VeggieTales' latest feature-length episode takes on the summer's superhero trend from a biblical perspective.
"The League of Incredible Vegetables" is an Avengers-style storyline that draws on themes of facing and conquering fears.
Here, LarryBoy, the cute and clumsy cucumber whose arsenal includes a pair of plungers on his head, teams up with heroes from surrounding towns to protect BumblyBurg. Bob the tomato is Thingamabob, Mr. Lunt is S-Cape and Petunia the rhubarb is Vogue.
The threat emerges when Dr. Flurry steals the "fear-dar," which derives power from a person's biggest fear.
"Fear equals power," the villain says.
The heroes' fears range from monkeys to bad hair to balloons popping, but young Junior Asparagus, who agrees to join the league in hopes that a super suit will make him brave, is afraid of "pretty much everything."
"The League of Incredible Vegetables" features a number of fun allusions to recent superhero movies. Thingamabob uses a hammer, although not as effectively as Thor, and LarryBoy temporarily lapses into a Christian Bale-Batman-like gravelly voice. As always, clever humor and spiritual substance are well balanced.
The story seeks to embolden children by helping them realize that God can help them deal with their fears. The scriptural basis for "League of Incredible Vegetables" is Pslams 56:3.
"Our VeggieTales heroes are unique in that they turn to God for guidance and assistance even though they possess some extraordinary abilities," said Greg Fritz of Big Idea Entertainment in a news release.
"VeggieTales: The Ultimate Christmas Collection": Five Christmas-themed holiday episodes, along with a holiday sing-along, are available in a two-DVD and one-CD box set. Last year's original holiday offering, "The Little Drummer Boy," is packaged together with "The Toy That Saved Christmas," "The Star of Christmas," "Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving" and "It's a Meaningful Life."
"The Little Drummer Boy" is based on the 1968 stop-motion animated feature, which VeggieTales co-creator Mike Nawrocki calls a "holiday staple."
Aaron Shill is the editor of Features and Mormon Times at the Deseret News.