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It's a Meaningful Life
Director(s)

Brian Roberts

Producer(s)

Leslie Ferrell
Brian Roberts

Writer(s)

Mark Steele
Mike Nawrocki
Brian Roberts

Music by

Kurt Heinecke

Distributor

Vivendi Entertainment
(Mass market)
Word Entertainment
(Christian market)

Released

October 5, 2010

Previous episode

Sweetpea Beauty

Next episode

'Twas The Night
Before Easter

It's a Meaningful Life is the thirty-ninth episode of VeggieTales.

It is a parody of the 1946 film, "It's a Wonderful Life."

Plot

Opening Countertop

The show starts out with Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber on the countertop as usual. Bob hadn't planned anything because he was expecting Larry to interfere with the show as usual. Feeling insulted, Larry decides to keep his mouth shut, even though Bob tries to reason with him. Bob then turns to QWERTY who posts up an email from a girl named Maggie Greenman from Dentenial, Texas. She explains to Bob & Larry that she really wanted to get on the cheerleading team, but she didn't get picked. Even though he wasn't talking, Larry helped Bob with the situation by showing her a film.

Act 1

The story takes place in a town called Rockwell, where Stewart (Larry) aims to win a football game so he can go to the Salad Bowl. But after a mistake from the Decoy, Morty (Mr. Lunt), Stewart finds himself in the hospital. Now, not only is unable to go to the Salad Bowl, but he can never play football again. Morty, however, did and became famous. To try and cheer Stewart up, his dad (Mr. Nezzer) gives him a job at his toy train factory.

Fifteen years later, Stewart is still living in Rockwell and is now the CEO of the toy factory. Unfortunately, the factory is behind with the bills and need to make 10,000 trains by Christmas. Stewart is now married to Donna (Petunia Rhubarb), has two sons, Art and Barney, and an adopted daughter named Emma. He also coaches his sons' football team and comforts Emma when she didn't get the part as a camel in the school Christmas play.

But Stewart's problems get worse when Morty comes back home and plans to buy the toy train factory. Stewart tries to make the factory to work harder, but that only made things worse. Now he's really starting to regret missing that football in the game. But just then, a train appears out of nowhere.

Silly Song

Main article: Goodnight Junior

Act 2

Stewart boards the train and starts to explore it. He then discovers the conductor, Gabe, who offers Stewart a chance to see what life would of been like if he had caught that football in three stops. The first stop showed Stewart as a greedy business man who plans to buy the Toy Factory and rename Rockwell just like Morty did. The second stop showed Rockwell without Stewart around. Donna never got married, the football team players that Stewart coaches became mean spirited boys, his 2 sons Art and Barney do not exsist because they were never born, and Emma was still in the orphanage because Stewart never adopted her at all.

At the third stop, Stewart was given a choice to either remain in the world where he is famous, or to return home to solve his problems. Stewart decided that he should probably go home, seeing that God's plan for him in Rockwell is better than being famous.

When Stewart got back to the toy factory, he found that everyone in Rockwell was helping him get back on track. Even Morty began to see that no one would help him unless he lives a meaningful life too.

Closing Countertop

At the end of the story, Bob and Larry make up while Maggie learns to be happy because God has something special planned for her.

Characters

Songs

Fun Facts

Moral

  • God has a plan for all of us.

Trivia

  • When this episode aired on Smile of a Child, Meant To Be was replaced with background music from the episode.
  • On some airings on Smile of a Child, the episode was divided in two parts. The first part would go from the actual beginning to when Stewart sees the train. The second part would start with a long recap from the first part.
  • This is the second and last episode animated by Hawaii Animation Studios.
  • This is the first Christmas related episode to start with the countertop.
  • This is the last original episode to feature Lil' Pea.
  • There were a few differences between pre-production and the final product:
    • Originally, Gourdon's line was supposed to be said by Percy, but the animators accidentally animated Gourdon's mouth movements instead. So, they decided to redub Percy's voice with Gourdon's.
    • In the scene of Emma in the orphanage, she was initially going to be kicked out and left shivering in the snow.

Remarks

  • Even though it's set around Christmas, this episode can be watched anytime, whether it's close to the Holidays or not.
  • This is the first Christmas episode not to have a holiday-related Silly Song.
  • Although not a goof, there are some shots where Morty's seen without his teeth.

Goofs

  • Throughout the episode, Art and Barney's voices often swap each other.
  • Morty doesn't really seem to move when he's on the train.
  • After the toy factory goes berserk, there is a small scene where Stewart's tooth was missing while he was screaming.
  • While Stewart in the What-If Express ,When Gabe sing, Stewart stops looks at the window his tie clips his body until he hop out the chair and out the door
  • Scooter is missing his mouth singing at the end.
  • In some shots of the What-If Express, the wheels and siderods aren't moving.
  • When Maggie tells Bob and Larry she isn't allowed to be a cheerleader, Bob and Larry show up in front of Qwerty, but when Larry says "Exactly Maggie," his mouth doesn't move correctly, and Qwerty vanishes. Was Qwerty still offscreen next to the jars on the countertop? Because when he says "You know, I do," he comes back.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • Superman is one of the most beloved characters in comic book history.
  • While the episode is a parody of It's a Wonderful Life, it is also similar to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and the Robert Zemeckis film "The Polar Express."
  • The town of Rockwell gets its name from painter Norman Rockwell. It's also the name of the main setting of the animated film The Iron Giant.

Fast Forward

Episode Transcript

Credits

Gallery

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