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The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie (review)

Three ordinary, modern-day, working-class veggies are dragged back in time, where they are mistaken for pirate-esque heroes who have to help a pretty green princess do something or other on the high seas. Along the way, they fight that same giant boulder monster Tim Allen battled in Galaxy Quest, though these guys all keep their shirts on… at least the one wearing something vaguely shirtlike does. Why veggies would wear clothing is rather less mysterious than how they manage to use swords and other tools without arms or hands — things just kinda float magically next to their limb-free veggie bodies — but their legless bouncing to get around is most disturbing of all. No, wait, the ones who are just bouncing heads are the most disturbing of all. Still, there are only a few moments of weirdness — like an attack by Cheetos dentata, which is deeply unsettling in a way I’m not sure a children’s movie is supposed to be — to rock anyone over the age of two out of the comfortable nap you’ll be able to grab during what is otherwise 85 minutes of trying to figure out just what the heck kind of veggie each character is supposed to be. (The one asparagus guy is recognizable, but I think they were afraid that if they added any kind of detail to the one who’s supposed to be a cucumber that he’d look even more like a big green penis than he already does.) I guess VaguelyVegetablelikeAmorphousBlobsOfCGIColorTales didn’t have the same ring to it. And Mr. Potato Head and Weebles were already trademarked.

MPAA: rated G

viewed at a semipublic screening with an audience of critics and ordinary moviegoers

official site | IMDb
  • Bob Twiliger

    Man, you’re a grouchy old bitch who really doesn’t understand the point of a kids movie such as this.

  • dean b curtis

    Or, maybe MaryAnn understands that lame proselytizing and cheap animation are not the best means to entertain children.

  • Vergil

    They have some really good music though. Perhaps not in this movie. “Cebuuuuuu….”

  • MaryAnn

    There isn’t much proselytizing in this. It’s just dull as dishwater.

    Plus, the kids at the screening I attended didn’t seem to be enjoying it either. So maybe they were grouchy old bitches, too.

  • Rom

    You don’t get it……DO YOU !!!!!!!!! I will pray for you..hehe…. hahaha… haha, – hahahaha, – haha oh I am so funny.

  • DB

    That’s New York for you, if you don’t hear or see rude obnoxious comments and a little blood and gore then it’s just not entertainment. Drink a little more wine and then continue to wine about everything around you. Anyone who thinks they are a goddess is usually the farthest thing from it – geek or no geek.

  • Der Bruno Stroszek

    That’s New York for you, if you don’t hear or see rude obnoxious comments and a little blood and gore then it’s just not entertainment.

    Yes, that certainly explains MaryAnn’s recent, very positive reviews of Enchanted, Ratatouille and Hairspray. I mean, who can forget the graphic disembowelling scene in Hairspray, to say nothing of the famous “fuck you, motherfucker” speech in Ratatouille?

  • TaC

    Well, that’s a plenty dern funny review but it seems to me that MaryAnn had a pretty traumatic childhood. When you go to kids film you need to relax and and enjoy the ride just a little. Once you can suspend disbelief on the whole limbless vegetable thing it all goes down easy. The kids at the theater I went to all cheered at the end so I think that’s a better assessment of the film.

    I do enjoy your clever critic but it’s just not on the mark for this film.

    BTW- Ratatouille is a great great film but it’s about french fine cuisine which may be much more interesting to film critic than a 4 year old. Just an observation from someone who has kids.

  • Mark

    The reviewer is obviously not familiar with this franchise. Some of the things she complains about are “in jokes” for fans of the series. The fact that props “float” next to the limbless vegetable characters is a long running joke that has even been acknowledged by the writers through the characters in various video episodes.

    It’s fine that the franchise is not her “cup of tea”, but other reviewers have noticed that it hits the target for fans of the franchise with Monty Python sensibilities in a form suitable for all ages…a true family film. If that is not what you enjoy, fine, but no need to be snarky about it.

  • Jerry

    Yeah, Maryanne… you did more preaching in your review than the movie does about God.

