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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.
"CUKE SKYWALKER!"
"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?"
"PLEASE STOP."
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

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