In my opinion, Veggie Tales: The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything is the movie of the year! It was as profound spiritually as it was appealing to people of all ages. Its plot, jokes, and music were enjoyable, entertaining, and clean, but I was especially amazed by the depth, truth, and application of its Christian message.
Not too long ago, Big Idea Productions – the company that makes Veggie Tales – announced that it had decided to take overt Christian themes, statements, and references out of most of its media to avoid bankruptcy. The idea was that by removing all things Christian, Veggie Tales would have a wider audience, which would build a fan base that would in turn wath the overtly Christian media.
As a Veggie Tales fan for at least 10 years, I was sad that Big Idea needed to go this route. The thing I loved about Veggie Tales the most was the incredible spiritual insight packed into every show. So I went into Pirates skeptical about how spiritually valuable it would be — it might be entertaining for the kids, but probably wouldn’t be a DVD I would buy. I doubted it would have much more in the way of spiritual truth than general “be nice, do good” messages.
How wrong I was! This movie was Crash-like in its nuances and connections. I could watch it over and over again and learn something new each time! It contained material for a year of sermons! One Christian who saw the movie with me commented afterwards, “Wow! I feel like I’ve been at church!!!”
For example, the three Veggie pirates represent 3 different types of Christians who struggle with living out God’s purpose for their lives (to be heroes) because of fear, laziness, or defeatism. We also watched the spiritual laws of temptation (what it is, how it works, how we give in to it, how it destroys us, and how we can be freed from it) play out in the life of one of these pirates.
In addition, the movie covered multiple other spiritual topics, including (but not limited to!):
- Our relationship to God
- God’s purpose for us
- The work of the Holy Spirit in our lives
- The power of faith
- Facing fear and overcoming it
- God’s preparation of us
- Tests we face
- God’s guidance and direction for us
- God’s provision for us
- God’s love for us and the sacrifices He has made for us
- Satan’s motivations
- Satan’s modus operandi
- The spiritual battle we face daily, often unaware
- Believing in who God says we are rather than who the world says we are
- God’s protection of us
- The difficulties and challenges of doing God’s work
- The trap of wanting all the glory of being heroes without having to do any of the hard work
I suspect this movie series could be the Chronicles of Narnia for this generation — though the literary contribution (if a movie could even be considered literary) cannot compare, this movie meets kids where they are at — it contains rich Christian syllogism while still being accessible to and easily understood by a generation that is so used to operating in a sound byte culture that it has difficulty comprehending the nuances of the Chronicles (compare the number of youth who see this Veggie Tales movie to those who saw The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe).
In short, this movie was amazing, amazing, amazing. I can’t wait to see it again.