  • Jurgan

    “If that is not what you enjoy, fine, but no need to be snarky about it.”

    Boy, did you come to the wrong site…

  • Drave

    Wow. The comments are even more retarded than usual today. Veggie Tales is a really disturbing show. Have you ever heard/seen the Veggie Tales musical number “His Cheeseburger”? It can be easily found on YouTube. As near as I can tell, it is a song about how adultery is okay as long as you don’t leave your wife. The guy goes to get a cheeseburger from his favorite restaurant, but they are closed, so we waits in the drive-through all night. While he is waiting, he spots a Denny’s that is open and has a really cheap breakfast deal, so he gives in and eats there. The chorus stresses that it doesn’t mean he loves the cheeseburger any less, and it’s okay because he’ll always come back to the cheeseburger. Key lyric: “How could he resist such an offer? He really needed something to munch. Cheeseburger, please do not get angry. He’ll eat and be back here for lunch!” It’s a song about cheating on your wife! I defy you to listen to it and come up with ANY OTHER EXPLANATION!

  • Joanna

    Boy, do I feel sorry for kids today. “Who cares how bad the movie is? It’s for kids; kids like everything, no matter how terrible! You’re crazy to expect quality from a kids’ movie, so just eat your boiled spinach… er, watch your movie, and shut up.”

    (Seriously, what is with all the vicious commenters these days? I’ve been reading this site for a couple of years now, and they just get worse and worse.)

  • http://thatsdebatable.org Jonathan Bryan

    I like veggietales but I can understand why many people wouldn’t like a whole movie about them, especially if they haven’t seen the half-hour shows. Joanna, you are right that being a kids movie doesn’t make it exempt from criticism.

    This review, however, doesn’t really bother to tell us why the movie isn’t worth seeing (it doesn’t tell us much at all, really). The vegetables bounce and don’t have hands, the cucumber is shaped like a cucumber, there’s a scene with attacking Cheetos. And therefore it’s no good? On the contrary, a scene with attacking Cheetos should make any sensible person want to see the film. At least it makes me want to see it.

    And Drave, perhaps the silly song is just a silly song? Have you heard “I love my lips” or “Oh where is my hairbrush”? What hidden meanings do these carry? Do those also deal with the subject of infidelity?

  • Pedro

    Drave:

    When you think like a hammer, everything starts to look like nails.

    Maybe the guy was just hella hungry and though “What the hey, i’ll eat Burger King today instead of McDonald’s!”

    Right?

  • MaryAnn

    Ratatouille is a great great film but it’s about french fine cuisine

    Boy, you really misunderstood that film, didn’t you?

  • http://count-shrimpula.livejournal.com Count Shrimpula

    Geez, MaryAnn, what’s your problem, huh? So you didn’t like the movie, that’s fine. Do you have to be so damn critical though? God, you’re always criticizing things. Who the hell do you think you are? I come to this site to hear your opinion about movies I like, not to hear criticize movies you don’t like. In the future, please try to keep your criticism to yourself. Thank you.

  • MCWAY

    Perhaps, she’s not getting enough lovin’ at home.

    What other reason could she possibly have for thinking that Larry the Cucumber looks like a green penis?

    My wife and I have watched VeggieTales with our kids for years and have NEVER ever even come close to thinking that about an animated character.

  • Courtney

    You must be the most disturbed person. Ever. Because of the fact that they actually do look like the fruits they are trying a represent.
    Loosen up, and don’t be a sick-ass.

    What are you? A 14 year old boy?

  • MaryAnn

    You must be the most disturbed person. Ever.

    Oh, if only that were true. The world would be a much nicer place than it is.

  • Mrs.Clinton

    Well, you did like the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie….I guess anyone can review movies.

  • MaryAnn

    Yeah, it’s weird, huh, that freedom-of-speech thing we have in America.

  • Mrs. Clinton

    Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Thanks for responding to my previous post though. I like women with balls. Figurative balls that is.

