VeggieTales: Rack, Shack and Benny

Rating:
****

History: VeggieTales’ Rack, Shack and Benny had the unique problem of having too catchy of a song. Using a guitar and three chord, Phil Vischer came up with a song to be used when the veggies were supposed to bow down to the idol Mr. Nezzar built. The song talked about not going to church or school, not eating good food, etc. The problem was that the song was so easy to remember and amusing that children were going around singing about not going to church. VeggieTales tried to fix this problem by changing the words in a CD release to give a better option. However, this didn’t work also. The VeggieTales crew finally went back and edited the original– so if you have a DVD version of it, you won’t hear (in the show) the offending version.

Rack, Shack and Benny: George narrates a story about Rack, Shack and Benny (whom he said were Shadrack, Meshack and Abendego from the story in the book of Daniel). The setting is in a factory out in the desert where Mr. Nezzar (Nebby K. Nezzar) is having children (veggies) in little white hats work on making chocolate bunnies for him. We’re not quite how sure these Veggies are doing this without hands, but they are.

The story begins as Mr. Nezzar is giving a special treat to the workers– thirty minutes eating as many bunnies as they want. Junior Asparagus tells his buddies Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber (Rack, Shack, and Benny) that they shouldn’t eat any more because their mothers told them not to eat too much sweets. This is a reference to the Biblical story of the wine and meats offered to Daniel and the three men in Daniel 1. No Daniel to be seen in this retelling. The emphasis here is on obeying parents instead of obeying God’s commands– and that’s a little change from the real thing.

Mr. Nezzar finds that most of the workers are now sick from eating too much chocolate, except for Rack, Shack and Benny, so he promotes them to “Junior Executives.” They are shown Mr. Nezzar’s grand plan to build a giant bunny for everyone to worship and sings The Bunny Song for them. They ask what will happen if they don’t sing, and Mr. Nezzar shows them the furnace for disposing of the bad chocolate bunnies.

When the time comes to worship the bunnies, our three heros do not worship the bunny, but instead sing a song about their parents. Here’s where I have the biggest problem with this retelling of the story. In the Bible– Rack, Shack and Benny stand defiant saying basically, “God can save us, but even if He doesn’t we won’t bow. In the Veggie version it’s all about obeying parents– which is a good thing, just not necessarily what this story is about.

Next there’s a sequence where there’s a chase scene as Laura the Carrot tries to rescue the boys and ends up getting caught. The three are dumped into the furnace, which gets really bright. Mr. Lunt (Mr. Nezzar’s henchman) says that there are four in the furnace, one being “really shiny.”

After coming out, Mr. Nezzar asks what he can do to repay the three of them, and they start singing a song about standing up for what you believe in. It’s a really catchy song too. But it kind of has things backwards too. Whereas the real men stood for God knowing He could save them if He chose to, Rack, Shack and Benny suggest that we stand up because God will back you up– almost making it so that you have to. It’s not a bad song in itself, just goes along with my previous comments.

The Dance of the Cucumber: Larry the Cucumber is a dancing, Spanish singing Cucumber and Bob the Tomato is translating. Larry takes jabs at Bob, saying he can’t sing or dance. In the middle, Junior Asparagus comes in wearing what looks like Mickey Mouse ears asking Mr. Asparagus to take his picture with Larry. I don’t know why, but Mrs. Asparagus is being chased “by the dwarfs.” It ends with Bob chasing Larry.

Category: DVD
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2 Responses
  1. Mary says:

    I have so many questions about Veggie Tales, and at first, I assumed this site would be completely pro-veggie. I’m glad you are giving a neutral opinion. Very interesting comments on RS&B, one of our favorites. But please don’t get the “bunny song” in my head…
    Someday, I’d love to hear your take on what on earth the cheeseburger song is trying to get across. That song bothers me.
    TIA!

  2. […] The Dance of the Cucumber was the brainchild of Mike Nawrocki and his wife– as his wife is fluent in Spanish.  Either they watched something or experienced first hand the comic gag that’s at play in this silly song where the one who is speaking in a foreign language says things that embarrass the translator.  This song is on the Rack, Shack and Benny show. […]