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