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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Veggie Tales - The Star of Christmas
Veggie Tales - The Star of Christmas
Warner Bros. // Unrated // October 29, 2002
List Price: $19.98 [Buy now and save at Dvdempire]
Review by Todd Siechen | posted December 19, 2002 | E-mail the Author
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This is very much geared towards the younger child audiences with slight religious overtones. The specific religious references are sparse, but the over sanitized flavor of the story and the characters is very obviously painted with a religious brush. This animated film is heavy with dialog and a bit hard to follow as I was so inundated with characters talking that it almost could have been made as a radio show. I suppose this was intentional as the characters are vegetables and have no arms or legs or even hands to gesture at all which all tend to be very expensive in 3D animation. Not a lot of development went into these character and instead it seems as though more time was spent developing the story and the message. I found it hard to stay interested in most parts unless there was some action or comedy, but there wasn't much of this to be found.

I am extremely sensitive to religiously painted content as it tends to be very obviously stripped of any dark imagery or characters. Since I don't see this as accurate representation of reality I get annoyed more than I get entertained. Veggie Tales animated story's wreak of political correctness and offer very little to keep non-religious audiences interested. The basic message here is to learn to love your neighbor and even those who do not deserve it. To give of yourself when there is no reward expected or involved. Well I have news for those guys at Big Idea - why would anyone do anything nice for anyone else if there was nothing in it for the giver? When I do something nice for someone else it feels great. Isn't this an incentive? I certainly wouldn't do it if I felt bad afterwards.

VIDEO: Created for television at 1.33:1 Full Frame. Picture looks great and has no visible artifacts or edge enhancement. It looks very much like it went direct from digital to DVD.

AUDIO: 5.1 Dolby Digital and 2.0 Digital Dolby Surround are the options with english subtitles too. The 5.1 channel track very rarely engages the rear channels or the LFE channel except a bit during the rocket ride.

Audio Commentary - A light hearted commentary by the Director and some of the other Big Idea team.

Behind the Scenes - The writer Phil Vischer talks about how the film came to be as well as the Producer and Director.

Concept Art - Design work for the characters.

Progression Reel - Storyboard panels for one of the sequences of the film.

Previews - Jonah Video, Jonah Sing-Along Songs, The Toy That Saved Christmas, Larryboy - Leggo My Ego, Larryboy and the Angry Eyebrows, 3-2-1 Penguins.

Fun Stuff
Ye Old Silly Synth - A game where you pick a song, style, and a word then it plays the music with your choices
Trivia Challenge - Trivia game based on the movie
Sing Along - A song you can turn the words off to and sing along with the music.
Very Veggie Christmas Tunes - 2 more Christmas tunes.
The Toy That Saved Christmas - Storybook - A slide show style storybook where you can read the words or have them read aloud.
Milwards Mirror Morpher - You pick a character and a mirror and then get a silly result of the warped character in the mirror.
Bios - Bios of the movie characters.
Family Fun Activity - A preachy game that is designed to help your family love each other and be nice to each other when nothing is expected in return. Gimme a break!
Bob and Larry's Countertop Recipes - Cookie and treat recipes.
DVD-ROM - More games and fun time activities to keep the kiddies occupied.

Summary: The whole DVD just screams goody-goody and Christmas time cheer, but it's so obvious and cleansed of anything bad or that could be construed as negative that I felt compelled to break out my "Dogma" DVD and watch it to wash away the icky feeling I had afterwards. While this DVD certainly doesn't use religious references very often, it still tries too hard to jam it's message home. I respect and admire the animation talent involved in this production, but I just don't agree with the delivery style that the message comes packaged in. There is certainly much better ways to deliver the same message and appeal to much grander audiences.
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