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LARRYBOY:  THE CARTOON ADVENTURES
The Angry Eyebrows

Review by Michael Jacobson

Creators:  Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki
Audio:  Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Video:  Full Frame 1.33:1
Studio:  Big Idea
Features:  See Review
Length:  31 Minutes
Release Date:  March 19, 2002

“Archie!  I've been cheesed!”

“Don't worry, Larryboy…use the radar controlled spatula on your utility belt!”

“Wow…I never thought I'd need a radar controlled spatula…”

Film ***

Larry the Cucumber has lost dimension!

No, that's not an assessment of his character…merely a note that Larry, the computer-generated co-star of Big Idea's VeggieTales series has taken on a traditionally animated form for his latest home video adventure.  Larryboy:  The Cartoon Adventures pits Larry's superhero alter-ego Larryboy against a new villain with a dastardly plan that threatens all of Bumblyburg!

That villain is Awful Alvin, who, along with his trusty (?) sidekick Lampy, has unleashed a terrible plague upon the good citizens of Bumblyburg…the Awful Eyebrows.  What do they do?  Simple.  Anyone caught holding on to their anger gets a pair of these diabolically bushy brows attached to their face, making sure their anger holds on to them as well!

When even Larry's loyal friends at the Daily Bumble, including Junior Asparagus and editor-in-chief Bob the Tomato succumb to the Angry Eyebrows, he knows only a true hero can save the day.  “I AM that hero!” he proclaims…and with the aid of his trusty butler Archibald in the Larry Cave, Larryboy is off to save the day!

This hand-drawn animated film maintains a lot of the humor and morality of the VeggieTales series…we learn in this episode, of course, that God doesn't want us to hold on to our anger, and why…but I think it lacks a bit of the charm.  There's just something about those 3D vegetables that captured my heart!  That being said, Larryboy might be a disc that smaller children will enjoy more.  It's fast, funny, and colorful, and there's not much danger of any jokes going over their young heads.

As long as VeggieTales continues to produce their computer animated programs, I see no harm in an occasional traditionally animated Larryboy offering.  After all, in a world of uncertainties, isn't it nice to know we have a hero with suction cups for ears to protect us?

BONUS:  Also included is the cartoon short “Fly By Might”.

Video ****

All the VeggieTales DVD offerings have been pillars of quality in the video transfer department, and the flat drawing style of Larryboy doesn't make it an exception.  Animation and DVD go well together, and this bright, colorful offering is a smashing looking disc from start to finish, with a clean print and no grain, softness or compression to mar the way.

Audio ****

I have to consider Larryboy's 5.1 audio track to be even an improvement over previous VeggieTales offerings, if only because the story is more action-oriented and provides more chances for the rear stage and subwoofer to come into play!  This is also a very LOUD and DYNAMIC soundtrack…I had to crank my system down a few notches when it started, but that didn't spoil the listening experience, which is well-balance, features smooth crossovers, and carries bass and treble equally well.  A superb track!

Features ***1/2

Most of the disc's features are aimed at the little ones…there are a pair of games, including a trivia one based on the episode (play it more than once, the questions don't always repeat), and a lid-swapping game, where you can pick your character and put someone else's head on him…cute.  There are numerous trailers for other Big Idea productions and offerings, plus galleries of artwork, storyboards and animation progressions with director commentary, that features both characters and backgrounds.  A learn-to-draw segment shows you how to draw Larryboy, regular Larry and Awful Alvin.  There is a guide to the heroes and villains of Bumblyburg, plus a Larry-oke version of the theme song.  Rounding out is Phil Vischer's take on Larry's new 2-D form, and some extras for your DVD ROM.

Summary:

Larryboy offers a flatter look at a favorite well-rounded character, but he proves to be as formidable in 2D as he was in 3D.  This is a program the littler ones will enjoy, and as with all of VeggieTales' offerings, parents can feel good about what their kids are watching.