VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

VeggieTales in the House Review: “Junior Jetpack” / “Monster Manners”

The 26th and 27th episodes of VeggieTales in the House, now available on Netflix! In “Junior Jetpack,” LarryBoy gets a new sidekick, and in “Monster Manners,” Motato tries to hunt down LarryBoy!

“Junior Jetpack”

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

Regular readers of my blog (Hi!!) may have noticed that I’ve not done any VeggieTales reviews for the past couple weeks. That’s because I’ve been busy, yay! I don’t stock up posts (though I really should), so I simply haven’t had the time to write any. This week seems like it will be slightly tamer, so I’ve decided to make it VeggieTales Week! I’ll be catching up on the episodes I missed, as well as the one for this week, which will neatly tie up the reviews for the whole first season! Totally planned timing, obviously. 

Today’s set of episodes begins with “Junior Jetpack,” another LarryBoy episode. It opens on Ichabeezer upset that Rooney has been kidnapped – er, dognapped, I guess. He calls for LarryBoy (grudgingly, of course, but at least he’s more willing to accept the caped crusader’s help now). Junior surprisingly shows up, too, wearing a cardboard mask and a makeshift jet pack – hence his superhero name, “Junior Jetpack”. LarryBoy turns down Junior’s offer for help, saying that he works alone. (This whole exchange is eerily similar to that of Buddy and Mr. Incredible in The Incredibles.)

Shockingly, Ichabeezer suggests that Junior should come along, since Rooney is particular about who he will obey. LarryBoy reluctantly agrees, and the two actually succeed in reclaiming Rooney from Motato’s minions, the Radishes. Junior is understandably over the moon that he got to work with the famous LarryBoy, and eagerly tells Ichabeezer all about it.

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

LarryBoy is glad Rooney’s back (though strangely stiff and shiny . . .), but he reminds Junior that he works alone and to not follow him around any more. He leaves, and Junior is crushed. Ichabeezer, again being amazingly kind, tells Junior the Bible verse of I Timothy 4:12:

“Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young.”

Junior isn’t much encouraged by this and dumps his costume in the trash. Meanwhile, Larry arrives home to see Bob juggling (because why not). He complains about Junior following him around, and Bob actually takes Junior’s side and sings a song about not to turn away anyone and how God is our full potential, listing all the great Bible heroes, including David, Moses, Joseph, and Jesus. It’s a pretty interesting song, though of course Larry isn’t paying any attention.

Back at Ichabeezer’s, Rooney is revealed to be a robot and begins stealing everything in the house. Ichabeezer calls for LarryBoy, who catches the tin dog and takes him back to the LarryCave. Of course, this ends up being a trap, as “Roon-bot” ties up LarryBoy at the command of Motato, who apparently hacked into LarryBoy’s computer. Junior, having suspected there was something wrong with Rooney in the first place, teams up with Ichabeezer to infiltrate Motato’s lair. Again, every exchange Ichabeezer has with Junior is very supportive, encouraging, and kind, and it’s weird. He even gives Junior a suped-up version of his original costume, complete with helmet and glow-in-the-dark capabilities. (Ichabeezer: “You got heart, kid. You’re smart, you’re brave. Junior Jetpack is ready for prime time!” – like, whaaaaaaaat??)

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

Anyway, Junior fights off Motato with Ichabeezer’s help, and they trap him in the cage where he was keeping the real Rooney. Junior finds the control for Roon-bot and frees LarryBoy, who is of course grateful. The theme for this episode is about seeing the potential in others, as Larry demonstrates by accepting Junior Jetpack as a valid superhero for the town.

“Monster Manners”

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

This . . . is kind of a weird one. And another LarryBoy episode!

Motato has recruited (or created, it’s hard to tell) a super-Radish, whom he names Randee (“Radish of Awfulness, No-goodness, Doing badness and Engaging in Evilness”). He commands the giant minion to go hunt down LarryBoy. Randee tries to attack while LarryBoy is in the LarryMobile, but this backfires drastically when LarryBoy panics, swerving and causing the Radish to crash into a wall right near where Madame Blueberry and Petunia are driving by. Not knowing who he is, they decide to take him to clean him up. 

