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,