Download VeggieTales - Rack, Shack & Benny
Rack, Shack & Benny, released in April 2000 on VHS, is the fourth episode of the VeggieTales animated series. Subtitled "A Lesson in Handling Peer Pressure," it teaches viewers that they should resist peer pressure and stand up for what they believe.
The video retells the story of the fiery furnace from the book of Book of Daniel. In this Biblical Story, King Nebuchadnezzar II requires that all his subjects bow down before a false idol. But three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, refuse and are thrown into a furnace. Miraculously they aren't harmed, and Nebuchadnezzar recognizes the power of their God.
Rack, Shack & Benny keeps true to the original story, but places it in a chocolate factory, where all employees are required to bow down before a giant chocolate bunny and sing The Bunny Song.
The show starts with Bob alone. Larry appears on the countertop, wearing an oven mitten on his head, with his eyes covered. When Bob asks Larry why he is wearing an oven mitten on his head, Larry says that it is because he saw it on the cover of "Veggie Beat" magazine and that everyone is doing it. Unable to see, however, Larry crashes into the sink. Bob reads a letter from Dexter Wilmington from Tuscaloosa, Alabama about peer pressure, and then the story begins.
The story is told by Grandpa George, who made his debut on this episode. We are introduced into the world of The Nezzer Chocolate Factory, where the employees (The Peas) 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 of the employees may eat as many bunnies as they want. While all of the employees eat all of the chocolate bunnies, Shack (Junior Asparagus) tells his friends, Rack (Bob the Tomato) and Benny (Larry the Cucumber), that they should not gorge themselves on chocolate, as their mothers and fathers had taught them.
When Mr. Nezzer comes out to soak up the appreciation of his employees, he finds them all lying ill… except for Rack, Shack, and Benny. They are rewarded and made junior executives. The following day, Mr. Nezzer calls Rack, Shack, and Benny into his office and tells them that he has constructed a 90-foot bunny; he believes that if the bunny were a big bunny, then all of the employees would love it as much as he does. To make things worse, Mr. Nezzer also sings The Bunny Song, whose lyrics state that nothing in the world is more important than the bunny. Mr. Nezzer intends to force all of his employees to bow down before the bunny statue and sing the song; those, who refuse will be thrown into the furnace like the "bad bunnies".
Naturally, this causes Rack, Shack, and Benny great concern, since they don't agree with the words in the song (such as, "I don't love my mom or my dad, just the bunny."). When the time comes, Rack, Shack, and Benny refuse to bow and sing. Mr. Nezzer condemns them to the furnace, but gives them one last chance to sing the song; still, they refuse to sing, explaining that they were taught to stand by what they believe is right.
Mr. Nezzer sends them down a chute into the furnace, but Laura Carrot rescues them with her milk truck. Laura's rescue attempts are thwarted though, and in spite of her efforts, Rack, Shack, and Benny are dropped into the furnace anyway. But they do not burn. A fourth person appears in the furnace and they are spared. Rack, Shack, and Benny emerge from the furnace, unscathed. Mr. Nezzer reconciles with himself. The story ends with a song called Stand!, which is about standing up for what you believe in.
Back on the countertop, Bob and Larry wrap up, but Larry is still stuck in the sink. Larry recognizes now that the futility, that landed him there, that just because everyone else is wearing an oven mitt on their heads doesn't mean that he has to. Larry laments his wasted life, and Bob offers to help, but ends up stuck in the sink, himself, as the episode ends.
- The Chocolate Factory (A.K.A. "Good Morning, George") (sung by Laura Carrot, Mr. Lunt, Rack, Shack, Benny, and the Peas)
- Junior's Lullaby (A.K.A. "Think of Me") (sung by Junior Asparagus and Mom Asparagus)
- The Bunny Song (sung by Mr. Nezzer and the Asparagus Vocalists)
- Junior's Lullaby (reprise) (sung by Rack, Shack, and Benny)
- The Bunny Song (reprise) (sung by Mr. Nezzer and the Asparagus Vocalists)
- Stand! (sung by Rack, Shack, Benny, Mr. Nezzer, and the Peas)
- The Dance of the Cucumber (Silly Song) (sung by Larry and Bob)
The Bunny Song
In the original edition of Rack, Shack and Benny, Mr. Nezzer sings The Bunny Song, with lines such as, "I don't love my mom or my dad, just the bunny," and, "I won't go to church and I won't go to school." As the writer, Phil Vischer, mentioned in an interview on the DVD edition that he hoped that kids, who saw the protagonists refuse to sing the song would recognize its negative context as unacceptable, but unhappy parents wrote to Big Idea, complaining that their kids were singing in public about not loving their mom or their dad. Vischer said that the lesson, that he learned was to never mix negative lyrics with a catchy tune, since children will sing the song irrespective of the content.
For their sing-along video, a "New and Improved Bunny Song" was written, which had a repentant Mr. Nezzer singing that eating too much candy is wrong and that church and school are important. In the second VHS and the DVD editions of this episode, the original offending lines were dubbed to, "I didn't eat my soup or my bread, just the bunny," and I will go to church and I will go to school", respectively, and Mr. Nezzer talks over the female singers' solo.
- The Song "Stand" had a cover by the Christian band "Skillet".
When Laura took off with the boxes, the boxes on the conveyor belt disappear instead of falling.