|Rack, Shack, and Benny|
October 1, 1995
Rack, Shack & Benny is the fourth episode of VeggieTales. It's a retelling of biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, with elements from Terry Gilliam's films.
The story is told by Grandpa George and takes place at the Nezzer Chocolate Factory where the employees work hard all day making chocolate bunnies on an assembly line. In celebration of selling their two-millionth chocolate bunny, Mr. Nezzer announces that for 30 minutes all employees may eat all the bunnies they want. While all other workers ravenously devour the chocolate, Shack (Junior Asparagus) convinces his friends Rack (Bob the Tomato) and Benny (Larry the Cucumber) to abstain. Junior emphasizes his stance by singing a lullaby called "Think of Me" that his mom taught him.
When Mr. Nezzer leaves his office only to find all the workers sick except for Rack, Shack, and Benny, the three are rewarded and promoted to Junior Executives. The following day, Mr. Nezzer calls the trio into his office and tells them that he has constructed a 90-foot (27 m) high bunny which he intends to force all employees to bow down to. Through singing of the "Bunny Song," Mr. Nezzer reveals that he believes nothing in the world (such as God, church, school, healthy food, and family) is more important than the bunny. Those who refuse to prostrate before the statue will be thrown into the factory's furnace.
Disagreeing with Mr. Nezzer, while all the other employees obey, Rack, Shack, and Benny refuse to sing the song and bow down. Mr. Nezzer confronts the trio and demands that they sing the song, but the trio again refuse and sing a reprise of "Think of Me." Mr. Nezzer is touched but still tells the guards to take them away. Meanwhile, Laura Carrot plans their rescue. After being pushed down the furnace chute, Laura Carrot rushes in and rescues them with her delivery truck and tries to flee. Eventually they are recaptured and Rack, Shack, and Benny fall into the furnace. While Mr. Nezzer gloats, Mr. Lunt looks inside and notices a fourth person in the furnace who is really shiny and none of them are being incinerated. Shocked, Mr. Nezzer tells them to come out and the trio emerge from the furnace unscathed. Mr. Nezzer realizes that it is God who saved the friends and he apologizes for his actions with the trio forgiving him.
The episode was based off the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendigo from the book of Daniel, and was made in Big Idea's new headquarters, a bankrupt screw machine factory. Development was very difficult and ambitious for the company at the time. Ten people worked on the episode with only 4 computers and towards the end, everyone suffered exhaustion.
- Word Entertainment/Everland Entertainment (original release)
- Lyrick Studios (August 25, 1998)
- HiT Entertainment/WEA (June 18, 2002)
- HiT Entertainment/WEA (June 18, 2002)
- A nibble scooter is a scooter with a cargo tray on the front.
- Kennebunkport is a town in Maine.
- This episode was the first for several things:
- The first appearance of George, Mr. Lunt, and Mr. Nezzer and also the female Asparagus Singers.
- Laura's first speaking role.
- The first episode where they start using peas (American Peas).
- This is the first full length episode of VeggieTales, as well as the first to be somewhat musical based.
- This is the first episode to feature the kitchen sink, as well as cabinetry. Larry states there's also a toaster on the countertop.
- The first episode not to have Archibald Asparagus, The Scallions, Jimmy and Jerry Gourd or Pa Grape appear since their debut appearances.
- This is the first episode to have someone else singing the What Have We Learned Song.
- When the first animations came through of Larry wearing the oven mitt, Mike Nawrocki stated that the flowers were flying all around Larry.
- This episode was said to be the hardest episode that Big Idea had ever made.
- The scene where the ending song is about to end was going to be a pull out shot, but due to money running low and the episode's deadline the production team had no choice but to use quick cut scenes.
- According to Phil Vischer on the DVD audio commentary, he said that Pixar called Big Idea to ask how they made the chewing animation for the characters when they were eating the chocolate bunnies. They didn't reveal the secret to them.
- After the episode was released, fans wrote to Big Idea saying that it was inconsiderate for Larry to just walk away and leave Bob in the sink. Phil Vischer stated on this episode's DVD commentary that Larry left Bob, not intentionally, because he is an absentminded character and sometimes forgets things.
- Tim Hodge read the interactive storybook version on Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen.
- On the original 1995 release, (which also included the original version of "The Bunny Song) there's a variant of the Big Idea logo where Bob says offscreen "I'd like to get out now!". But since the 1998 re-release, (which included the newer lyrics to "The Bunny Song") it's replaced with the 1997-2005 Big Idea logo.
- On the DVD releases of the episode, some of the scenes at the factory were rendered at a different frame rate. This was acknowledged by both Phil and Mike.
- Larry states that he'll never feel the ocean breeze with his hair, despite the previous Silly Song stating he never had hair.
- There's no conceivable way the boxes can close at the bottom without breaking the bunnies.
- Considering Nezzer Chocolate typically cranks out 14,638 bunnies a day, the factory has only been open less than 5 months (138 days) by the time it cranks out the 2,000,000th bunny. Shouldn't the 30 minute occasion have been celebrated once the factory cranked out 5,000,000-10,000,000 bunnies?
- While thanking Mr. Nezzer for their "lovely gift of chocolate," Rack, one of the members of the trio, pronounces "Chocolate" as "Choc-O-Late."
- On the fence scene at the beginning, one shadow appears out of nowhere as the camera pans toward George slowly.
- During Good Morning George, Rack, Shack and Benny hover slightly above the ground as they sing in unison behind the conveyor belt.
- In the scene where Laura is flying her truck through the factory at the end of Good Morning George, she and her truck phase through one of the pipes.
- In the scene where the television screen shows up, the bunnies disappear on every last frame on the conveyor belt.
- When Laura takes off with the bunnies, the bunnies on the conveyor belt disappear instead of fall.
- While Mr. Nezzer and Mr. Lunt are talking with the trio about them being Junior Executives, a pole spawns out of nowhere, which Shack phases through.
- Phil states that there's a missing frame shot when Nezzer shows his office.
- Before the bunny statue is revealed, Shack's mouth is missing.
- Before the fade to black, all the employees (including Laura) are missing bunny emblems on their hats.
- Mr. Nezzer clips through the pipe.
- While Mr. Lunt is sending the trio into the furnace, there's a gap above him. Phil stated this was a rendering mistake and that there was supposed to be a catwalk there.
- The furnace opens up with a dual door, then a single door, and then becomes an open hall with no door.
- Larry's quote before Bob rescued him was based on Dorothy's saying from MGM's "The Wizard of Oz", during which she says those words and clicks her ruby slippers to send her back home.
- Larry would later wear oven mitts in VeggieTown, though he can see since the mitts have shrunk.
- Mentions of VeggieBeat and falling into the sink would be spoken of in a later episode.