As I've watched countless VeggieTales videos, their first film Jonah, and now The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, I've noticed similarities between this series and my favorite franchise as a kid, The Muppets. Both utilize a pool of diverse and established characters (sometimes they're themselves, sometimes they're "acting"). Both are aimed at kids—but wisely and slyly witty enough for adults. And both alternate between retelling known stories and living out original adventures.
While I enjoy all the Muppet movies, I prefer the original stories like The Muppet Movie and The Great Muppet Caper. These adventures allow for more creativity, greater freedom and in general, more room for the zany characters to go bananas. After all, you don't have as much story freedom when you're retelling a well-known story—especially, perhaps, a Bible story. And though VeggieTales always found fun but reverent ways to retell its biblical tales, Pirates is proof that the freedom of an original story can lend fun and creativity to the mix.
Besides, Pirates really isn't much of a story-telling departure for VeggieTales. Only about half of the VeggieTales videos are retold Bible stories; the others are parables and parodies. However, as VeggieTales co-creator and Pirates screenwriter Phil Vischer has said, it's the first time he's based a story solely on the personalities of characters. It was a smart move. After all, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (played by VeggieTale mainstays Larry the Cucumber, Mr. Lunt and Grandpa Grape) are arguably the most popular of the VeggieTales alter egos—except for maybe Larry's superhero character Larry Boy. In giving them their own movie, Vischer fleshes out these couch-potato pirates and creates ...1