Customer Reviews: Veggie Tales: St Nich: A Story
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on December 8, 2009
First, let me say we are big Veggie Tales fans, or perhaps I should say Classic Veggie Tales fans, as more and more of their more recent offerings have fallen flat for us.

We were hopeful for this latest Veggie Tale, especially since it started off with the premise that Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber would explain who Saint Nicholas really was. In the beginning, the story does just that, showing Nicholas' life as a young boy in ancient Greece, and is in fact fairly accurate through Nicholas becoming an orphan.

It is Nicholas' (young) adult life that the Veggie Tales team takes creative license with. Had this not been a story about an actual historical figure AND one that was claiming to set history straight, I would have had no problem with the ensuing silliness. But instead of sharing the story of how Nicholas helped 3 daughters with no dowry money by throwing sacks of coins through their window late at night, the V.T. team puts Nicholas in ridiculous disguises, the last looking basically like a modern day Santa Claus. Not only do they manage to get a red fur-trimmed suit into the ancient Greece setting, but they also add snow, trips down chimneys, and a "sleigh" and "reindeer" into the story. Granted, Larry the Cucumber is trying to make it more "Christmasy" but in doing so, he's gone right back to confusing children as to who St. Nicholas actually was.

So once again, I can only recommend a book instead of a video. If your children are ready to hear the true story of St. Nicholas (as my 6 and 4 year old were), then I can only suggest Santa, Are You For Real? by Harold Myra.

I certainly hope the V.T. team can return to their roots. This video (even its "silly" song) left us sorely disappointed. Here's hoping I can return it to my local Christian bookstore...
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on August 30, 2010
I was very sad and angry to see how the VT crew butchered the life of a powerful saint. Saint Nicholas was a good and holy man, not a misguided preacher's kid. I can even get over the silliness about him being a masked hero running through the streets, but I cannot stand the slander of his early life. If you aren't going to speak the truth about holy men, avoid their stories completely. BTW he was not Greek, he was from Turkey. Getting kinda sick of the Orthodox=ethnic associations that seem to be acceptable. There was plenty to produce a powerful story of learning and loving God as you grow up into the faith, not turning it into the false "He got saved" moment that is the typical adult Evangelical conversion story.
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VINE VOICEon October 18, 2009
Watching Saint Nicholas, one can only note how much better it is than most of the recent holiday specials, which try to have a moral to the story, but end up flat and heavy-handed. VeggieTales, on the other hand, go far beyond morals to express big ideas. The recent VeggieTales movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A Veggie Tales Movie (Widescreen), was the sort of superior entertainment that, while it enthralls kids, also engages adults. It's hard to believe this featurette is only 45 minutes, because it runs the gamut from light laughs to moving pathos to profound finale, the same arc as a feature film. Adults who happen to walk by while it's on TV will probably find themselves drawn in. Kids will see something new every time.

Bob the tomato tells the true story of St. Nicholas, while Larry the cuke constantly interrupts with more conventional ideas of Santa Claus. The real saint threw bags of money down the chimneys of poor women to save them from being forced into brothels. In this kid-friendly version, young Nick saves the poor from going to jail. Either way, he becomes the patron saint of those who fight human trafficking. The DVD includes ways for kids and families to help a long-established charity called Samaritan's Purse, and a catchy video by Matthew West and Amy Grant, "Give This Christmas Away."

There's an intense scene when the young Nick's parents die, which might be disturbing for very young kids, like similar scenes in Disney films like Bambi. The film is filled with witty asides and references to holiday trivia and packed with well-performed, singable songs. There's even a pirate who makes an appearance from the recent feature film. Bonus features include "Sing Along with Larry", an art gallery, and "Give This Christmas Away" music video. The previews include trailers for current VeggieTales, as well as bits on Cure International, which provides medical help for kids in need, and MOPS, a support group for Mothers Of Pre-Schoolers.

VeggieTales are inspiring on many levels: CGI animation that is second to none, garden-fresh story lines, sparkling wit to laugh-out-loud humor, a rough ride to the happy ending denouement, and they make you feel better, not worse. But this DVD, linking, as it does, an entertaining story to tangible ways to help, may be the biggest idea yet for bringing joy to the world.
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on October 3, 2009
The best VeggieTales DVD ever released! This story also doesn't pull the rug out from under little ones excited for Christmas morning gifts! It will inspire all of us to give - and give all year round. A story like this doesn't get much better than this! Great gift for any toddlers on your list!
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on October 10, 2009
Excellent topic & much NEEDED discussion for children!
this can really open up doors for a separation between what has become Santa and the roots of St. Nicholas.

