The tenth and eleventh episodes of VeggieTales in the House, now available on Netflix! In “Pie Fight!” the Veggies participate in a pie contest, and in “Pa Grape’s Son,” Jean Claude wants to compete in the Father-Son Day Celebration games.
As the title suggests, this episode is all about PIES.
Now, I love pie. It’s undeniably the greatest dessert of all time. So the notes I took while watching the episode say almost nothing except: “PIE PIE PIE PIE.” Just thought everyone should know that.
Anyway, Petunia holds a pie contest in town every year, with Madame Blueberry always being crowned the winner. Bob is determined to win this year, which once again shows his competitive streak, previously seen in “Bob and the Awesome Frosting Mustache.” I forget what Madame Blueberry makes (again, my notes are mostly full of pie doodles), but Bob’s pie is pecan crumble, from Granny Tomato’s secret recipe. (Larry’s is sardine and marshmallow, which . . . the less said, the better.)
In a truly shocking twist, Bob wins the contest, taking home a huge trophy and a lifetime supply of pie from Pa’s store. My initial reaction:
I WANT TO WIN A LIFETIME SUPPLY OF PIE!!!
Secondly, Madame Blueberry must obviously only enter for the posterity, as I doubt you can win more than one lifetime’s worth of pies. She too is pretty competitive and so is completely shattered when Bob wins. Bob, to his credit, accepts his trophy graciously, even praising Madame Blueberry for her second place win. She is less than courteous about it and complains out loud about Bob winning so “miraculously.” Ichabeezer, ever the troublemaker, overhears and agrees, saying Bob’s pie looked suspicious and ought to be tested. So Madame Blueberry sneaks a piece and scurries away.
She returns later to Pa’s store to show Pa and Petunia that Bob’s pecan pie looks exactly the same as one from the gourmet pie shop in the back of the house (Which brings up the question of just how big is the Veggie world? Obviously, only as big as the house itself is, but this indicates that there are far more businesses and Veggies than just the ones we’ve seen. But I digress.) Pa is uncertain that Bob would cheat, so they stop Mayor Archibald passing by outside, to ask him to do a taste test. (Archie: “Ooh, free pie!” – this asparagus knows what’s goin’ on.) Unfortunately, Archie burned his tongue on hot tea moments before, leaving him unable to taste a difference between the two pies. Pa visits Bob and Larry’s house to tell them the bad news. They’re busy celebrating with their lifetime supply of pies (I want), even singing an utterly random song about pies.
Bob must do the contest again, this time with all the contestants baking their pies right on stage in front of the judges. Madame Blueberry doesn’t really hide the fact that she believes Bob cheated, which of course he responses angrily to, accusing her of being jealous (the theme of this episode). This escalates to name-calling (if “Gorilla” and “Ginger root” can be considered names), and Pa and Petunia are concerned about the insults flying around. Hurtful words are hard to take back, Pa notes, and so after the pies have been baked, Petunia gives the contestants a final challenge: to unbake their pies – to separate all the ingredients and put them back in their packaging. Though of course an impossible task, the Veggies try nonetheless, eager to be the true winner of the contest. Madame Blueberry finally pays closer attention to Bob and his baking and notices that one of his ingredients is hazelnut powder, which the gourmet pie shop doesn’t use. She feels terrible about accusing him of cheating, but before she can apologize, Bob’s pie accidentally goes flying, causing a pie fight (title drop!) to break out.
This results in so. many. wasted. PIES. being tossed around into faces and buildings and all over the ground. And strangely, there were only four contestants, so where did all these pies come from? Ichabeezer, oddly enough, revels in the pie chaos (kinda making you wonder if this was his plan all along).
Madame Blueberry manages to stop the fight, announcing her apology to Bob for insulting him and accusing him of being a cheater, admitting she was jealous. Bob also apologizes for all the mean things he said. Petunia points out that pie are like insults, since once they’re said, they can’t be unsaid, just like you can’t unbake a pie. The Veggies accept the lesson, though now poor delicious pie pieces are everywhere. Petunia gets everyone to gather them up (DIRTY PIE GROSS) and put them in the giant winner’s trophy, miraculously turning all those bits into a huge pie pie – a pie made out of pies.
(If I could get a pie for every time I mentioned the word “pie” in this review, I can die happy~)
“Pa Grape’s Son”
You might fairly be wondering: doesn’t Pa Grape already have a son? Kinda being part of his name and everything? And well, yes, he does. Pa Grape made his debut in the original VeggieTales video The Grapes of Wrath, where it was about literal grapes who were rather rude and mean until Junior taught them how to be nice (and then they became the Grapes of Math). Cursory research (re: Wikipedia) reveals that Ma Grape and their two kids have indeed since made a couple appearances in other VeggieTales movies, but Pa remains the breakout character, usually playing the role of the wise older mentor. Here, in VeggieTales in the House, it doesn’t seem as though the “Pa” aspect of his name will be utilized, most likely with the implication that he may have kids, but they’re grown up now – or it’s just an odd nickname.
In any case, as you can tell by the title card, Jean-Claude (voiced by Mike Nawrocki; Phil Vischer plays Phillipe, who is strangely absent in this episode) becomes Pa Grape’s “son” in order for them to participate in a Father-Son Day competition. Mayor Archie announces the contest to the whole town (with Larry’s help), and Jean-Claude sadly enters Pa’s store (which apparently is also a diner now?), bemoaning that his father is in France and can’t come. Pa offers to be his “one-day Dad,” surprising Jean-Claude.
They go to the starting area, where other dad/son teams are ready, including Junior and Dad Asparagus – who has been completely redesigned, with a new voice (Rob Paulsen), a new career, and even a new name: Captain Mike!
(I think he’s a pilot, don’t quote me on that, though . . .)
Anyway, Jean-Claude points out that everyone else’s “Papa,” as he puts it, is their “real” Papa, but Pa tells him, “I am your real Papa, at least for today, and I’m gonna prove it.” So this could be interpreted as a rather interesting take on adoption, with Jean-Claude feeling different from the other sons. This is made more evident when Dad – er, I mean – Captain Mike and Junior easily win the first few games, including balloon toss and dodgeball.
Jean-Claude feels like he’s letting Pa down, but Pa insists that he is proud of him and encourages him to keep doing his best. They finally win tug-of-war against the Asparaguses (Asparagi?), and the rest of the games, they’re pretty evenly matched (Pa is surprisingly good at basketball). Still, Captain Mike and Junior win the overall competition and the trophy. Now Pa apologizes to Jean-Claude about them not winning, but Jean-Claude happily says that having Pa as his adopted dad is better than winning, though he wishes it could be for more than one day. Pa tells him that he’d be happy to do it again, but also points out that everybody is technically adopted. He quotes Romans 8:16:
“You got God’s spirit when He adopted you as His own children.”
Jean-Claude then says, “I love to call God my Papa,” which is a rather nice sentiment to end on. The theme for this episode is being part of God’s family.
By the way, while the whole contest was going on, Pa had Laura Carrot look over the store for him, though she was more focused on taking care of needy customers at the diner section, namely Mr. Lunt and Ichabeezer. These interstitials are pretty random, mostly revolving around them eating a whole bunch of fries. The episode actually ends on Laura having made them ginormous fries that buried them in their seats.
Both “Pie Fight!” and “Pa Grape’s Son” are good episodes (because pie, mostly) and are much more well-rounded and consistent than a few of the previous ones. VeggieTales in the House is slowly finding its footing and making strides toward finding a format that works.
What about you? How do you help your kids learn about jealousy and also being be part of God’s family? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Images: VeggieTales in the House from Big Idea Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation Television, and Bardel Entertainment