of VT! I can hardly wait to see more episodes in the near future as Bob and Larry take over their house... and houses all over the world! I hope I've helped in getting you truly excited for this seriously fun show! That's all the time I have for today, so remember...

GMUS & <3sUVM,
- Chandler

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Beauty And The Beet Review

Hey to all my fellow Veggie fans out there! I'm thrilled to be coming to you today with my first VT review! Today is the everywhere release date of the newest episode Beauty And The Beet, and I'm here to give you the [spoiler-free] dish on this modern take on a tale as old as time! :)

So this episode introduces to us a family band known as The VeggieTones, whose road to fame hits a bump and lands them stuck in an old hotel run by a beast of a guy named Mr. Beet. But I'm getting ahead of myself... let's talk about the VeggieTones, and of course, our lead, Mirabelle.
I adore the sorta pop-country vibe the VeggieTones bring, something unique and fun to add to VT's long list of musical styles. And of course, I'm not sure they would've had that if not for the band's lead singer - and manager Larry Dill's youngest daughter -  Mirabelle. 
I've never before heard her voice actress's musical stylings prior to this, but clearly Kellie Pickler is crazy talented in both her singing and her acting. She not only brings an amazing amount of heart and soul to the wonderful songs, but also to Mirabelle's character. The opening number, Show You Love, is a really fun, catchy, lighthearted, but honest tune, seemingly paving the path for the story to come as we watch the VeggieTones go from hometown hits to rising stars, headed for Vegetable Square Garden (Don't you just love them puns? This episode has a ton of awesome produce puns in the first few minutes alone!).
The first time we see Mirabelle off-stage, it's clear that she's indeed "strange, but special" (cookies for whoever picks up on all the Beauty And The Beast references in this review!) in the eyes of most. While her sisters let the stagehands do the work of moving their instruments, Mirabelle readily lends a hand. But this is far from the only thing that makes this sweet potato such a sweetheart. Her character is just so genuine and real, and it's especially seen as she shows legit kindness to Mr. Beet without question throughout the story. Yet she's not made out to be impossibly perfect. It might sound kind of weird at first, but I absolutely love that she and Mr. Beet have an argument. Mirabelle's honest about her feelings on Mr. Beet's attitude, but she never once renounces the love she shows him, even in the midst of that clearly frustrating conversation. She makes it clear that she's not perfect, but since God loves her despite her imperfections, she can love others despite their imperfections. Mirabelle so much gets it, man...
Now then there's that beet, Finnegan J. Beet III. I had no idea what to expect of him, after all, how could you do a unique but familiar variation of such a ferociously mean character as The Beast? But I was hugely impressed by the character they put together! When the VeggieTones are stuck at the old hotel, low on funds and their bus out of commission, the rest of the employees welcome them openly, except for the manager, Mr. Beet. He's not in a mood to listen, not interested in giving handouts, and pretty much makes it clear the only way the family's staying is if they work for it. He's a really fascinating character, really. He comes off so unlikable at first, just not having it, not caring, and only his cleverly-timed sarcasm makes him remotely appealing at all (OK well, his awesome voice actor, the great Rob Paulsen, does help too). But then Mirabelle came along, and she somehow gets Mr. Beet to take a couple of singing lessons from her (not that he'd really wanted them or anything, it kinda just happened). And from there on out, things slowly start to change for him, and for Mirabelle's impression of him, and before you know it, there's something there that wasn't there before...! :)
Oh yes, and I have to talk about the new Silly Song, Mac And Cheese! A delightfully bouncy opera of Larry's grandparents, whose accidental meetcute gave us the cheesy pasta dish we have today. Larry gets dressed up in a lot of historical outfits in this goodie as he portrays his grandfather as well as himself, and on top of that, it seems Larry is acting as the majority of the rest of the family as well XD It's a lovely little Romeo-and-Juliet-style tale told with all the wonderful VT-style silliness as two warring sides of pasta and cheese come together with true love. Yep, bet you never thought you'd hear that sentence, did you? Heh it's just the "grate"est! Sorry that was pretty... cheesy! Gah I'm sorry cheese puns are a necessity. Now I could really go for some blue-box Kraft right now...
So yes, this episode truly has it all. The set pieces and lighting are just gorgeous, the character animation could not be more perfect, the songs are truly top-notch awesome (Love Is The Song is perhaps one of my top faves, if I was to pick a fave), there are too many outrageously funny comedic moments and lines... just the usual VT awesomeness! But it would be a crime not to really talk about the heart of this one. I really love how they told this story, and how they put their own unique spin on it. Without hopefully giving too much away, Beauty And The Beet doesn't center around romantic love, (not that there's anything wrong with that of course) but love just as it is, love that is relatable to all of us. The bond that ultimately comes between Mirabelle and Finnegan is honest and real and deep and it makes me get all teary-eyed. With the show's thrilling climax and its heartfelt ending, its message of real, unconditional love is absolutely beautiful. There's nothing I can do to not give this episode a full-on five star review. Well done, Big Idea, well done. And as if we needed any further reason to love this, we get to have a nice little VeggieTones Veggie-fied version of Deck The Halls to get us excited for the Christmas season. 
Yes, everything about Beauty And The Beet is truly fantastic and an incredible reminder of God's love, and how we should love others. So why are you still reading this? Go buy it now if you haven't! I'm certain as the sun rising in the east that you'll love it! Anddd I'm going to stop with the references now...

