Mickey’s Christmas Carol is one of my favorite Christmas specials for a number of years. It is the retelling of the Charles Dickens’ classic short novel, “A Christmas Carol.” It has a large number of cameos from various Disney characters. It is one of those rare animation specials where all these characters from different Disney-Verses show up in the same place. And, the animation is incredible. It is one of the last great animation specials with hand-drawn animation. It feels like a lost art today.
Obviously, Scrooge McDuck as Ebenezer Scrooge, is the main character. McDuck was actually based on Dickens’ Scrooge. Scrooge’s home was in the comics, but was in an animated film once prior to this one: 1967’s Scrooge McDuck and Money. Scrooge is a grouchy, old man who is more concerned about his money than he is the welfare of others.
Year after year, during the week of Thanksgiving, families gather around the television to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Since it first aired on November 20, 1973, it has become as much of the holiday tradition as the turkey, the Macy’s Parade, and backyard football.
It is a welcome site when our television screens begin projecting this classic cartoon. We find comfort that Charlie Brown still doesn’t kick that football, and that Snoopy is given more responsibility than the average beagle. Comforting especially when department stores quickly replace Halloween decorations with Christmas ones; when politicians debate who should and should not be welcomed; and when saying, “Thank you,” seems to be nothing more than the reminders of a nagging parent.
In the special, Sally tells Charlie Brown that she went to the store to get a turkey tree and there was all this “Christmas stuff.” Later she laments, “I haven’t even finished eating all my Halloween candy!” (even though she was in the pumpkin patch with Linus on Halloween). We feel Sally’s pain. Before we even get to Thanksgiving, we are bombarded with Christmas music, Christmas sales, and Christmas decorations.
Has the materialism of Christmas caused a forgetting of the tradition of Thanksgiving?
I wrote this for our middle schoolers a few weeks ago to use in their Sunday morning small group. It’s a discussion that focuses on doubt and faith, and that we can trust in God.
I wrote this last year to use with my youth group after watching A Charlie Brown Valentine. It was a great discussion about God’s love in our lives.
It starts off like so many other animated specials with a focus on getting, getting, getting. But as the story unfolds and Jon takes Garfield and Odie with him to the farm, we learn that the greedy, fat cat, has a big heart.
Anyone who grew up in the 1980’s is familiar with Garfield. From the newspaper comic strip to the TV show, Garfield is the talking cat whose mouth never moved who made us laugh. The 1987 Christmas special may not be the classic that A Charlie Brown Christmas is, but it still delivers on the Gospel. Continue reading
How often does the true meaning of Christmas get lost in the excitement of the holiday?
In the VeggieTales Christmas tale Saint Nicholas, the Veggies are experiencing this same tension. The kids are concerned about what they will get and how they will spend their money on themselves. The excitement starts to get a little dim when Laura Carrot’s dad is in danger of losing his job because his truck has broken down . . .again. Larry thinks they should write a letter to Santa Claus asking to fix the problem. Bob, however, knows what will really help the situation. He tells the children (and Larry) the story of boy named Nicholas who made a discovery in Bethlehem that changed him (and us) forever. Continue reading
On November 26, Netflix will premiere a new Saturday-morning style series of VeggieTales cartoons.
In the original cartoons, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would introduce the shorts from the kitchen counter. I never thought about it much, but obviously they lived in a kitchen. VeggieTales in the House lets the veggies explore the rest of the house. It provides a chance for some creative animation. While the animation has gotten an upgrade, and the setting is beyond the kitchen counter, the new show will continue the tradition of storytelling through music and silliness spiritual truths and themes. Continue reading
Just in time for Thanksgiving, the gang from VeggieTales is here to share jokes, scripture, and cooking tips.
The creators of VeggieTales are gearing up for the release of the brand new VeggieTales in the House, which is premiering November 26 only on Netflix. Thanks to a brand-new, toll-free Holiday Hotline, the VeggieTales can be in your house sharing jokes, singing songs, sharing scripture, and even providing recipe tips anywhere you are.
“There are some who are hard to love.”
The family musical group The VeggieTones are starting to make it big when they get the invitation to play at Vegtable Square Garden. On the way, the family is forced to pull over due to a fierce snowstorm. They seek shelter at the inn owned by Mr. Beet. However, they have no money. They have to do chores around the hotel, including being the entertainment each evening.
This VeggieTales story is based on the classic Beauty and the Beast story. Here, the Beet, much like the Beast, has walled himself off from other people – uh, veggies. His staff is timid around him, careful not to anger him. His inn has received poor reviews (only one star) because of his lack of hospitality.
Telling the story of God’s unconditional love
Next week a brand new VeggieTales DVD will be released, “Beauty and the Beet.” In this new show, a Veggie twist of the classic story Beauty and the Beast, Mirabelle (voiced by country music’ Kellie Pickler) and her family band, the Veggie Tones, are on their way to life-changing, career-promoting gig at Vegetable Square Garden. In the midst of a snowstorm, their car breaks down, and they find themselves singing for their supper for the cranky hotel manager Mr. Beet.