That its leading characters are actually fruits is the least of this animated adventure’s problems

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie

on January 10, 2008 by Amy Nicholson

The starring anthropomorphic blobs in this rote kiddie flick about three wimpy produce-department rejects, who discover their inner swashbuckler, resemble jawbreakers and jellybeans -- but are in fact Larry the Cucumber, Pa Grape, and Mr. Lunt, the Spanish-accented decorative gourd. That they're technically fruits is the first of many philosophical questions that serve as necessary distractions as you wait for the "vegetables" to find a time-traveling ball and rescue the royal family of Prince Alexander and Princess Eloise (who appear to be either inch worms or bean sprouts) from their evil uncle, a green-goateed pirate zucchini.

If for authenticity's sake the cartoons lack arms and legs, subscribing instead to hopping and (apparently) telekinesis as they bop from starboard to mast and clink swords, why then are they allowed glasses, mustaches, Beatle haircuts, and noses? And are they really eating chicken drumsticks with mashed potatoes and spinach? Cannibals! And last, is it a coincidence or an animator's inside joke that the veggies' innocent smiles of joy look exactly like Cartman's when he enters a room of Cheesy Poofs?

Those with atheist kiddies can breeze easy that there's no overt religion during the slog to the inexorable happy ending and the closing credits where the whole farmers market including some fanged cheese cubes bops around to "Rock Lobster," save for a moment when the cucumber looks humble as we learn that even the meek can move mountains.

Distributor: Universal
Voices: Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer
Director: Mike Nawrocki
Screenwriter: Phil Vischer
Producers: Paula Marcus, David Pitts, Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki
Genre: Animated adventure
Rating: G
Running time: 85 min.
Release date: January 11, 2008

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