Veggie Tales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men

I’ve fallen asleep during movies before, but this has to be the first time I have fallen asleep watching Veggie Tales. Usually the humor, the songs, and the sheer inventiveness of the story hold my attention quite well.

Admittedly, I might have been more tired than usual Tuesday evening. Monday had been emotionally draining, learning that my job is being eliminated. Tuesday was a challenging day also – trying to go about my work as usual, respond to questions about how I was doing, and meet with the manager who decided he doesn’t need me, to discuss who would do my work in the future.

Still, the theme of Robin Good was particularly relevant to my situation – “handling hurt.” The kinds of hurt adults face may be different from those young children deal with, but one would expect that the basic message of how to handle it from a Christian perspective would not be all that different.

Other Veggie Tales stories have lessons that I can apply, and that I do think of sometimes when I am facing certain kinds of situations. Maybe most adults don’t think of Madame Blueberry when they’re feeling blue, but the song about having a thankful heart is the reminder I need sometimes.

The first part of the Robin Good show is a story about a boy who thinks everyone has forgotten his birthday. I’m not sure why the story had to be told as a rhyming poem – with not very good rhymes. Even aside from that, I just didn’t find the mother’s (sung) lesson about being loved by God and special to Him very helpful in getting the hurt to go away.

I suspect Lenny’s mother’s hugging him helped as much as her song. Hugs help a lot on bad days. So does a good night’s sleep – I went to sleep early and woke feeling much better on Wednesday morning.

I also couldn’t help thinking that, since Lenny’s being so upset about his birthday being forgotten was due to not knowing about leap year (he thought it was March 1 when it was still February 29), a practical lesson would be to ask some questions instead of just walking around feeling sad and angry about people not caring about your special day.

A lot of times I have discovered that a misunderstanding (mine or someone else’s) was responsible for a lot of hurt feelings. It’s good to know how to deal with hurt feelings, but it’s also important to learn to communicate when you start having those hurt feelings, because so often the hurt is quite avoidable.

Maybe I’m being too critical of a story intended for young children. The reviews I have read by parents of young children are all very positive. Still, I can’t help wondering – are the reviews positive because the children actually learned the lesson being taught, or just because they were entertained by the story?

The main story on the DVD, of course, is about Robin Good. I’m not sure what I think about a Robin who does fundraising to help the poor instead of stealing from the rich. Of course it’s better to have people give voluntarily. But a lot of fundraising feels very coercive.

I occasionally support fundraisers when I have a particular tie to the person doing the fundraising (which is of course what the organizers count on), but always with some reluctance. The whole idea of fundraisers has left a bad taste in my mouth.

I’m a bit hazy on the details of the story, other than that a lot of hams are involved. Somehow Robin’s men decide to start stealing as a quicker and easier way to get some hams. At some point they get captured by the villain – Prince John, I assume. I really didn’t think I slept through that much of it, but honestly I can’t remember much more.

I thought that I’d be able to glean more details by reading online reviews, but I learned surprisingly little from them. How can parents be so enthusiastic about the video but tell so little about it? Did they really watch it, or just stick it in the DVD player and let the kids watch?

I meant to watch it again, so I could give a proper review, and perhaps find some lesson I had missed on dealing with hurt, but I discovered this evening that it was due at the library yesterday. And tomorrow Jon and I are going to a wedding (at which he is officiating).

I do like Veggie Tales. I tried to enjoy it. I don’t want to be unfairly critical. If you have watched Robin Good and enjoyed it, I’d be interested in hearing what you think.

I suppose at least I should be grateful to the video for relaxing me enough to get the sleep I needed so much…



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