From the Cover
Meet Darby, the son of a Kansas floss farmer who just wants to have fun! When he learns about the Wonderful Land of Ha’s, where you can do whatever you want, Darby is determined to go — even against his father’s wishes.
But when Darby reaches Ha’s, will he find all he’s searching for… and at what price? Will it be worth everything that Darby has given up — his home back on the farm? His father’s love? Harvesting floss? Find out in the all-new family adventure that reminds kids everywhere that there’s nothing like forgiveness and there’s no place like home.
This is the most “self-aware” countertop that we’ve had in a while. In this countertop, they pay homage to the fact that Larry’s dad is an astronaut but they also mention that this is the 27th VeggieTales adventure that they’ve put out. I haven’t taken the time to count, but that may or may not include the rerelease or repackaging.
Wonderful Wizard – Part 1
This is one of the most detailed Veggies artistically in a while. Lots of new things to look at, and they try to stay true to both the story of the Prodigal son and the Wizard of Oz. So, you have things like a farm with characters that will turn up as the scarecrow, tin man and lion. You also have a guest appearance by Mary Poppins– or a Mary Poppins look-a-like.
Darby (played by Junior Asparagus) decides that he’s rather run off to the fair and spend all his money than harvest floss. There’s the jokes dedicated to Somewhere Over the Rainbow (“A rainbow is just rain droplets reflecting the light of the Sun. How can you go over it?”) and parodies of the main songs. Instead of “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” it’s “Follow Yellow McToad.”
Immediately after the tornado takes Junior to munchie-ville you know that if you don’t know the story of the Wizard of Oz you’re going to miss a lot of the tie-ins, which could be a problem if your child hasn’t seen this movie.
Monkey or an Ape
This is not one of their better silly songs. It’s kind of catchy, but the best jokes are ones that actually have some kind of nugget of truth, and I’m not sure I get it.
Wonderful Wizard – Part 2
There’s a cute rendition of “Lions and Tigers and Bears” here and a nod to the poppies (which becomes puppies). Darby and the gang play in Ha (Has? Ha’s?)until their money is spent, and when Darby wants to play some more and runs out of money, the friends desert him, he’s caged in prison and decides he wants to go home.
The three friends rescue him, and off he goes, only to have exactly what he wanted when he gets back.
Bob and Larry wrap it up well, stating that God’s love is not conditional (in a Veggie sort of way). Though it is disappointing that the people that brought us Jonah (with the ending that everyone can’t understand) and the concept of compassion and mercy, couldn’t also figure out what to do about the brother that didn’t like that the other brother returned. They paid lipservice to it with Mr. Lunt’s question, but didn’t explore what is an interesting part of this story.
It’s a great story, and a good lesson, but one wonders if Phil Vischer is too tied to making sure that it’s an accurate parody to realizing that his audience may not have seen the original and therefore do not understand why the munchies have to sing so many songs. Has Big Idea decided that it has to do like other Cartoons and try to put stuff in there for the parents as well as the kids to the detriment of the product? Time will tell.