GMUS & <3sUVM,
- Chandler

Friday, September 26, 2014

VeggieTales In The House & The New Character Designs

This past week, Big Idea made a huge huge HUGE reveal: a lineup of updated character designs! On top of that, they made the official announcement of the new VT Netflix series, VeggieTales In The House! It's a lot to take in at once, I know, so I decided to take a moment and discuss this new chapter in VeggieTales history.

First of all, to preface all of this, in case you haven't heard yet, please don't judge this new style unfairly. It absolutely breaks my heart to have heard from some people who dump hate on "new" VT anything... some people don't like the newer episodes as versus the older ones, a bunch of people hated on them when they reanimated the theme song in 2010... ugh. I know you have a right to your opinions, but fact is, no matter what they do, VT will always be, first and foremost, a show whose core goal is to spread the message of God's love to children (and everyone else). No amount of higher-quality animation or updated character designs or whatever can change that! Change can be difficult sometimes, but it's not a bad thing. So with that in mind, here's the main lineup of new looks!

I'll be honest, at first, I was kinda shocked that they'd go and redo the characters after all these years. In a brief video, Mike Nawrocki said that the characters were originally designed with the limitations of early 90's CGI, so the folks at Big Idea decided it was time to give them a more modern update for today's generation. It still feels almost unreal that they'd do it, especially after having read Phil Vischer's first-hand experience piecing Larry together in Me, Myself, And Bob. But these new designs are actually really great, and I would believe Mr. Vischer would've loved to have made them look like this a long time ago. 
I remember when I first saw the newly designed Jimmy and Jerry, who were the first to be revealed. At first, I wasn't sure what to think, as they were both familiar, but they were very different, too. I mean... colored irises! Eyebrows! New textures! It's so different! But then, taking a closer look, I saw Jerry's stem "cowlick", and immediately I fell in love with the design! It was so funny and gave him so much personality! People have been having trouble telling the bros apart for years, and now there's no way anyone could do that with that simple, subtle addition! Plus, the eye colors are a useful sign as well :) And every other updated character is super-fun and really cool-looking in this new style! Junior no longer has "peas on his head", but the actual asparagus bud! Laura is absolutely darling! Madame Blueberry looks fabulous as a brunette! Petunia's new look is gorgeous! Bob and Larry look very much like their original designs, but with an extra dose of charm... plus, Larry looks particularly fun and goofy! I have yet to see what some of the other characters, like Pa, Lunt, Nezzer, Archibald, etc, will look like. But I figure they'll do it right (well, as long as they don't decide to give Pa and Lunt eyes, but I think that's highly unlikely).

