Friday, January 30, 2015

Review: 'Lord of the Beans'

Hi everybody! If you have been wondering why I have barely been posted anything is because I have been on the epic quest to review, Lord of the Beans!

"Lord of the Beans begins with the arrival of Randalf in the Shire for Billboy Baggypants' 122nd birthday party (which he calls his "Twelfety-twoth" birthday, referencing Bilbo's "eleventy-first" birthday in The Fellowship of the Ring). Billboy talks about retiring and leaving the Shire and uses a strange bean to produce a birthday cake. Returning to his home, he finds Randalf waiting in his living room. Randalf remarks on Billboy's impressive height, his fine clothing, and his luxuriously appointed home, knowing they have come from the bean, and warns his friend of using such things lightly. Billboy concedes that the bean has given him almost everything he could want. He then announces that he is leaving the Shire and bequeathing everything he owns, including the bean, to his nephew Toto.

Waiting for Toto, Randalf relates that Billboy has departed and draws his attention to the bean. Toto is curious as to why he would want a bean and Randalf describes the origin of a magical bean that could produce clothing, consumables, and small kitchen appliances, and also change your appearance. After verifying the bean's authenticity from an inscription left after warming it in the fire, Toto is unsure about accepting such a gift and tries to pass it off to Randalf. However, Randalf explains that one cannot choose his gifts and must determine for himself how they should best be used.

He then suggests that Toto travel to the Elders of the
Razzberry Forest for insight with some friends that he has already gathered to assist with the journey: the Ranger Ear-a-Corn; the Elf Leg-O-Lamb; the Dwarf Grumpy; and "The Other Elf", Leg-O-Lamb's brother who had nothing better to do. They trek through the Mountains of Much Snowia and eventually reach the Razzberry Forest. There, Randalf warns the others not to laugh because the Elders have lost their sense of humor. The Elders welcome them and inform Randalf that they must travel to the Land of Woe. The others burst into laughter upon hearing the greetings and native tongue of the Elders, which involves blowing raspberries. This gets them sentenced to detention on a platform forever until an Eagle "saves" them and they escape.

Leaving the forest, they emerge near the Blue Gate, the entrance to the Land of Woe. After opening the door, they realize that Toto is the only one small enough to fit through and he proceeds alone. However, the remainder of the group soon learns that a group of Sporks, minions of the evil Scaryman, are after Toto in order to seize the bean for their master. The fellowship then goes in pursuit.

In the Land of Woe, Toto encounters a strange creature named
Ahem, who reveals that he was once a normal Flobbit like Toto and the former owner of the bean. Ahem then agrees to accompany Toto into Woe as a guide. Meanwhile, the others charge through the Red Gate, only to be trapped by the Sporks. The "Other Elf" then bakes cookies, implying that he is in fact a Keebler Elf, and gives them to the Sporks who haven't eaten anything "but maggoty bread for three stinkin' days" and the fellowship journeys on. Toto and Ahem arrive in Woe to find a desperate people lacking the most basic necessities, such as food and water. Ahem wants Toto to leave them, to use the bean for his own creature comforts, but Toto recognizes that he can use it to help the people of Woe. The fellowship arrives just ahead of Scaryman, who steals the bean. However, Billboy suddenly reappears, recovering the bean and returning it to Toto. Toto throws the bean into the well, bringing water back to the Land of Woe and restoring it to its fertile and beautiful state." -Wikipedia

Other Notes:
"Lord of the Beans is the twentieth episode in the VeggieTales animated series, and the first since An Easter Carol to feature only one story. Subtitled "A Lesson in Using Your Gifts", its goal is to teach viewers how they can use their talents to bring joy to others rather than merely bringing glory or satisfaction to themselves. It's also the first video to have the Silly Song after the 30-minute mark of the video. This video has also been the subject of a clue on "Jeopardy!" ("What is "Lord Of The Beans"?") Also, there was no directors commentary recorded for this video.

The story used to illustrate the lesson is an overt parody of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The parody takes character names and places directly from the source and changes them to fit the VeggieTales context. In spite of this, the plot takes many unexpected turns, and recognizable scenes are freely reinterpreted to create humor or underscore the video's message." -Wikipedia

Final Thoughts:
This episode was a good example of a VeggieTales episode, it used the source material in a good way. Also I think the lesson is good too! So, I will say it is a good episode! But, what do I rate it?

My Rating: 8/10

What do you think of Lord of the Beans?

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