I’m a huge fan of Veggietales’ classic story remakes, so I knew that It’s A Meaningful Life had to be good! And, after watching the original film It’s A Wonderful Life this past weekend, I was admittedly very excited to see how Veggietales would retell this story for the children.
It begins with Larry the Cucumber starring as Stewart and Petunia as his wife Donna – yes, from Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, the real names of George and Mary Bailey in the 1930s classic! Stewart spends his whole life in regret, wishing he had only caught a ball in the biggest football game of his life. Doing so would have landed him as a lead player in the team’s advancement to the Salad Bowl. However, missing the catch, due to being tripped by his gourd friend, landed him in the hospital with little or no hope of ever playing football again. So his father (Nebby K. Nezzar) invites him to head his train factory, something that Stewart accepts with much chagrin. After 15 years, his gourd friend, who had gone off to play football in the major leagues, returns to his hometown, expecting to revamp it, name it after himself, and take over the train factory all to make money for himself. Though Stewart cares little about it, he is forced to up the number of trains manufactured each night to ensure that the factory can continue, without needing to be overtaken. (Get the Mr. Potter connection?) But things turn into a disaster, as the workers tire easily and are simply unable to keep up with the high number. One disaster after another, boxes start falling off shelves, toy parts are left everywhere, and many of the workers decide to quit. Stewart is left looking back on his life. “What if?” is the only question Stewart asks himself as he imagines himself catching the ball. Suddenly, a train rushes through the football stadium where Stewart is seated. Called the “What If? Express,” the mysterious conductor, named Gabe, takes Stewart on a ride and he gets his wish – see what life would look like if he had simply caught that ball. Will Stewart live the rest of life with renewed passion? Will he be able to keep the train station from being bought over by his friend, turned enemy?
|Stewart and the "What If ? Express"|
|The train conductor, Gabe|
|Happily ever after ending :)|