27 minutes, 2005
Life at the Pond is a series of five videos that have a lot in common with the VeggieTales. Both combine simple animation with sophisticated humor – these are children's videos that parents can appreciate too. Both teach moral lessons that line up with what God teaches.
But while many of the VeggieTales videos "sanitize" familiar biblical stories (ex. David's descent into murder and adultery is turned into a story about wanting someone else's rubber ducky) The Pond steers clear of any disrespectful treatment of Scripture by setting their stories in the present day.
The location is, of course, a pond, and the four stars are all aquatic:
• Bill the Duck is a regular joe; we are Bill the Duck
• Tony the Frog fills the role of wisecracking comic relief
• Floyd the Turtle is the most child-like, and often the straight man setting up Tony's zingers
• Methuselah the Alligator is older, and a voice of biblical wisdom
In the first video, There's Something Funny In The Water, we get two 15 minutes stories. Bill the Duck hides the fact that he is afraid of heights, because he doesn't want to be made fun of, and, in the second story, Bill, Tony and Floyd all learn that it is important to keep promises, even when they cut into our fun. These are stories kids can relate to, and they are told with humor that parents will enjoy too. One example: the video begins with the familiar FBI warning against copying the film and Bill and Tony walk in from the sides to take a look.
Bill: Has the video started?
Tony: No it's just the FBI warning.
Bill: And after this, what? CIA warning? FDA? NRA?
Tony: The NRA puts up a warning, I pay attention!
One caution that should be mentioned: while this first video, and the one that follows it, The Little Things, Trust Starts Small, are gentle enough for even three year olds, the last three – The Alligator Hunter, The Rise And Fall of Tony The Frog, and Big Mouth Bass – are more intense. My three year-old didn't like Big Mouth Bass, because this fish was mean at the beginning. Even though she turned nice by the end it didn't matter – she was mean, so that made her scary. However what's scary for a three-year-old won't be for a five or six-year-old, so the whole series is well worth checking out.