Release Date:  March 11, 2006
Genre:  Animated/Children
Run Time:  45 min.
Creator/Publisher:  Big Idea, Inc.

“A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”
— Proverbs 17:17

It’s official.  We own VeggieTales books and toys.  We have VeggieTales CDs and DVDs. And now, we are on the weekly installment plan for VeggieTales band-aids.  Clearly, we have officially passed from simple VeggieTales appreciation into full-blown VeggieTales addiction.  I fear that we may never go back – at least until the kids are teenagers.

“I like Bob the computer,” says my three-year-old, covering imaginary boo-boos with the series’ signature characters, several times a day. 

Okay, so maybe she doesn’t get every single word.  But she likes this stuff, and so do I.

The latest installment from Big Idea, Inc. follows the standard format.  After the opening ditty, “It’s Time for VeggieTales,” Bob the Tomato (not “computer,” for the uninitiated) and Larry the Cucumber open the show with a viewer question.  What does it take to be a good friend? asks the fan. The answer lies in the first episode of this DVD, titled “The Asparagus of La Mancha.”

Drawing inspiration from “Man of La Mancha,” the 1972 musical version of “Don Quixote” starring Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren, “The Asparagus of La Mancha” features Larry as Don Quixote and Bob as his faithful sidekick Pancho (Sancho Panza in the film).  In the musical, Don Quixote is an over-the-top nobleman who embarrasses his family by dueling windmills and going on other absurdist adventures. 

In this spoof, Don Quixote is a vivid dreamer and restaurateur, owner of the popular Café La Mancha.  Together with Pancho, Don has survived the comings and goings of competition.  But when the Food Factory sets up shop in front of Don’s café, he knows he’s doomed.  After all, who can compete with those prices and serving portions? 

Don tries a number of advertising schemes, but by then, his customers are long gone.  Fortunately, Pancho sticks with him – even after being offered a job by the Food Factory.  Then Don’s dreams, which have become even more bizarre, prompt him to attack the Food Factory, which looks like a windmill in his mind.  Pancho warns him, but Don won’t listen and ends up in jail.  Eventually, Pancho discovers the source of the insanity – a spicy salsa.  Without the negative influence, Don is able to think clearly.  And soon, they have a viable solution for keeping the café in business.

Next up, a rendition of “Silly Songs with Larry” called “The Gated Community” which spoofs the curious detachments of residents who live behind bars.

And then finally, the DVD’s feature, "Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler."  Larry plays Sheerluck Holmes, Scottish investigator extraordinaire – or so says his reputation, anyway – but without a Scottish accent.  Bob is Dr. Watson, the sidekick who’s growing increasingly frustrated with Sheerluck’s egomaniacal tendencies.  Although Sheerluck claims that Watson is his best friend, he never gives Watson any credit – and this, even though Watson’s the one who solves all the crimes.

When a robbery at Buckingham Palace leaves Sheerluck stumped, Watson steps in.  But once again, Sheerluck steps on Watson’s toes … errr …  rather, his lower vegetable peel (since veggies have no feet).  Watson has had enough.  Without him, however, the hapless Sheerluck can’t solve the crime, and has no clue about the missing golden ruler, the most prized and valuable treasure in the palace.  Then someone steals Sheerluck’s credit, and he gets a dose of his own medicine.  Soon, all is truly well that ends well as the Veggies learn the importance of friendship.

Unlike Big Idea’s previous release, “Lord of the Beans,” this episode is geared toward younger children.  It has a much simpler message without a lot of teaching.  It’s so simple, in fact, that it comes across as slightly disjointed.  The plots are basic, and the resolutions are so swift that the writers may have stretched their teaching a bit too thin.  Still, as always, this episode is quality animation with a family-appropriate message inspired by Scripture.  And these days, that’s not something to sneeze at.


For information about "VeggieTales Rockin’ Tour Live!," a 45-plus-city tour from March to June, visit www.bigidea.com/events.

"VeggieTales: Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler" premieres on DVD on Saturday, March 11, 2006, from Big Idea, Inc.  Click here for more information.