VeggieTales and Wal-Mart

  You need to get this book.  I posted on it last week; here’s another excellent blurb.

“One particular episode of VeggieTales has Madame Blueberry acquiring so much stuff that her tree house eventually collapses.  She has become a slave to her stuff, to the accumulation of things.  She has forsaken people, her friends, in the process.  She even almost loses herself to consumption – as the collapsing house nearly takes her life.  The episode bravely proclaims a counter-consumer-culture message, bravely because ‘Stuff-Mart,’ the almost hypnotically powerful source of all Madame Blueberry’s stuff, functions as a rather obvious symbol of the megaretailer that stocks so much VeggieTales merchandise on its shelves.  The creators of the episode were moving dangerously close to biting the hand that feeds them.” 

“But, alas, the counter-consumer-culture message gets muddled.  After the episode concludes, the credits roll and the theme song reverberates from the speakers, commercials follow for VeggieTales stuff, all forms of the characters, sheets and pillow sets, more DVDs and sing-along CDs.  More needless stuff, which can be purchased at a ‘Stuff-Mart’ near you.  The prophetic voice of the episode loses a bit of its edge by being, in the end, too enmeshed in the culture against which it protests” (p. 193).

So ironic and humorous I cry and laugh at the same time: the moralism in VeggieTales fights with consumerism, and the former wins by a small margin.  Hey, kids, don’t be so greedy and materialistic, but you gotta have this Larry Boy bath towel and the shower curtain to go with it.

shane lems

sunnyside wa

1 thought on “VeggieTales and Wal-Mart”

  1. Interesting! (Not to mention ironic! ;-)) I’ll definitely have to read this book some time. :-)

    I used to get so frustrated when I was younger and tried to be involved in various Christian youth groups, because it seemed like for so many of them, their whole identity of being a Christian was often wrapped up in these sorts of things. Being a Christian meant you knew the lyrics to every DC Talk song, or the plot lines to the most popular Veggie Tales episodes, or what the latest popular Christian fiction series was all about. It just seemed so superficial and clique-ish. It was fun to have something that could “unite” you with other Christians, but when what’s uniting you is whether or not you know who the Newsboys are, it seems kind of strange.


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