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VeggieTales' Meaningful Life Points to God's Perfect Plan

  • Kelley Mathews Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
  • 2010 2 Oct
VeggieTales' <i>Meaningful Life</i> Points to God's Perfect Plan

DVD Release Date:  October 2, 2010

Rating:  NR (Not Rated)

Genre:  Kids/Family, Animation

Run Time:  92. min.

Football star Stewart (Larry the Cucumber) dreams of playing in the Salad Bowl, the game that will catapult him to a life of fame and fortune. His hopes are dashed when he is injured in a bad play and forced to watch his teammate Morty (Mr. Luntz) accept the accolades and achieve the success Stewart had dreamed of.

Reluctantly accepting his fate, Stewart settles down in Rockville to become manager of the toy train factory. He marries his sweetheart and raises a family. Years later, he coaches the boys' football team, encouraging them to try 110%. He's a sweet father, singing to his daughter, Emma (voiced by Stevey Joy Chapman), when she's discouraged. Despite problems at work, Stewart's life looks pretty complete.

But he is not content. When Morty, the now world-renowned and obnoxious star, returns home to gloat, Stewart starts asking "what if." What if he had caught that ball and won the game? What if he had left Rockville for an exciting life in the spotlight? Wouldn't that be better than what he has now?

A cleverly-named train conductor whisks Stewart away on the What If Express, showing him how life would have changed for him, his loved ones, and his town, if he had indeed gone his own way. 

VeggieTales productions are usually made with two audiences in mind—children and parents. This one speaks to parents even more strongly, and seems directed at them more pointedly, than previous releases have. With several blatant allusions to the classic holiday movie on which it is based, It's a Meaningful Life may well be one of the most poignant VeggieTales DVDs produced. The story honors family, integrity, and living faithfully the quiet life God has called most of us to live.

In a simple, funny way, Morty and Stewart embody the contrast between our own plans and God's plan (Jeremiah 29:11). One is living the high life, successful in the world's eyes. The other "failed" in his quest for fame and fortune, and "settled" for an average life with a job, family, and friends. Yet, as It's a Meaningful Life teaches, it's the regular guy whom God uses to touch the lives of those around him.

The overall message of being content with the life God has planned for us should strike every parent in the heart. I was brought perilously close to tears in one scene, and adoptive parents in particular might want to grab their tissues. Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman wrote and performed the theme song "Meant to Be." As he shares in the interview "Behind the Music," the song speaks to all children—with or without a family—that they are special because God put them here, that they were "meant to be." Also included on the DVD is the full music video for that song.

Even as parents may be sniffling, the kids will be giggling. The newest silly song "Goodnight Junior" had my children busting out with knowing laughter. Any parent who has said "goodnight" to their children multiple times in one evening will appreciate this newest silly song.

Additionally, the DVD includes a parents guide, presented by FamilyLife, a silly song sing-along, a visit to a train museum with Larry, an art gallery, and the directors' audio commentary.


Bonus Features:

  • Directors' Audio Commentary
  • Art Gallery
  • Parents Guide presented by Family Life
  • "Goodnight Junior" Silly Songs Sing-Along
  • Visit a Train Museum with Larry
  • Behind The Music of It's a Meaningful Life—An Interview with Steven Curtis Chapman
  • "Meant to Be" Music Video