The only reason I gave it 4 stars and not 5 is because of the imagined snow and the sheep that became like reindeer.. i really think they stretched it too much and I'm not sure that younger kids will be able to separate it out between what is being imagined and what they are really trying to portray about the actual story.

the music is great.

the music video made me cry.

the intent of the video is AMAZING.

the story is wonderful & really necessary. I am so glad they made this!
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on August 30, 2011
First off I have loved Veggie Tales since they first came out. I've watched almost all of them. I was extremely outraged with this show and that it's teaching the wrong history to who knows how many children. They butchered the story of St. Nicholas. I'm Catholic and celebrating St. Nicholas' Day and showing what a wonderful and generous man he was is important. I want a story that accurately portrays this wonderful man and his history that I can share with the children in my life not made up fluff.
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Everyone's favorite vegetables are back with their third Christmas DVD. And they've really knocked it out of the park.

Skipping the countertop scenario, our story opens in a small town on Christmas Eve. The kids are excited about all the presents they will get the next day, until Laura Carrot's dad has trouble with his car that may cost him his job. In the quiet that follows, Bob decides telling the story of Nicholas should help.

And so we travel back to Greece in the third century. Aided by Larry (who tries to move the story forward and make it more festive), Bob tell us about a young boy named Nicholas. His family is well off, but he can't understand why his parents spend so much time giving. After their early death, he sets out to find happiness again. Can he do it? What might he learn from his search?

This is a bit more of a serious story than you might normally expect. They do a fairly decent job of retelling the legend of St. Nicholas without getting into the ramifications of the modern day legend.

But this video is still funny. Most of the humor comes from Larry, who keeps exasperating Bob by trying to fit the story into the Santa legend. Of course, the costumes Mr. Lunt wears as he helps Nicholas in the second half are laugh out loud funny as well. Especially the second one.

Speaking of whom, Mr. Lunt does the silly song this go around. "Donuts for Benny" starts out fun but gets super silly at the end. I loved it! I swear the music reminded me of a classic Christian song, but I couldn't place which one it was.

The music is great on this video as a whole. There are several original songs, but they also parody Christmas classics like "Deck the Halls" and "Jingle Bells."

While a tad more on the serious side, this is a real gem. Get this now, and your family will enjoy it for years to come.
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on November 13, 2009
I bought this video the other day for my girls. I'd have purchased it anyway because we're a Veggies family, but what really caught my eye was that it has a music video and Veggie cartoon promoting Operation Christmas Child. Our church and school support that project and we had the shoeboxes to put together. I put the video in while we did the boxes and it really helped my kids get a better understanding of what we were doing and for whom we were doing it.

The video itself is typical Veggies - it's a great story, framing human tragedies and triumphs in a package that little kids can get, along with all sorts of very funny stuff for Mom and Dad too. You can't go wrong with the Veggies at Christmastime and for $10, what's not to love!?
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I've told my son that there was, indeed, a "Santa Claus" in the form of St. Nicholas. When I saw that the Veggie Tales crew was coming out with a DVD about St. Nick, I ordered it immediately.

We have quite a few Veggie Tales DVDs (we're not even Christians), and have always found them to be clever, funny and well-produced eye-candy that presents noble values and practices.

We watched Saint Nicholas last night, and my son and I teared up. I didn't know Nicholas lost his parents as a child, and that they basically died while helping others during a plague. They modeled a life of giving and sharing to young Nicholas. In this DVD, Bob, Larry, Nicky Pepper and company demonstrate the origins of St. Nick (and perhaps even practices of Santa Claus, such as filling stockings and passing gifts through the chimney), including the influence his parents had upon him and the community.

The silly song about a dog wanting donuts was pretty corny--not as good as most other silly songs--but hey! we don't buy Veggie Tales for the silly songs anyway. :o)

I wish there were more Bonus Features on this particular DVD (like they have on other ones...such as drawing demonstrations, games, screen saves, etc.), but for the price, the Saint Nicholas Veggie Tales DVD is an absolute gem.

I'm glad we added this to our extensive holiday DVD collection, and I know we'll watch it again and again--and probably without a dry eye each time.

Highly recommended!

-- Janet Boyer, author of Back in Time Tarot
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on January 30, 2012
I love the Veggie Tales series, but this is garbage. The "true" true story of St. Nicholas apparently has nothing to do with him being a bishop and fighting heresy, but is simply a retelling of complete with reindeer, sleigh and red suit.
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