• Bible Films Blog

    Looking at film interpretations of the stories in the Bible - past, present and future, as well as preparation for a future work on Straub/Huillet's Moses und Aron and a few bits and pieces on biblical studies.

    Matt Page


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    Monday, November 30, 2015

    Dave and the Giant Pickle (1996)

    One of the films I didn't cover in last year's whistle stop tour of David movies was this entry into the popular Veggie-Tales series, Dave and the Giant Pickle. As with most of the other episodes in this series, the leading characters are played by CGI animated, anthropomorphic vegetables in a light hearted manner that seeks to each the kids who comprise its audience with a life lesson. Indeed so well is this lesson-for-the-day aspect established that it no only does it have it's only jingle, but the characters' boredom at this repetitive formula is played for laughs.

    The story starts in a psychologist's office where Larry the Cucumber is being treated for what will turn out to be low self-esteem. There's a flashback to the story of David which starts with David trying to control his father's sheep, and his brother's abuse of him, But then a messenger arrives to announce the arrival of Goliath - sorry the, um, Giant Pickle, . Then one day David brings his brothers lunch, is incensed by the Giant Pickle denouncing God and vows to defeat his. Goliath makes his challenge no-one from Israel dare fight him; No-one that is, except for David, who, incensed by the pickle's impudence, tells Saul he will fight the pickle. Saul attempts to kit out David in his own armour, but David goes commando, take up his sling and turns the pickle into relish.

    Sorry, that's my joke rather than a line from the film.

    There are a couple of interesting moments. Firstly, the arrival of Goliath is prefigured by the same shaking water shot that Spielberg used to such great effect in Jurassic Park (1993) three years earlier. Other contemporary references include one of David's brothers appreciating the cheese filled crust to his Pizza and a series of Rorschach spots which increasingly look like something rather than being entirely random. Maybe that's just me.

    But in a fortnight where we've been marketing the 20th anniversary of the release of Toy Story it was amazing to see how badly the CGI on this film compared to that. The CGI has not aged at all well.

    That said, the kids loved it, and some of the tunes have come back to us through the day. So whilst Dave and the Giant Pickle might not be great art, it certainly amused and engaged its target audience.

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