by Michelle Erica Green

This review originally appeared on the now-defunct site FamilyWonder.com, which showcased children's entertainment for parents and caregivers.

Grade: B-
Year: 2000
Running Time: 30 minutes

Video Summary:
After some competition among the veggies for the right to take turns hosting the show, the group enacts the story of a king who spends all of his time in the bathtub with his rubber ducky -- ignoring the woes of his kingdom, which is engaged in a heated war with a neighboring nation. Spotting another ducky from his balcony, King George decides he wants all the duckies in the land for himself.

But when the king sends a young subject to war in order to steal his rubber ducky, a wise man visits. Via a felt board, the sage performs for King George a parable about a greedy man who destroyed the life of another. Chastened, the king realizes his whole kingdom will be happier if he learns to worry about the needs of others.

Best For Ages:
2-5 - Both the visuals and the moralistic storyline are accessible to this age group.

6-8 - Fans of the series may like it, but this plodding installment will lose the interest of many kids.

Parental Advisory:
Educational Value: Vegetables correct one another's grammar. Bible verses from Romans emphasize the story about not being selfish.

Entertainment Value: A slower-moving story than many Veggie Tales, this installment features a witty musical interlude but less humor overall.

Questionable Behavior: Veggies battle by throwing pies in one another's faces. One small stalk is temporarily rendered, umm, a vegetable.

This plodding story is not one of Veggie Tales' stronger installments. The musical numbers in KING GEORGE AND THE DUCKY suffer by comparison to SESAME STREET's legendary "Rubber Duckie" song. The drawn-out introduction, in which two upstart pears try to take over the show from Larry and Bob, bores younger viewers. Meanwhile, the over-5s roll their eyes at the heavy-handed resolution to the king's selfishness.

This early episode doesn't offer many animated sight gags. The soap-opera romance Silly Song interlude is witty, but seems out of place in this fable of sharing, capped by a Bible verse from Romans about the need to please others rather than oneself. "Whether you're a king or a kid, God wants us all to think of others first," say the veggies. Yet one astute six-year-old viewer wanted to know why the kingdom wasn't considered selfish for fighting a war.

As Veggie Tales go, MADAME BLUEBERRY is a more entertaining look at the dangers of selfishness. while LARRY-BOY AND THE FIB FROM OUTER SPACE uses humor more effectively to hammer home a moral message.

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