VeggieTales: King George and the Ducky (Video 2000) Poster

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A more serious VeggieTale
Acolyte-228 May 2003
Warning: Spoilers
Many spoilers herein, but I'm intending this more as a parents' guide rather than a review as such.

It's never said explicitly that I noticed, but "King George and the Ducky" is loosely based on 2 Samuel 11:1-12:13. The remainder of the Biblical account, 2 Samuel 12:14-25, is excluded since, unlike King David, George suffers no lasting consequences for his sin. As Bible adaptations go in VeggieTales, this one's far more subtle than the earlier "Rack, Shack and Benny", "Dave and the Giant Pickle", or "Josh and the Big Wall" as one may well expect: The nature of David's sin is not really suitable for a children's video and is not immediately applicable to their own situations. Here, it's handled in the context of selfishness.

King George is played by Larry the Cucumber. Uriah the Hittite is transformed into Junior Asparagus' "Thomas"; David's general Joab becomes "Cedric", played by Scallion #1; Nathan the Prophet becomes Pa Grape as "Melvin"; and the eponymous ducky, a tub toy, is the stand-in for Bathsheba. Bob the Tomato returns after a hiatus as "Louis", King George's prime minister, who has no Biblical equivalent but makes a useful foil for King George.

This is a lighthearted story rather than one that's outright funny. It's not actually bad: it's well written enough, the graphics represent a quantum leap over earlier efforts, and the songs are entertaining and catchy. I won't bother to detail which elements from the Bible story are presented more or less intact; anyone familiar with it can pick them out easily enough. Some things are altered so as to be not so disturbing to children. For example, wars in this story are fought with pies rather than more lethal weapons, and Thomas therefore suffers nothing worse than a temporary -- and easily cured -- loss of sanity.

King George is enamored of his bathtub and, in particular, his rubber ducky to the point of neglecting state affairs and the progress of the ongoing Pie Wars. But one day he sees Thomas taking a bath on his balcony, and is overcome with desire for *his* ducky despite the fact that he has a whole cabinet full of very nice duckies available to him. Over Louis' objections he drafts Thomas and orders Cedric to place him alone on the front lines. While he's gone, George and Louis stage a nighttime raid on Thomas' house and make off with his ducky. That very night Thomas returns. Cedric reports that he single-handedly held off the enemy's advance, but the trauma has shattered his mind. As George privately rejoices over not having to account for the missing ducky, Melvin arrives to bring him to face his sin. King George repents, cures Thomas with a soak in his royal bathtub, and asks everyone's forgiveness.

The ending's a little pat, but I suppose that's more suitable for the target audience. The lasting consequences suffered by King David and his house would have lent a far more serious tone to the video; it would not have been possible to present this material lightly. Although there are few out-and-out laughs to be had here, there's a lot of subtle humor that's easy to miss if you're not paying close attention. The ending number where King George celebrates the lesson he learned is much less impressive than the song King David actually composed on this occasion, but that's not too surprising: Psalm 51 is perhaps the most beautiful expression of repentance to ever have been written. All in all, this is an enjoyable and effective presentation on the 10th Commandment.

There's an opening short by Jimmy and Jerry Gourd on the same subject, and I have to wonder if this is a bit of self-parody of some of the earlier, more ham-handed VeggieTales such as "God Wants Me to Forgive *Them*?" The Silly Song, "Endangered Love", is absolutely hilarious, but may go over the heads of younger viewers.
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6/10
(Rubber) Duck Tales
Horst_In_Translation8 November 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Here we have "George and the Ducky", a VeggieTale from the very beginning of the new millennium. It runs for 33 minutes overall and is like all the others animated of course. You will find many familiar names from the long-running series if you take a look at who made this and who (voice-) acted in it. The focus this time is on the story of greed vs sharing, one that our world can really make some use of these days. We have a king (how fitting) who loves his rubber ducky, but who when he realizes that there are other rubber duckies out there is not satisfied anymore with possessing only one. This is the main plot and it is shown from the 10-minute mark onward as there is early on some comedic misunderstanding about who hosts the show and the lackluster costumes were maybe the best thing about. I think this was one of the better VeggieTales I have seen so far. Not sure if one of the best. The lesson is a really important one. The music is good too ("Manatee the one for me" is very catchy). Maybe it should have been five minutes shorter, slightly under instead of over half an hour, but it's all good. This episode is another piece of evidence how easy it can be to get important religious messages about humanity mostly on to the next generation if the talent is there in terms of the execution. For Nawrocki and Vischer, it is without a doubt. I give this one a thumbs-up of course and recommend checking it out. To the young, but also to adults and you certainly don't need the religious background to go for it and have a good time watching.
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Second to Worst Veggie Tales short...
MovieAddict201622 November 2002
One notch up from Lyle the Friendly Viking, this Veggie Tale also fell a bit short on the laughs and outrageous, original humor associated with the past and future Veggie Tales videos. It's still worth seeing, just not the best.

John
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