Inner Beauty Question Answered in VeggieTales' Sweetpea Beauty
- Monday, August 02, 2010
DVD Release Date: July 31, 2010
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Genre: Kids/Family, Animation
Run Time: 45 min.
Actors: Voices of Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
The newest addition to the VeggieTales family, Sweetpea Beauty—A Girl After God's Own Heart, speaks directly to all the princesses in the room. This is the first VeggieTales production created specifically for girls. Answering the question, "What is true beauty?", the veggies teach biblical truth and entertain with the creativity and hilarity we've come to expect.
Queen Blueberry is obsessed with being the most beautiful in the kingdom. She goes to outrageous lengths to adorn herself, yet the castle is falling apart from neglect. One day, fretting in front of her mirror, she is shocked to hear it answer her question "who is the most beautiful in the kingdom." The mirror clarifies—the queen wins on outer adornments, but Sweetpea Beauty has the finest character.
Sweetpea, best friend of the queen's son, Prince Larry, sees the good in everything. She looks under the surface to find the beauty: mud is good because the rain that caused it also makes the flowers grow. Gaspard the skunk is stinky, but he's her friend. "Since God made us," she says, "it's his definition of beauty that should matter."
The mirror manipulates the queen, encouraging her to prize her appearance over all else, then tricking her into banishing Sweetpea. He feeds her insecurities in order to make his own evil ambitions succeed. But true beauty wins out when Sweetpea returns and shows the queen, and all the kingdom, that inner beauty and character trump mere appearance.
Drawn and animated with the quality we've come to expect from VeggieTales, Sweetpea Beauty will delight audiences young and old, female and male. The fairy tale parody is unmistakable—note how the heroine's name sounds much like a child saying "Sleeping Beauty." In one scene, no less than three classic tales are alluded to (Goldilocks, Snow White, The Princess and the Pea) in less than one minute. Parents will laugh at these while children are distracted by the seven snow peas (dwarfs, anyone?).
Boys are not neglected, despite the show's distinctly female message. The silly humor, provided primarily by klutzy Prince Larry and the bouncy seven peas, kept my sons in stitches. Jerry and Mr. Luntz play minstrels who act as funny and clever narrators to the story. They occasionally even enter into the plot to mess things up a bit, playing catchy tunes and singing some very funny lines.
In addition to Sweetpea's story, the DVD includes a short tale called Snoodlerella. This acts almost as a girl's version of A Snoodle's Tale, which also dealt with issues of self-esteem. In this Cinderella parody, spoken in rhyme, the stepmother is rather snooty, as are the stepsisters, and expects Snoodlerella to look the part if she expects to attend the king's ball. She sends "fairy blueberry" to give awkward and gawky Snoodlerella an extreme makeover—this geek becomes a polished, coifed, graceful beauty.
After enjoying a fantastic ball, she realizes that she looks different but still doesn't feel pretty "or cherished or nurtured or loved." It takes a special message from the king to show her where her true worth comes from.
Kids will laugh their way through the new silly song "Pants." Larry the Cucumber, wearing a salesman's toupee, hawks pants for everyone from behind his retail counter. Grandpa Grape, Jerry, and Jimmy join Larry to sing this fast-paced, catchy tune as they act out completely silly roles sure to send your children into hysterics.
The DVD boasts extras that include the music video to the theme song, "Beautiful for Me," written and performed by Nichole Nordeman. Also included is an interview with Nordeman about the making of the song and video. The extras also contain sing-alongs, commentary, a "True Beauty Guide for Girls" and more.
A true family show, no warnings apply.
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