So after the characters got reintroduced, another video message was posted of Mike Nawrocki and In The House's creator, Doug Tenapel, officially announcing the new Netflix series and reassuring fans that it would still have the heart and message that VT's had since the beginning. Now, I'd heard months ago that In The House would be one of several new Dreamworks-owned Netflix programming, and I was very excited and very intrigued to hear about it. I haven't yet heard any further news on it and what the show will be like, but I have some assumptions.
We know what it's like to have seen VT attempt to adapt to a TV series... it was fun, but it didn't really work. So my assumption is, instead of just repackaging already-made episodes, they'll make new, exclusive adventures. I also believe that, instead of doing the "answering-kids'-questions-with-a-story" style, they'll probably go the route of telling more sitcom-style stories, exploring these characters in their daily lives, outside of the countertop! I could easily see these guys living in an apartment complex, Bob and Larry being roommates, their neighbors, the Carrots and the Asparaguses (Asparagi?), living next door, Madame Blueberry being the rich lady who lives in the penthouse, Petunia being the quintessential girl-next-door, and Jimmy and Jerry being the goofy landlords! Hehe XD Not saying that any of this is the case, but I could see at least something similar happening here. I really do love the idea of seeing these guys on a regular basis, with five new 22-minute episodes arriving every few months! 
I don't think this means that the normal 50-minute DVD releases will halt, just that they will be coming out alongside the new show. I just love seeing Big Idea do more and expand! Since 3-2-1 Penguins ended I've been missing seeing a little extra Big Idea magic, so I imagine that In The House will fill that gap splendidly! The only thing I don't know is whether this character design will be specifically for In The House, or if all the episodes to come will be in this style. It's been said the new series will arrive in the fall, and we already know that the new DVD episode Beauty And The Beet will be coming out in October, and with the classic style. So who knows? I suppose we'll just have to wait and see; either way, I'm excited about it!

So hopefully, if your first instinct was "it's different I don't like it", I've given you a new perspective on this new era of VeggieTales. Join me in the VT revelry! And don't forget to start up that Netflix account! You can rewatch Where's God When I'm Scared and Sweetpea Beauty while you're waiting :D

- Chandler

Friday, September 12, 2014

Silly Song Saturday... Will You Be Celebrating?

Hey to my bros and sistas in the VT fandom! Need something to spice up your weekend? Well, I thought I'd introduce you to one of my own personal traditions that's coming up tomorrow... Silly Song Saturday! Why? Because it's the second Saturday in September! And it's the perfect day to sit down and watch all those Silly Song singalong collections you don't watch nearly enough!

Basically, I like to watch all the Silly Songs, from The Water Buffalo Song all the way down to the wonderfulness that is Perfect Puppy! It's easy to watch the episodes as they are, but I find it's really nice to just sit down and enjoy these timeless, charming, and funny songs on their own!

So I'd love to get some more folks to join me in the silliness this weekend! Think we can make #SillySongSaturday a thing? Or even #SillySongSunday? Lettuce revel in the silliness this weekend as Veggie fans united! (See I'm already using Veggie puns!)

And apologies I don't have the review up for Celery Night Fever yet... look for that coming soon!

- Chandler

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Dance, Dance, Yeah! VT's Top 10 "Gourds" Of The Dance

For a show whose target audience (for the most part) was not born when disco was a thing, VeggieTales has had the 70's dance element in many of their episodes and songs. Even right down to the Bob & Larry Sing The 70's album! And being a girl with a penchant for oldies, I've always loved that they keep that disco beat going -- all the way to now, as Celery Night Fever is less than a week away from arriving on the dance floor! So in anticipation, I thought it'd be fun to take a look back on some of VT's grooviest "gourds" of the dance (see what I did there??). And that's far from difficult, considering the veggies have been dancing since the day Larry first stepped out with his tuba :) So I've selected and ranked ten of the all-time best dancers in the VT world for your enjoyment! Let's get our groove on, shall we?

(Note: I'm really bad at ranking things and picking favorites so if your favorite isn't ranked as you wish, just understand that I truly love them all equally and the numbers don't really mean anything. Also, I highly recommend listening to the Bob & Larry Sing The 70's while you're reading this)

#10: Barbara Manatee

For an aquatic mammal without legs (not to mention a plushie), Barbara moves like magic on the floor when she does the tango with Larry. And if you've seen the live show where they have a guy and girl do the tango in costume, you know she gets extra cool points for that number :)

#9: Gary, Greg, and Bruce, The Ducklings

Take notes, friends. These are DUCKLINGS. Doing a little soft-shoe barbershop song-and-dance here. These adorable little guys deserve major cred for their moves, though perhaps we should give that to Gelato... their Dad taught them well!

