Since the early 90's, the folks at Big Idea Productions have been entertaining and teaching children about Biblical themes and values with the help of little computer animated vegetables. The music in each VeggieTales episodes is frequently clever and touching and a big part of driving home the moral of each story. People of all ages have grown to love and be touched by the Veggie songs, so there really is no difficulty in coming up with selections for a Greatest Hits. However, narrowing down the list of the best to just fifteen is another story.
Greatest Hits isn't the first VeggieTales collection, but its song list is a wonderful testament to the heart and fun of the show. To make the CD packaging compliment this release, the creators include fun facts about each song inside the disc jacket. The facts offer insight on each tune, from the controversy surrounding the original "Bunny Song" to revealing the personal touches that went into the prayerful ballad "My Day" from Jr.'s voice, Lisa Vischer. This collection, from its simple-yet-delectable art direction to details like these song facts, feels like just the right homage is being paid to a children's show that has made such an impact and established quite the legacy since its 1993 debut.
Every Veggie fan will have their own idea of how a Greatest Hits compilation should look when it comes to song selection. The project appropriately opens with the theme song, but reaches far back to the show's humble beginnings right away by continuing on with older songs like "I Can Be Your Friend," "Stand!," "God Is Bigger," and "The Hairbrush Song." Some of the best Silly Songs make their appearance here - from the very first in "The Water Buffalo Song" to "His Cheeseburger," "Song of the Cebu," and "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." But considering how the fun and the serious need to be represented on a project like this, omissions will have to be made. So songs like "I Love My Lips," "The Dance Of The Cucumber," and the newer instant classic "Monkey" won't be found here. Still, what is included are all gems, even if trading the "Thankfulness Song Medley" or the fun but unnecessary bonus mash-up "Foreign Exchange Veggies" (where we hear German, Japanese, and Spanish versions of their songs in a medley) would have freed up some space to include them. As an added bonus, however, the disc also works in your CD-Rom and includes two music videos for your viewing pleasure - "The Dance Of The Cucumber" and "The Yodeling Veterinarian Of The Alps." The video quality is good, although they display pretty small -- not much better than when Audio/Visual CD's first debuted in the mid-90's -- and there is surprisingly no way to watch them full-screen. Also, watching these videos just makes me wish they were included in the audio portion.
VeggieTales' Greatest Hits is a delightful little collection that offers some of the best the show has produced to date. The compilation is fashioned perfectly for the kiddies with songs that address Biblical life lessons like "Big Things, Too," "God Is Bigger," "I Can Be Your Friend," "Thankfulness" and "My Day," and still leave room for good clean fun with the Silly Songs. While an extra disc may have solved the problem of missing some more fan favorites, the attention to detail with the little song facts in the packaging is just one of the things that makes Greatest Hits a fun experience for any VeggieTales fan. Who knows? Maybe we'll get a Volume Two someday.- Review date: 3/11/08, written by John DiBiase
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