Rack, Shack & Benny was the fourth episode in the first released in late November 14th, 1995 by Everland Entertainment on VHS, August 29th, 1998 by Lyrick Studios on VHS, and in April 13th, 2002 by Word Entertainment on DVD. It discusses peer pressure and encourages viewers to stand up for their beliefs.
The story is told by Grandpa George and takes place at a chocolate factory where the employees work hard all day in making Nezzer Chocolate Bunnies on an assembly line. Among the plant employees are three kids named Shadrach (Bob the Tomato), Meshach (Junior Asparagus), and Abednego (Larry the Cucumber), though everybody just calls them Rack, Shack, and Benny as their full names are too difficult to remember. Another employee, Laura Carrot, works as the factory's delivery girl.
As the story begins, the factory has just sold its 2,000,000th chocolate bunny of the day and owner Nebby K. Nezzer (Mr. Nezzer) announces that all employees of the Nezzer Chocolate Factory may celebrate by eating as many bunnies as they like for thirty minutes. While all the employees tear ravenously into the chocolate bunnies, Shack reminds Rack and Benny to heed their parents' advice about not eating too much candy because it can be unhealthy. When Mr. Nezzer and his sidekick, Sedgewick Lunt, come out to soak up the appreciation of his employees, he finds them all lying ill, except for Rack, Shack, and Benny. Impressed by their ability to stand up for themselves, Mr. Nezzer promotes them to junior executives.
The following day, Mr. Nezzer calls the trio into his office and gives them a sneak peek at his secret project. Wanting to show everybody at Nezzer Chocolate about how important "the bunny" is, Mr. Nezzer believes that if it were a big bunny, all of his employees would love it as much as he. Mr. Nezzer then shows them a model despicting a ninety-foot bunny statue for his employees to worship. He also demonstrates a song of worship called "The Bunny Song" with lyrics stating that nothing in the world, be it God, parents, healthy food, church or school, is more important than "the bunny". When asked by Rack as to what would happen if someone refuses to sing and worship, Mr. Nezzer draws their attention to the furnace (where the "bad bunnies" are disposed of) and warns that "in my mind, if you don't bow down and sing the song, you're a bad bunny!"
The completed bunny statue is unveiled later in the day at a ceremony, and Mr. Nezzer orders all his employees to bow down and sing. However, Mr. Lunt notices that Rack, Shack, and Benny are not bowing, and Mr. Nezzer confronts them. Shack (later joined by Rack and Benny) tries to sing his naptime song. Mr. Nezzer is briefly touched (saying that the song was wonderful), but it does not change his mind and so Rack, Shack and Benny are sent to the furnace. Laura then wonders what she should do to help them.
Mr. Nezzer sings about everything he did for the boys and how they disobey him in return. The conveyor belt carries them down to the furnace but he gives Rack, Shack and Benny one more chance to sing the song. But still the trio refuses, explaining that they were taught to stand up for their beliefs. Mr. Nezzer understands their reasoning but condemns them as bad bunnies. Then he sends them down a chute into the furnace. However, they are rescued at the last second by Laura Carrot in her delivery truck. She (pursued by two carrot guards,) attempts to escape the factory, but Rack, Shack, and Benny are captured and the three boys eventually fall into the furnace. As Mr. Nezzer gloats, the lights suddenly go out and a strange sound hums through the factory. As this happens, Mr. Lunt looks inside the furnace and notices that there's a fourth person in the furnace who's "real shiny" and that nobody is burning up. When Rack, Shack, and Benny emerge from the furnace unscathed, Mr. Nezzer realizes that their faith in God is what saved them. The three boys forgive Mr. Nezzer for his mistakes and lead him and the factory into a song titled "Stand Up!"
The show begins on the countertop with Bob alone. As he calls for Larry to come out, Larry comes while running through random objects on the countertop. He shows up wearing an over sized oven mitt. He says that VeggieBeat magazine states wearing an oven mitt is the latest trend, despite the fact that no one can see where they're going. Bob then mentions of a letter they've received from Dexter Wilmington of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. He says that whenever he's at his friends house, his friend wants to watch an inappropriate television show. Dexter knows it's bad but says that he will not be cool if he doesn't watch it. Wondering how to answer Dexter's question, Larry goes over to Qwerty for answers, but falls in the sink from not seeing where he's going because of the oven mitt. As Bob tries to figure a way to get Larry out, he plays the story of "Rack, Shack, and Benny."