#8: The Scallions

These guys just have the best group dynamic in their dances. I love the rhythm and groove these guys have in "Oh No!", and their rap moves in the "Salesmunz Rap". Swindlers and bad guys they may be, but they definitely got the moves.

#7: Dad Rock Monster

If you're going to have a song about you, being an awesome dancer is kinda mandatory. The Rock Monster had no problem with that! He's amazingly flexible for a guy made of rocks. And this gif barely begins to describe his awesome... all his dance moves in the music video well... rock! #TerriblePuns

#6: Junior Asparagus

Among other awesome dances, he can tap dance without having feet. Now that's what I call skillz...

#5: Awful Alvin

He might be from the LarryBoy cartoon, but not including him would be completely wrong. Being able to use one's roots as arms and legs make dancing even easier to do when you're a veggie, and he definitely makes good use of those limbs! Alvin's villainous dance of villainy is some kinda epic, and somehow he does all of it with a lamp. Like. A. Boss. He shimmies with badness. "DANCE WITH ME LAMPY!"

#4: Jean-Claude & Philippe

These two might not be the first characters to come to your mind when you think of VT's best dancers, but they do have their own segment, "The Latest Dance Craze With Jean-Claude And Philippe", so the fact that these two are already on the pulse of what's popular says something. On top of that, they introduced the Hopperena to the rest of us. Oh, and did we mention they're basically heads? It takes an awful lot of skill to dance awesomely without arms, legs, or much of a body! If the Hopperena isn't enough proof, just watch them on "Keep Walking" or "Steak And Shrimp"; these two put us Americans to shame...

#3: Khalil

Khalil is a caterpillar-worm of many talents. Rug salesman, rapper, dead ringer for Don Knotts, skilled metalworker. His motivation tapes should've said something among the lines of "You are a great dancer", because THAT. HE. IS. I mean... seriously, I can't stop watching this gif.

#2: Jimmy Gourd/Dr. Jiggle/Mr. Sly

It would be a crime not to mention the star of Dr. Jiggle And Mr. Sly in this lineup! Jimmy got groove, peeps. And while we love Dr. Jiggle for who he is, we must applaud the fact he's doing that dance in an incredibly tight spleen-bruising leisure suit. Off the show, he's still a legit disco veggie, as he's the host of the roller rink party on the 70's album, and the main vocals on "Funky Town". What can we say? Gourds just wanna have fun! (Wrong era, I know, I know... but the 80's album's awesome too!)

#1: Larry The Cucumber

It was hard to pick the #1 dancer, but Larry was kind of the only one who can hold this spot. He's like butter on a bald monkey! He's out-of-sight, dynomite! All the vegetables wish to dance as he! And he's been doing it since the beginning and still does it today! I believe that the #1 spot belongs to the master of silliness, Larry The Cucumber himself!

So wow... I hope all those gifs made up for my hiatus these last few weeks! Anyway, what do you think? Who do you think should've taken the top spot? How would you've ranked them? And remember, I love them all equally really :) So anyway, here's the trailer for Celery Night Fever to help you get excited if these dancing veggies haven't yet!

- Chandler

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Chat With Larry And Archibald (For Realz!)

So depending on how long you've been a VeggieTales fan, you might've heard of Big Idea's old magazine What's The Big Idea?. It was kinda one of the best magazines probably ever and I so wish Big Idea would revive it someday down the road. It had games and coloring pages, of course, but it also had lots of behind-the-scenes articles, a fanart page, and all sorts of cool VT stuff for all ages! I was fortunate enough to dig up some old issues, and the fun stuff they had! One of such fun things was an interview with Larry The Cucumber and Archibald Asparagus on Larry-Boy And The Rumor Weed, in anticipation of its release. It's absolutely hilarious and clever and makes me really miss this great publication. Especially considering Big Idea evidently planned to do a new magazine back in '06 but never did. So anyway, here's the original interview, written down from the long-since-recycled old July '99 WTBI! Read on!