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

When Randee recovers, he doesn’t remember who he is beyond his name, nor that he works for Motato and is supposed to be going after LarryBoy. Otherwise, he is practically back to normal – which for him, is being destructive and rude. Madame Blueberry is appalled at his manners, and she and Petunia decide to turn “Randall” into a gentleman.

Meanwhile, Larry is in the LarryCave, trying to find out where the giant Radish went. This is the first real piece of evidence that the LarryBoy episodes may not actually exist outside of canon, as I initially thought. Bob is obviously aware of Larry’s dual identities, but the introduction of Junior Jetpack in the previous episode and by actively searching for a villain while not in the LarryBoy guise definitely suggests that LarryBoy is less of a “disguise” and more of an alter-ego that everyone knows about. (Still doesn’t explain where Larry got all the resources and why he and Bob are so poor in daily living, though.) In any case, Bob joins Larry in the Cave to show him the monocle he bought at the thrift store. Larry is, of course, delighted, as he thought only fancy rich people could wear monocles. Bob hands him a second one, and they both start talking in posh British accents (Bob veering dangerously – and hilariously – close to Archibald). They set off to town to look for clues with their new fancy monocles.

Back at Petunia’s, she and Madame Blueberry sing a song to Randee about minding your manners and being polite to everyone, as well as how it’s important to show God’s love to everyone. Despite some setbacks, by the end of the song, Randee is wearing a bowtie and drinking tea properly, now able to act like a true gentleman. Madame and Petunia decide to throw a tea party in his honor, to celebrate his recovery and rehabilitation. Note that this is the kind of awkward part about this episode; Randee didn’t really have much of a choice in them turning him into a “gentleman,” but then, you could fairly argue that Motato didn’t give him a choice to be a minion, either. In any case, Randee is happy, so I guess that’s all that matters.

Letters are passed out through town, inviting everyone to the tea party. Bob and Larry decide to take a break and so accept the invitation (despite Larry thinking “hors-d’oeuvres” are “horse devourers” – an easy mistake to make). While at the party, however, Larry recognizes Randee as the Radish who tried to attack him. He panics, thinking the giant must be working undercover and perhaps even poisoned the tea. He recruits Bob to get rid of everyone’s tea (which he does by knocking everyone’s cups out of their invisible hands), while he changes into LarryBoy.

Upon the superhero’s appearance, Randee’s memory returns, and he begins to attack LarryBoy. Everyone runs away or hides, with Petunia and Madame taking refuge behind an overturned table. Petunia asks Madame if Randee really is bad. Madame soberly replies, “We all have our own badness we must battle.” Petunia questions this, asking if good always wins out. Madame’s answer to this is pretty serious: “Good wins over evil in the end, but it doesn’t make choosing to do good any less of a battle.” Which . . . is an intense lesson. And a really good one. That’s a struggle that both kids and adults must deal with on a daily basis. Madame hopes that Randee chooses to be good.

Motato then randomly shows up, commanding Randee to bring LarryBoy to him. Madame and Petunia protest, comign out from hiding to tell Randee that he’s better than this and that he doesn’t have to listen to Motato. Randee sadly says that he was created bad, and Madame informs him that he can choose to be good.

VeggieTales in the House Review: "Junior Jetpack" / "Monster Manners" -

After a moment of deliberation, Randee decides to save his friends and chases Motato away. Madame is proud of Randee for choosing good, and Petunia adds that he is both a true gentleman and a real friend. The theme for this episode is both good manners and being who you choose to be – in Randee’s case, being a good person. We don’t learn what happens to him afterward, and I honestly doubt we’ll see him again, but overall, this was an insightful episode, if weirdly executed.

What about you? How do you help your children learn about seeing other people’s potential, being who you choose to be, and about good manners? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

Images: VeggieTales in the House from Big Idea Entertainment, DreamWorks Animation Television, and Bardel Entertainment

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