Jason C. Stanley

ponderings of a dad walking humbly & seeking justice

Tag: dvd

VeggieTale’s Noah’s Ark (2015)

It’s hard to believe that VeggieTales hasn’t tackled the classic Noah’s ark story until now. They finally have in the new release Noah’s Ark, where carrots meet cubits. Pa Grape joins a long line of other actors who have portrayed the great ark builder.

© 2015 Big Idea Entertainment.

© 2015 Big Idea Entertainment.

The Veggie version of the story has Noah’s son Shem and his wife Sadie returning home after their honeymoon. Shem is voice by Wayne Brady of Let’s Make a Deal and Whose Line Is It Anyway, while Sadie is voice by Christian music artist Jaci Velasquez.

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Noah’s Ark VeggieTales Style

This week Dreamworks Animation announced the newest VeggieTales movie: Noah’s Ark. This is the first Bible-themed VeggieTales production in more than four years. Emmy award-winning actor Wayne Brady (Let’s Make a Deal) and Christian singer, actress and radio host Jaci Velasquez star in this new feature. VeggieTales Noah’s Ark will be available on DVD and for digital download on March 3, 2015.

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VeggieTales: Beauty and the Beet (2014)

Beauty-and-the-beet-cover-art“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.

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Interview: Veggie Tales’ Mike Nawrocki

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.

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Interview with Erin Bethea

Note: This post and interview is cross posted at Hollywoodjesus.com. 

“What is the highlight of your career?”

JA08_3505_colorErin Bethea paused for a few seconds, unsure how to answer the question. Some might argue that it was starring opposite Kirk Cameron in the independent film Fireproof. And they may be right. The role as Cameron’s wife changed Bethea’s career path. Others might say it was landing her first professional appearance as sportscaster Alicia Houston in the hit Facing the Giants. Or, it could have been the four years she was Belle from Beauty and the Beast at Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom.

Born and raised in South Georgia, Bethea got her start in professional acting after graduating from the University of Mobile with a Bachelor of Arts in Theater. Her role as Alicia in Facing the Giants was her first professional gig.

The pause before Bethea’s answer does not evince uncertainty about her work, but a humble heart. “I have been privileged to work with some awesome people,” she finally says. And that privilege has led her to starring in the film This Is Our Time.

this-is-our-time-posterThe film is the interwoven stories of Luke (T. J. Dalyrmple) and Ale (Erin Bethea), who marry right after college and move to India to serve as missionaries in a leprosy village; Catherine (Kate Cobb) is an aspiring financier who joins a prestigious financial institution with the determination of changing corporate America; Ryder (Matthew Florida) lands an incredible job in social media and is eager to use the powerful medium for a greater good; and finally, Ethan (Shawn-Caulin Young), who serves as the odd-man-out character, struggles to find his vocation in life.

Vocation is what the film is all about. Each of the characters struggle with discerning who they are in a post-graduation world. Even when they think they have found out what they are to do, they bump up against different barriers. What they each discover is that God instills a calling in all our lives. Indeed, Bethea feels that God gives us two callings: “The first is God calls us to some path, plan, or action. It could be ministry, medical, or education. The second is the call to who we are as faithful and obedient followers.”

The film’s theme of calling is something that Bethea hopes viewers will connect with. She does. She has come to understand her own calling in the medium of film: “God gives me these gifts and passions, so I go in that direction.” She thinks the film could be a great conversation starter for young people who are discerning what direction their lives will take. She hopes it will help them consider in what ways God is calling them to fulfill a purpose. And, as Bethea points out, “It may not be what we intended it to be, but it’s all for God’s glory.”

Possibly the most amazing part of the film are the scenes at the leper colony in India. Bethea said that those days shooting there were life-changing and educational. “It was like something back in the Bible,” she remembers. The movie-makers worked with the organization Embrace a Village. Embrace a Village is a Christian based, non-profit organization that transforms the lives of those affected by leprosy by raising the standards of living.

Bethea remembers with great fondness meeting one older lady in the village. She was only about sixty pound and had neither hands, feet, nor nose. “She didn’t look human,” Bethea recalls. But despite her small size and her handicaps, during the singing of praise songs, she sat in the front row and her voice rang loudest. While this woman is unlikely to have survived, Bethea finds peace in the knowledge that she is no longer in pain.

This humble meeting with a woman whose name we may never know might just be the highlight of her career.

© 2020 Jason C. Stanley

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