Recently, What's The Big Idea? had the opportunity to sit down with the stars of the latest Veggietales video, Larry-Boy and The Rumor Weed (and the latest audio release, Larry-Boy: The Soundtrack). Grab some popcorn, sit by a roaring fire, and discover what Larry-Boy and Archibald, aka Alfred, have to say about their latest releases.
WTBI: You two are starring in the second Larry-Boy video this summer. What was it like to be doing a sequel?
LB: Umm... I guess it's kind of like having a pet pig who has a bunch of different brothers who want to come and visit. The first pig brother comes, and maybe his name is Dennis. He's nice, but he eats all your food and he gets your carpet dirty. Then another pig brother comes and maybe his name is William. Well, William is even bigger and he eats your lawn, breaks your dishes, and squeezes the toothpaste from the middle. Then you tell your pet pig that his brothers are a bunch of pigs... and he says, "oink, oink, oink." Then you remember, "Oh, yeah! They're pigs..." That's kind of like being a superhero and doing sequels.
AA: What?
LB: I'm using my superhero powers to make an analogy.
AA: Perhaps you could use them to make sense.
LB: What?
AA: I loved doing this sequel! I was able to design and build a brand-new Larry-Mobile, come to the rescue, and perform my own stunts! What more could a butler ask for?!
LB: Wait... it was like having the eye of the tiger and fighting Mr. T, and then having the wrath of Khan and fighting Mr. Rourke.
WTBI: Uh... yes. Tell me, were there any big differences on the set compared to the first Larry-Boy video?
LB: Oh, yeah. On the first set, there was a big fib, on the second set, there was a big weed. That made a big difference in the catering. The fib liked chicken and ribs. The weed pretty much just ate peat moss. I'm not a big fan of peat moss.
AA: There was vastly superior technology in the Larry-Mobile second time around. Global positioning, boring mechanisms, airbags. We had a lot of technical support people running around. I think there may have even been a chap from NASA taking notes. Plus, all that peat moss.
LB: ...I hope we never do a show with a giant fly.
WTBI: I see. Archibald, you play the part of Alfred, Larry-Boy's butler. Do you have any exciting scenes of your own in the next video?
AA: Exciting?! Such excitement is seldom seen! I am able to ride my motor scooter down a dirt road, give crucial operating instructions to Larry-Boy over an advanced 2-way radio, and do battle with a giant weed!
LB: You didn't do battle with it, it picked you up and whipped you around like a wet noodle.
AA: WHAT? I will not be compared to a wet noodle.
LB: OK, it picked you up and whipped you around like a wet crumpet.
AA: That's better.
WTBI: Tell us more about the Larry-Boy costume. Is it uncomfortable?
LB: Well... since I'm a superhero, I can handle it. But try dipping yourself in wax and doing sit-ups... or jogging in rubber boots with no socks... or dancing in a zip-lock tuxedo. Get the picture?
WTBI: Quite clearly. Now, Archie, what was your first big break in acting?
AA: Shakespeare in the park. I was the dagger in Macbeth.
WTBI: Larry-Boy, after your last movie you mentioned something about a new line of Larry-Boy action figures. Any news on that?
LB: Well, now they've got that cushy little bean bag Larry-Boy and that's pretty cool. But I'm waiting for the plastic. You know you're a real superhero when you're plastic. It's kind of like being inducted into the superhero hall of fame. They day a kid pulls me out of a six-piece chicken nuggets meal and finds a stray french fry in one of my super-suction ears will be my best day ever.
WTBI: OK... There's a lot of talk about the new Larry-Mobile. Can you tell us about it?
AA: A splendid piece of machinery. A mechanical work of art. It can drive, it can fly, it can bore through solid granite.
LB: And solid peat moss.
AA: ...Yes.
LB: It even has an air bag and a crumple frame. Hey Archie, did you ever notice "crumple" sounds like "crumpet"? I want a car with a crumpet frame.
WTBI: Let's see, next question -- what do you like most about the story in Larry-Boy and The Rumor Weed?
LB: I liked how Junior and Laura learned that spreading bad words about people can really cause a lot of trouble, but that when we say nice things about people, good things happen!
AA: I like how, at the end, I wasn't eaten by that giant weed.
WTBI: So what else is in the future for LarryBoy's career?
AA: I'd say another newly refurbished Larry-Mobile and enhanced communication devices.
LB: With a crumpet frame?
AA: We'll see...
LB: I think I'm going to learn how to fire both of my super-suction ears off at the same time, I just need to work on my concentration. And I'd like a new bike... and a pony. Uh, wait... what was the question?
WTBI: Never mind.

