VeggieTales: An Easter Carol

Rating:
****

VeggieTales’ first and only Easter DVD to date takes place in the same time period that The Star of Christmas occurs– being just a few months since we left Cavis and Millwood (Bob and Larry). An Easter Carol is one of the few Veggies that does not begin with some kind of countertop scene nor has a silly song, but instead begins as Mr. Nezzar is going out to visit the grave of his departed Grandmother.

The story is a loose adaption of The Christmas Carol with some changes to be a vegetable story. The opening sequence is a song about Spring and Easter that sets the stage for the town being happy about Easter and Mr. Nezzar thinking the time should be all about selling plastic eggs. Junior Asparagus resumes the role as the “Timmy” character of the story– but this time he has a crutch and a cough. The church is preparing for the unveiling of a stained glass window, the end of a series that was commissioned by Nezzar’s mother and will be unveiled Easter Sunday morning.

Back at Nezzar’s plastic egg factory (Nezzar and factories go hand in hand), Cavis and Millwood are working to pay off burning down the theater that Nezzar had let them borrow to put on their production. He has not let them have a day off yet, and Cavis wants Millwood to ask for one. It is during this time that Nezzar sings a thirteen minute song that explains why he’s making eggs.

To make it brief, his grandmother started by paiting live eggs, then built the factory, and he figures that if he keeps making eggs it’s like she’s still alive. However, his plan goes out of scale when he decides to build “Easter Land” right on top of the church– since church was his grandmother’s favorite place. In the middle of this song there is a throw-a-way line referencing Rack, Shack and Benny saying that he will have to build a chocolate bunny factory in order to make chocolate for Easter Land.

When Cavis and Millwood stand up to him, they are fired, but they are also determined not to let this happen. Mr. Asparagus, playing the part of the minister, tries to encourage Thomas, Cavis and Millwood that they need to have hope. This was a weird statement at the time– which is explained later, but not really to my satisfaction. It’s trying to hit home the whole hope point and cue up the next character, but it was a little awkward.

Upon getting close to sleep, Mr. Nezzar is awakened by a vision. VeggieTales does not believe in or depict ghosts, so they made sure to say that what he was seeing was a vision– a dream with a point. She tells him that he didn’t pay attention to what she wanted him to learn and that he would be visited by a visitor that would explain it to him.

While Cavis and Millwood continue to try to get in, a music box on Mr. Nezzar’s fireplace turns into a fairy like creature who is voiced by Rebecca St. James. She takes Mr. Nezzar on a ride out the window to the church to “Easter Past.” Inside the church, the music played by the organ in the background once he walks in is the What We have Learned Today song. She takes him to see his grandmother giving him an empty egg, explaining that the story of Jesus starts at Christmas, but then we see that he decided to chat with the kid next to him instead of pay attention.

Next is “Easter Past II”– a year ago when he talks an inventor into helping him make mechanical chickens and plastic eggs. They use a tune style from The Music Man in rhythm. Even Seymore (played by Pa Grape) cannot get him to see that Easter’s about more than eggs, bunnies and baskets.

As a last straw, Hope (the fairy like creature) takes him to see Thomas. Peering in, the painting on the wall is of Dickens. Anyway, they see that Thomas will soon die, and that frightens Mr. Nezzar who cannot understand why Thomas says they have to love him, and why his parents are calm even though they know he will die.

Hope takes him back to the church and sings the main song of this DVD– “Hope’s Song” that chronicles the entire life of Jesus using the stained glass windows ending with the question that if Christ was just a good man and died, where’s the hope in that? She then goes on to say that if you believe, then death is not the end. One’s not quite sure here if that means that there is an end if you do not– ie. no Hell– but it is a message that you have to believe.

The reason to use the stain glass windows? Because one of the Veggie rules is to never depict Jesus as a vegetable. However, they seem to be fine with making vegetables out of what many people believe to be pre-incarnate forms of Christ, so this is a puzzle.

Nezzar says he understands, but Hope says that she will show him what would happen if what he had stated before came to pass. A wrecking ball comes through the big stained glass window. The orphan on the street is robbed, the police man won’t stop him and Thomas has died. Hope explains that it is the “hope of Easter” that made these people be what they are. I’ve seen people argue that there would be orphanages without Christianity, and heroic policemen, etc, but I think that Veggies gets this right when they say that Christianity had the main force behind the thriving of these institutions.

After this sequence, Mr. Nezzar stops the workers, but Cavis and Millwood have gotten into a factory that is going to explode. Mr. Nezzar goes to save Cavis, but finds that the only way out is destroyed. They have to use the machinery to get out of the building. There’s a wild ride back to the church, the factory explodes, and it rains plastic eggs. Mr. Nezzar gives his money to the church and for Thomas to be taken care of, and we end with the tune to Hope’s Song.

Category: DVD
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