Friday, January 11, 2008

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything - A Review


My son and I love Veggie Tales. He's 14 and I'm an adult, but that's okay. We love those goofy veggies! So with great excitement we headed out to the theatre for opening day of The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. I was hoping for a strong turnout. Sadly, the large theatre was only about a quarter full. But, not all of the patrons were families with young kids. The couple sitting behind us looked like they were college age. Good for them! Hopefully, more people will show up over the weekend.

The Veggies are at their strongest when they're singing songs or cracking jokes. Unfortunately, the first half of the movie is full of large chunks of dramatic exposition, which really slowed it down. There were fun nuggets here and there, but the second half is far and away much stronger. When the action picks up, the jokes and sight gags start flying, and the energy cranks up. The songs are catchy and exactly what you expect from Veggie Tales. My particular favorite is a number done after the end credits start. If you were a teen in the 80s, you'll love it!

As for the message of the movie, you can't miss it. It's all spelled out for you in a tidy little monologue near the end. But that's okay, because first and foremost, this is a movie for kids. And some of the little buggers need to have it explained. In fact, from some of the reviews I read of the movie, the adult reviewers need to have it explained. More than one called this "a moral tale" not the usual "Biblical fare." While there is a moral tale here, and it's not based on one particular story from the Bible, if you're paying any attention at all, you figure out who the Good King really is. One reviewer from the LA Times wrote: "An Oz-like man even gives them awards at the end." Uh, no, that man most certainly was not supposed to be the wizard. Pick again!

Some Christians will complain that no Bible verses are mentioned in the story. Neither is God ever mentioned by name. But that's where parents get to talk to their kids. Overall, I consider The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything a success. It's a fun movie that adults and children alike can see, enjoy, and maybe even learn something. I know I'll be getting the soundtrack, if only for that last song!

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