Hmm... LarryBoy And The Giant Fly... has a certain ring to it! Haha
Anyway, awesome interview, right?? Hope you guys enjoyed! :)

- Chandler

Thursday, June 5, 2014

VegTrek: VeggieTales' History In Space & Sci-Fi

So it's common knowledge that Veggies In Space was an incredibly awesome episode of VT, no surprise there :) Excitement! Laughs! So many sci-fi references I can't count them all! And on top of that, a fresh, fun look at sharing and generosity! But if you're fairly new to VT, you may not know that The Fennel Frontier was hardly their first voyage into the sci-fi genre, the veggies have been taking it to the galaxy for some time now, in both actual space travel and in science fiction references. So I've gone through my VT DVDs so we can take a look back on what you could call the VeggieTales space race... or maybe you wouldn't call it that... IDK. Ugh I'm going all newbie on everyone again, please forgive me in a year things will get better I promise they will... So right! We begin a long time ago in a small animation company far, far away...

The Gourds Must Be Crazy (1995)
Yes, that's what the original U.S.S. Applepies looked like. And it still is an impressive feat of CG considering it was the third-ever VT episode! Junior and the crew learned to look past superficial perceptions of others when these two "crazy" gourds saved the ship from a killer popcorn meteor. And just think about this... we seriously would not have Scooter The Carrot if this awesome episode never came to be! He was our Scotty! MIND. BLOWN. But perhaps one of the coolest things to me about this episode (aside from one of the funnest VT songs ever I Can Be Your Friend) is that is subtlely ties into Veggies In Space. Though that begs an interesting question; we know that Scooter retired from the Applepies, so if Jimmy and Jerry were the new guys on the Applepies, where are they working now? Well, either working at the Bumblyburg Science Labs, modeling pants on the Veggie Shopping Network, or exploring planets like at the beginning of The Fennel Frontier. Either way, we owe our lives to those two who got "Meet Me At St. Louis" stuck in our heads :)

Larry-Boy And The Fib From Outer Space! (!997)
Why would these two be working at the Bumblyburg Science Labs? "Because we wanted to see space aliens! And what have we seen in two long years? Nothing! N-U-T... you know, NOTHING!" This is pretty clear since Jerry is wearing, yes, Spock ears (if you work at a lab and you wear cosplay elements to work, you are awesome)! And judging by their terrified expressions, it's just then that something happened to land in Bumblyburg... or else Jerry just realized this got posted on the internet for all to see. Be proud of your nerdiness, Jerry! I know I am! :D

LarryBoy Super Shorts: Fly By Might (2002)
OK, so I know this is technically a spinoff of VT, it's still LarryBoy! So yeah, this GIF says it all (and boy was that hard to make!). The Cucumber Of Steel had dealt with that pesky fly for the last time and had his plungers locked on him and did a little Star Wars-y "I HAVE YOU NOW." thing here.  #AdmitYouJustSaidThatInVadersVoice
...Unfortunately, LarryBoy still didn't win...

Lutfi's Fanciful Flannelgraph: The Story Of St. Patrick (2004)
"Now Ireland was the land of the Druids, and the people there spoke a different language. But we'll make believe that everyone spoke English, like Star Trek."
"Even the pigs?"
"No, not the pigs."
"OK." XD

Bully Trouble (2005)
This hilariously classic short episode isn't really parodying anything as far as I can tell, but pure, funny, original space craziness is just as good as hilarious sci-fi nods. I rarely make toast without imitating Junior Spaceman's computer... "You are toast. You are warm bread cut at a diagonal and is subsequently spread with butter or jam. Your toast selections are: wheat, white, sourdough, honey wheat..." hehe :) And does anyone here not want Junior's space gizmo?! I bet it's capable of more than just inflating enemies...

