Monday, August 15, 2016

Hamlet with Vegetables (a.k.a. The VeggieTales Hamlet)

"Omelet." By Phil Fischer. Perf. Jimmy Gourd; Archibald Asparagus; Phillipe and Jean-Claude, The French Peas; Scooter Carrot; Mr. Lunt; Larry; and Junior Asparagus. Additional Perf. Mike Nawrocki, Lisa Vischer, Jim Poole. Lyle the Kindly Viking. VeggieTales. 2001. DVD. Big Idea, 2012.

Recently, I noticed a gap in the blog. I've frequently shown a brief segment of a VeggieTales episode during my "Mystery Shakespearean Derivative" day in my Shakespeare and Film class. I teach at a small Christian liberal arts college, and many of my students grew up on the show. They appreciate taking a new look at the show—and at Hamlet at the same time.

I thought I had written about the episode here, but I have never done so. Perhaps that's because I like to keep the Mysterious Shakespearean Derivatives a mystery. But I'll take the chance.

In Lyle, the Kindly Viking, Archibald Asparagus (who is usually a bit snooty anyway) is attempting to raise the tone of the show by incorporating thing with greater cultural value. Thus, Hamlet. There are some fairly-good adaptations of lines from the play to recognize.

Here's part of the segment (in keeping with Bardfilm's Fair Use Policy, I'm not providing the clip in its entirety). Enjoy!

I like to think that the last two lines indicate a desire on the part of the characters to explore Shakespeare's play itself rather than this adaptation. Either way, they are funny.

Links: The Wikipedia Article on the Episode.

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Bardfilm is normally written as one word, though it can also be found under a search for "Bard Film Blog." Bardfilm is a Shakespeare blog (admittedly, one of many Shakespeare blogs), and it is dedicated to commentary on films (Shakespeare movies, The Shakespeare Movie, Shakespeare on television, Shakespeare at the cinema), plays, and other matter related to Shakespeare (allusions to Shakespeare in pop culture, quotes from Shakespeare in popular culture, quotations that come from Shakespeare, et cetera).

Unless otherwise indicated, quotations from Shakespeare's works are from the following edition:
Shakespeare, William. The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. Gen. ed. G. Blakemore Evans. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997.
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