The Ballad of Little Joe
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|The Ballad of Little Joe|
|Directed by||Tim Hodge|
|Produced by||David Pitts|
|Written by||Phil Vischer,
Robert G. Lee
|Music by||Phil Vischer,
Robert G. Lee,
|Distributed by||Sony Wonder|
|Release date(s)||August 2003|
|Running time||35 minutes|
The Ballad of Little Joe is the 27th episode in the VeggieTales series. It is subtitled "A Lesson in Facing Hardship". It was released in late 2003 on DVD and VHS format. The story is a parody of the American Western and also a retelling of the Bible story of Joseph. Running time is approximately 35 minutes.
In the opening countertop segment, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber argue about how best to convey "a lesson in facing hardship". Bob insists that a Bible story would be best while Larry stands by a promise that the Veggies do a Western. A compromise is reached: the resulting story, "The Ballad of Little Joe", is a Western-style Bible story.
The story follows the Biblical account of Joseph and his multi-colored coat from the Book of Genesis. As the story begins we are introduced to the brothers (Jean Claude & Phillipe and their brothers) and Little Joe (Larry) (an obvious allusion to "Little Joe" Cartwright) who all live at the "Okie-Dokie Corral" (an obvious parody of the O.K. Corral). Among Larry's unique skills are the abilities to solve problems, organize resources, and interpret dreams. We soon learn that it is Little Joe's birthday, and the brothers' father (Pa Grape) lavishes attention and gifts upon him.
When Joe foretells a time when his brothers will bow down before him, their jealousy turns to spite, and they decide to sell him into slavery to The Scallions. He ends up working at a saloon for Mr. McPotipher (Scooter), and his unique skills quickly make him an invaluable employee. Also working at the saloon is Miss Kitty (Madame Blueberry) who entertains the patrons from the stage. She also becomes jealous of Joe when he is named Employee of the Month in her place. She frames him and he is imprisoned for the theft of gold, a crime he did not commit.
Joe keeps a positive attitude in jail and is able to help two inmates who have been haunted by dreams. His predictions come true: one is released, and the other, presumably, is executed. When his reputation comes to the attention of the Mayor (Mr. Nezzar), Joe is summoned to interpret a particularly disturbing dream of the latter, in which seven fat cows are devoured by seven scrawny cows. Joe understands immediately and warns the Mayor: there will be seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine; fill the storehouses now so you will be prepared.
Joe is put in charge of distributing the grain during the years of famine. When he recognizes his own family has come to procure food, he is overcome with emotion. He wants to reveal himself to them, but first needs to know if they have changed. He devises a plan where he frames the youngest brother, Benjamin, for theft to see how they respond. When all the brothers insist on taking the fall in his place and rue the previous loss of another brother, Joe reveals his identity. Jude apologizes to Joe for what he has done to him, who explains that what God used from what wrong he did into good and forgives him. The story concludes with the happy reunion.
The Veggie Tales video Moe and the Big Exit is a sequel to this episode.
Cast of Characters
- Mike Nawrocki voices:
- Larry The Cucumber as Little Joe
- Jean Claude Pea as Jude
- Jerry Gourd as The Blacksmith
- Phil Vischer voices:
- Lisa Vischer voices:
- Junior Asparagus as Benjamin
- Giselle Bock voices:
- Madame Blueberry as Miss Kitty
- Jim Poole voices:
- Scooter Carrot as McPotipher
- Countertop Intro
- The Ballad of Little Joe (Part I)
- Silly Song: Bellybutton
- The Ballad of Little Joe (Part II)
- QWERTY Closer
In addition to the ubiquitous "VeggieTales Theme" and "What We Have Learned," this episode contains the following songs:
- Happy Ki-Yi Birthday, sung by the French Peas and Mr. Lunt
- Dream of a Dozen Cactus, sung by Little Joe
- Oh Little Joe I, sung by McPotipher and patrons of the Rootin' Tootin' Pizza Place
- I'm Blue, sung by Miss Kitty
- Oh Little Joe II, sung by Little Joe, Sheriff Bob, the Baker, and the Blacksmith
- Mayor's Dream, sung by the Mayor
- Bellybutton, sung by Boyz in the Sink