  • http://toniokruger.blogspot.com Tonio Kruger

    I never thought I’d see the day when a “VeggieTale” movie would create this much controversy.

    For what it’s worth, both my girlfriend and I are Christians–and yet when we had the opportunity to see this movie last weekend, we ultimately chose to see something else.

    If you actually saw this flick and liked it, more power to you.

    However, if your best defense of this film is an attack on MaryAnn’s love life, you really, really, really need to get a life.

  • WriterGuy

    The shabbily fabricated story line behind “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” and its starchy art department make it in no condition to be released out to theaters; however, we must consider Big Idea’s budget encumbrance as well as the fact that this film was aimed solely at Christians.

    I found your response quite comical, MaryAnn, and pleasantly accurate; the only advice I can give you is this: make it more cordial to Christians next time around. Big Ideas probably chose for the characters to be fruits because of the hidden connotations that can be found pointing back to the Bible: the Fruits of the Spirit, by chance?

  • MaryAnn

    I found nothing particularly “Christian” about this movie. What was supposed to be “Christian” about it?

  • bitchen frizzy

    Interestingly, the Christian fan base of Veggie Tales says the same thing, albiet by way of complaint.

    It would appear that actually the movie aimed for a broader audience by toning down the religious content.

  • MaryAnn

    Big Ideas probably chose for the characters to be fruits because of the hidden connotations that can be found pointing back to the Bible: the Fruits of the Spirit, by chance?

    Actually, no. The production notes for this film includes an anecdote from animator Phil Vischer, whose original idea was that the characters were candy bars. And then his wife pointed out that “moms are going to be mad if you make their kids fall in love with candy bars.” As if kids weren’t already in love with candy bars. So he changed them to veggies, and now we see the result: children all over the world are now eating their veggies without complaint thanks to VeggieTales.

  • WriterGuy

    Ah, I see. I guess Phil Vischer had a dollop of reasoning in making them vegetables: he thought their offbeat appearances and affable human traits would make kids immediately gravitate to them. And he was half-accurate; the trouble began when Big Ideas went within their reach and took them to theaters.

    The Biblical implications in this film stuck out like a sore thumb. Obviously, the King represented God, and like every episode of VeggieTales, it had a moral: if we trust in God, all things are possible, even the unthinkable.

  • MaryAnn

    Even Cheetos dentata, I guess.

  • MCWAY

    If there’s one thing I have, Mr. Krueger, it’s a life (hence, one of the reasons I have offspring to take to see “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything”).

    My point was that somebody’s mind has be to REALLY be in the wrong place, to think that Larry resembles a penis.

  • MaryAnn

    The Flick Filosopher: Always in a wrong place!

  • pedro

    that is hands-down *the* slogan of this century.

  • http://www.xanga.com/bluedistortions J. Gunn

    i find it quite hilarious how men (or boys?) are using vulgarity and sexual insults to defend a franchise based on improving behavior..you know..things like not being grumpy or responding meanly. i don’t suppose they’ve made one about questioning women’s sex lives yet? not that the fans were improved by any of the other lessons.

  • Jurgan

    “i find it quite hilarious how men (or boys?) are using vulgarity and sexual insults to defend a franchise based on improving behavior..you know..things like not being grumpy or responding meanly.”

    Yeah, that’s right up there with the guy who wanted to choke Maryann for not liking It’s a Wonderful Life.

  • MaryAnn

    i don’t suppose they’ve made one about questioning women’s sex lives yet?

    If these Veggie things really are supposed to be “Christian,” then it would indeed be right up their alley to shame brazen women.

  • AJP

    “It’s a song about cheating on your wife! I defy you to listen to it and come up with ANY OTHER EXPLANATION!”

    I’ve seen that episode. Here’s an alternative explanation: it is about people who stray away from Christianity to other faiths, and then return and are welcomed back. You may or may not like that message, but it is certainly easily derivable from the song, much easier, in the veggie tales context, then deriving a parable about how cheating on your wife is cool.