Hey Guys! Gerawallstar here, and I am here to review the VeggieTales episode Rack, Shack, and Benny. This is the episode that I have never saw as a kid. I went and saw it as an adult, and I have to say this episode is fantastic. The story, characters, and the message are handled perfectly. The story is about a retelling of Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego from the bible. In this version, Rack, Shack, and Benny work at a chocolate factory. Like I said, the story in this is brilliant. While the choice of having the titular characters working at a chocolate factory can be an odd choice, the changes to the bible version are not only clever but somewhat of an improvement in transitioning the story to a children’s program. The children had to worship a bunny statue, Mr. Nezzer almost kills Rack, Shack, and Benny through a furnace because they did not sing the bunny song. There is this big chase scene between Laura, the three main characters, and Nezzer. And the three main leads were saved from the furnace by god. All of these changes from the bible version are brilliant. The message presented in this episode is amazing as well. The moral of standing up for what you believe in, and avoiding peer pressure is a message that is honestly more suited for teenagers and adults since the majority of adults/teens are sometimes peer pressured into doing something that they don’t want to do i.e. drugs, joining gangs, etc. Kids can learn from this message, too, but I feel that this message is more relatable for older audiences. This is somewhat of a musical like Daniel in the Lion’s Den from the first episode. The songs do a good job of moving the plot forward. The opening song, Good Morning George, establishes the horrible working conditions at the chocolate factory and introduces the titular characters in an amazing way. The song “Think of Me” is a sweet lullaby, showcasing the episode’s theme. But honestly, I can live without seeing Shack as a baby. Sorry, y’all. The best song in this episode is “The Bunny Song” which fun fact: this song received a lot of controversy, because of the lyrics such as “I won’t go to church, and I won’t go to school.” Because of this, Phil Vischer removed that line in the rest of the re-releases of the episode, changing it to something more vanilla. This is the best villain song of the show. It is so catchy and memorable. This song is so good that it even has a solid reprise. The last song “Stand Up” is a great ending song to this episode with the message of standing up for what you believe in. I loved Shack singing this song. The characters were great. Laura’s first major appearance was good. The titular characters Rack, Shack, and Benny were enjoyable. Mr. Nezzer is an amazing villain. His character arc was great. Like King Nebuchadnezzar from the bible, Nezzer is a legit threat as a villain, and his character development is solid. The countertop scenes where Larry gets stuck in a sink are hilarious. The silly song Dance of the Cucumber is also hilarious. What makes this episode not perfect is because of the frame rate. The framerate in one of the songs was not rendered properly. Phil was on a tight deadline for making this episode, and they didn’t have time to finish the rendering. But you can really tell the rendering was very poor. In terms of the animation here’s an interesting fact: a month before Toy Story was released, PIXAR contacted Big Idea for some advice on how to do cheek puff animation. The animation overall is solid and innovative, with that cheek puff movement when the veggies are eating chocolate. Overall, Rack, Shack, and Benny is a fantastic episode. Its ambitious, creative with its storytelling, and a blast to sit through. This is definitely a top 5 or top 3 best Veggietales episodes in my book. I would recommend kids under 5 to see this with their parents mainly because of that fiery furnace scene. With this episode making Veggietales find its groove, this episode, in my opinion, is what made Toy Story an inevitable phenomenon, along with CGI, a force to be reckoned with. I give this episode a 9.5 out of 10.

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