Princess and the Pop Star Spotlights Identity
- Kelley Mathews kelleymathews.com
- 2011 13 Aug
DVD Release Date: August 13, 2011
Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Genre: Kids, Family, Animation
Run Time: Approx. 45 min.
This is the story of two girls who long for different lives and think they’ve found it when they meet and exchange places. This is also the story of two girls who discover that the tile—er, grass—isn’t always greener on the other side.
Princess Poppyseed, a farmer’s daughter, wishes for a more exciting life than enduring a tagalong brother and pesky sisters, milking the cow and gathering eggs. Princess dreams of a life that looks like her favorite pop star, Vanna Banana. Her one chance at meeting her idol is ruined when little brother Pepper cuts the phone connection between Princess and the radio contest that would have won her backstage passes to Vanna’s next concert.
Then there is Vanna, long on talent and stardom but short on friends and family. Her loneliness goes unnoticed by her kindly mother (Madame Blueberry), who also acts as her professional manager. Vanna slips away one day, determined to be like any normal girl. Incognito, she meets Princess at the playground and they hit it off, delighted that they look and sound so much alike. Soon Vanna reveals herself, and they cook up a scheme to switch places and live their dreams.
So, do their new lives live up to their billing? Do Princess and Vanna come away fulfilled and happy with their new identities? Kids will have a great time learning along with the girls that God created each person unique and special. One’s identity can’t be traded away—we are who God made us, and he formed us on purpose. This lesson on “being yourself” is clearly communicated, even to young viewers, in a fun and, at times, poignant way.
Oh yes, the trademark VeggieTales silliness abounds, with several LOL (laugh out loud) moments for all ages. Larry the Cucumber enjoys a supporting role as Princess’s sweet-natured, bumbling farmer dad who often finds himself on the wrong side of a horse. Pepper, the little brother, plays his part perfectly—shadowing her, innocently causing accidents, unintentionally crashing her concert, and more.
The latest silly song is directed by Archibald, who entertains viewers with a “History of Fashion” show, starring the rise and fall of “astonishing wigs.” I wouldn’t include it in the top five silly songs, but it’s cute, very silly, and evokes bursts of giggles from under-aged audience members.
Reminiscent of VeggieTales’ ‘Twas the Night Before Easter, the singing in Princess and the Pop Star is decidedly non-Veggie-like. No memorable tunes for kids to chant days (or years) later—a la "Keep Walking" from Josh and the Big Wall. Instead, Vanna and Princess sing beautiful ballads and energetic pop songs with skilled and wide-ranging voices. The beat is catchy; the energy is contagious. Kids will enjoy the music even if they don’t find themselves constantly repeating the words. I’m not complaining about the music—just pointing out the difference between this and many of the older tales.
Dove Award-winning Artist of the Year (2011) Francesca Battistelli performs the theme song “You Never Are,” which she also penned for this project. Professional and radio-worthy, this song encapsulates the message of the show, which is based on Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed you in your mother’s body, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart to serve me.”
- Audio commentary
- “Astonishing Wigs” Silly Songs Sing-Along
- “Right Where You Belong” Sing-Along
- Behind the music with Francesca Battistelli and Friends
- Princess Poppyseed’s Points for Being Uniquely You.