The Wonderful Wizard Of Ha's (2007)
You might think that this episode would be the least likely to include a sci-fi reference, but when distracted by a field of puppies (and rightfully so, those little guys are sooooo cute!), Scarecrow urges them to "Stay on target, stay on target...", which sounds familiar to those who recall that being said during the Battle of Yavin in Star Wars Episode IV. It's very subtle, but it's so so great the Star Wars-nerdy side of me can't get over it!

Princess And The Popstar (2011)
In space, you never know what you might encounter. Mutant aliens, kissing aliens (the worst kind!), robo-pogos gone crazy... having a communicator is vital, even if it happens to be your sister's peaPod (yes, that's what they're called). Look how serious Pepper looks in this shot! "I'm sensing a lifeform... I hope it's friendly-- AHH MUTANT ALIEN!!" I think I'm going to need to write a Pepper appreciation blog sometime but that's not important now.

The Little Drummer Boy (2011)
The Star Wars-nerdy side of me nerded out even more when this moment happened in The Little Drummer Boy. Seriously, VeggieTales and Star Wars are two of my most favorite things ever and I'd been waiting a while for a really hilariously obvious Star Wars reference. And I most definitely got that.
"That's 'Magi' not 'Jedi'!"
"Can I still keep my sandspeeder?" *gestures to camel wearing landspeeder-esque ship*
"Probably not."
*Holds fork* "May the fork be with you?"
The way Archibald says that bit at the end... I can't watch this scene without laughing for the next five minutes!

"Floating" Short (2014)
This little gem of animation that is strangely absent from the Veggies In Space DVD is very clearly a nod to Gravity, and you don't need to have seen it to know! Ah my goodness I love that dramatic narration at the beginning... gravity is indeed a harsh reality!

Veggies In Space: The Fennel Frontier (2014)
I literally can't name all the references in this one, and not just because I'm not as heavily-versed in science fiction as I ought to be, it just seriously is! And that's just part of the reason it's a fantastic episode! And on top of that, they put so so much beautiful, fun detail into this one with all the new robots, aliens, ships, and a whole planet! (Anybody else realize that Tootanny is "Tatooine" in reverse... almost?) Majorly cool! But in case you haven't seen it yet, I won't go and spoil anything else for you... you'll just have to take my word for it! :) Now if only they'd made an audio commentary for this one...

So there you have it! More reasons to admire Big Idea's endless creativity! And seriously crave some M&Ns and pudding! Umm... you got any to share? Haha kidding sorry! Anyway, until next blog...

GMUS & <3sUVM,
 - Chandler

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Chandler's Taking Over The Countertop!

Avast, ye regular readers! I'm pirating this blog! Arrr!

OK, so not really. Macy has turned over The Countertop to me. We met on another site and bonded over our loves of VeggieTales and Pixar. I'd told her how I'd wanted to do a VT blog, and she recently asked if I would be interested in taking over since her schedule didn't allow for it too much anymore. And I totally said yes. But I'm getting way ahead of myself, you can call me Chandler, and I've been a VeggieTales fangirl since pretty much forever. I love everything the show stands for, its incredible ability to make me laugh and cry in every episode (and I've seen all but one episode to date!), and so so much more about it! 

So what can you expect from me as your new "host" on The Countertop? Well, for the most part, I'll continue to do what Macy did to begin with; writing reviews on the newest episodes and keeping you up-to-date with VT news. But I will also make some fun topical blogs that celebrate being a VT fan which should be hugely enjoyable to read! I also may put up blue walls and a couple of throw pillows... haha kidding (though a blue wall can really make all the difference!). I'll be likely posting every other week, or whenever huge VT news comes out, so you'll always have something to look forward to!

So that's it I guess... just wanted to get you guys excited for The Countertop's new chapter as I hope to continue bringing together fellow Veggie fans of all ages!

GMUS & <3sUVM,
 - Chandler