Tuesday, July 30, 2013

MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle- A Review!

Recently, we had the opportunity to watch and review the latest release from VeggieTales, MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle (out today!) I'll start off by saying that I've been a big fan of VeggieTales ever since I heard Mr Lunt crooning about a cheeseburger, so you won't see much of a critical review here. If you're looking for that, I'll give you my mother in law's phone number! Just kidding. ;-) (But seriously, I don't know anyone else who says things like "how is he putting the quarter in that thing {said of King George trying to get a glimpse of the forbidden ducky through the coin operated viewer}?! Nobody in this show has any arms or hands!" (Never a dull moment while watching television with that one. Ahem!)

"MacSon" and "MacDaughter" really had a great time watching MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle, while "MacMommy" watched along and tended to "MacToddler". "MacGrammy" came to visit toward the end of the movie, and she enjoyed what she saw as well (shh, don't tell her I said that!) I have to wonder if we are the only ones who underwent name-changes after this movie (ie MacBob and MacLarry, MacTunia). I think it is particularly telling that "MacSon" used one of his "Mac-TV tokens" to watch MacLarry the next day. With their downloadable coloring and activity sheets, this would also make a great MacChildren's Ministry lesson too! (I'm going to have to keep that in mind next time I'm asked to help out.)
MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle and some popcorn (of the non-cheese variety). 

Review time! MacLarry is the son of Chog Norrius, a revered Scottish warrior who happens to be in the middle of a seemingly permanent battle with the Romans. Pranks abound in this tale, with the Scots being "Barber-barians" who seek out opportunities to administer bad hair cuts to their Roman enemies. Enter MacLarry. His father supposes that he will follow suit and become a Barber-barian as well, but MacLarry's heart longs to invent things. In my opinion, he might have actually "made the cut" if his father allowed him to try his Flowbee-like invention to give an acceptable bad haircut during his test. MacLarry fails to deliver yet again and just can't seem to fit in, and ends up leaving on a journey to meet and become apprentice to an inventor hero of his.

MacLarry's plans go awry and he ends up in the hands of his enemy, meanwhile Chog Norrius and the other Scots are on a mission to find the Cheese of Attila to force the Romans to finally call a truce. Long (ish) story short, both sides are threatened by the stinky cheese and MacLarry and his inventive mind save the day!

What I especially like about this video:

References to real places- As a homeschooler, I embrace any opportunity to teach my children about the world they live in. Every time we see a real-life place mentioned on screen or in a book, I show them where it is located on a giant map of the world in our living room. As a result, my six year old is aware that Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife (a couple of my current favorite shows) take place in England (parenting win, I say!), as well as the fact that much of the literature we've read lately comes from that area too. I'm sure "MacSon" will be delighted to realize that MacLarry and friends inhabit the same big island as Winnie the Pooh, and James and his giant peach and other literary friends (as well as some of mommy's fictional friends.) Rome and Greece are referenced as well (though not quite accurately location-wise).

References to scientific stuff- MacLarry's passion for inventions leads him to talk about simple machines like levers- things my children have already been exposed to from other sources. I think that they will enjoy seeing them in action elsewhere. MacLarry uses his science smarts to ultimately bring peace to the people.

Laughs for the grown-ups- Seriously? Chog Norrius? Though I will say I was really expecting them to take this joke a little further. That would've been so awesome! The Flock of Seagulls hair cut given to one of the Romans during a raid amuses my inner 80's child. There's a lot more, but you have to watch!

Relatability to real life- How many times in the Body of Christ have any of us felt that our gifts were of little value? We feel that we are urged to act or look a certain way, and feel like we should conform to the "standard". This story shows us the importance of having differing gifts. One never knows when your difference ministers to someone and wins them to Jesus (and that's the ultimate goal for any Christian, right?) MacLarry and the Stinky Cheese Battle says to little ones and big ones alike "be who God made you to be! You have a purpose in the Body of Christ, and it may not look like what everyone else is doing- and appreciate the differences in others!" While I relate a little more to an underdog like MacLarry than the other characters, I'm also challenged to value the strengths of those who are not like me- we all have our place. I think this movie will help children to cherish their emerging gifts and talents and unique personalities, as well as those of other people.

What could be improved on:

Seriously, more Chog Norrius jokes- the end.

This movie is definitely one that you should consider adding to your collection. It is funny and encouraging and entertaining. But I've come to expect that from VeggieTales!

*Disclosure: I was provided with a free copy of this DVD, but all opinions are my own, and no other compensation was received.*