The story opens up with a security guard named George, who explains that Rack, Shack, and Benny's real names are Shadrach, Meshach, and Abendago and they are called what they are because they're real names are hard to remember. As the 8 o' clock milk delivery rolls around, delivery girl Laura sings about life working at the Nezzer Chocolate factory. Everyday the employees start working at 8 in the morning and don't get lunch until 3 in the afternoon. The employees work very hard to make money for their families. Later that day, founder of Nezzer Chocolate, Nebby K. Nezzer (or Mr. Nezzer as he's referred to) announces that the factory has shipped its two millionth chocolate bunny and says that anybody can eat as many chocolate bunnies as they wish for the next half hour. As every employee eats a lot of bunnies, Shack (Junior Asparagus) tells Rack (Bob) and Benny (Larry) that they shouldn't eat to much bunnies because their parents tell them that too much candy isn't good for them. Rack and Benny at first don't want to because everyone else is doing the same thing, but later stop after being moved from a song that Shack sings that he learned form his mother. As the 30 minutes roll by, Mr. Nezzer, along with his assistant Mr. Lunt, goes out in the factory to expect everyone very appreciative of the treat. But only sees all of his workers lying on the floor very sick. But he notices Rack, Shack, and Benny standing tall and appreciative. Proud that of them standing, Mr. Nezzer promotes the boys to junior executives (meaning that they just have to wear a tie) and tells them to see him in his office the next morning.
The next morning, Mr. Nezzer tells the boys how wonderful the chocolate bunny is and why don't his workers love the bunny as much as he does. He says that it's a small bunny and shows the boys a model of a giant bunny statue. He then says that during the afternoon ceremony, everyone will bow down to the giant bunny statue and sing The Bunny Song, a song about not loving anything but the bunny. Rack then asks Mr. Nezzer what would happen to someone is they didn't agree with the song and didn't sing it. Mr. Nezzer shows them the furnace where the bad chocolate bunnies go and says that if no one bows down and sings the song, "YOU'RE A BAD BUNNY."
During the afternoon ceremony, Mr. Nezzer unveils the giant bunny statue and commands all of his workers to bow and sing the bunny song. As everyone does as they're told, Mr. Lunt notices Rack, Shack, and Benny standing up. Mr. Nezzer and Mr. Lunt go to them and command them to sing the song, but they sing the song that Shack's mother sang to Shack. Mr. Nezzer is moved by the song, but later snaps back and has the boys sent to the furnace as punishment. Laura, noticing the boys in danger, gets into her flying truck and goes to the boys' aid. The song then stops for the silly song (see Dance of the Cucumber).
After the silly song, the story resumes. Rack, Shack, and Benny are tied up and put on a conveyer belt where the bunnies are made. As they are pulled down by the furnace, Mr. Nezzer gives them one last chance to sing the song in order to live. But the boys say they're parents taught them to stand up for what they believe in and they will not sing that song. Mr. Nezzer, angry for not changing their minds, has the conveyer belt push the boys down the furnace. As they are about to face death, Laura comes in a picks them up in her truck. Laura drives away with factory guards chasing her through the air vents. After they lose the guards, they head through the air vents, but end up back in the factory. Mr. Nezzer has Mr. Lunt have control of the truck and has the boys dump into the furnace. But Laura kills the power to the factory. However, the weight of the boys causes the trunk of the truck to collapse, causing the boys to fall in the furnace. As Mr. Nezzer is laughing with evil victory, the whole factory goes dark and the furnace has a very bright light coming out. As Mr. Lunt looks in the furnace, he notices that the boys aren't burning and there is a very shiny fourth person with them. Knowing that the fourth guy is God, Mr. Nezzer has Rack, Shack, and Benny come out and apologizes for his wrong doing to the trio. Rack, Shack, and Benny forgive Mr. Nezzer and begin to sing a song about standing up.
Back on the countertop, Bob hasn't gotten Larry out of the sink. As Larry panics that he'll never be able to get out, Bob tells Larry to get on one end of a spoon that is in the sink with him while he jumps on the other end. As Bob hops on the spoon, Larry is flung out of the sink, while Bob is stuck in the sink. Larry then heads on over to Qwerty for today's bible verse; 2nd Thessalonians 2:15; Stand firm and hold to the teachings we pass on to you. Larry then says goodbye and walks off, leaving Bob in the sink.
- Bob the Tomato
- Larry the Cucumber
- Laura Carrot
- Mr. Lunt (debut)
- Injury Worker (debut)
- Junior Asparagus
- Chocolate factory workers (debut)
- Nebby K. Nezzer (debut)
- Baby Meshach (debut, cameo)
- Mom Asparagus
- Asparagus singers (debut)
- Chocolate factory guards (debut, cameos)
- Dad Asparagus
- Dwarfs (debut)
- A nibble scooter is a scooter with a cargo tray on the front.
- Kennebunkport is a town in Maine.
- This episodes marks a lot of things in this episode, inculding:
- The first appearance of George, Mr. Lunt, and Mr. Nezzer, as well as Laura's first speaking role. This also marks the first episode where they start using 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.
- This is the first episode to have someone else singing the What Have We Learned Song.
- When the first animations came through of the 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.
- The first episode where Big Idea moved to their new headquarters. The headquarters were the front offices of a bankrupted screw machine factory. The place was said to reek of machine oil and that was what the employees would smell like coming home from work and how the packages that Big Idea would send out would smell like.
- 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 video went out, 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, but because he is an absentminded character and sometimes forgets things.
- 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 if his hair, despite the previous Silly Song stated he never had hair.
- In the scene where the television screen shows up, the bunnies dissapear on every last frame on the conveyor belt.
- Phil states that there's a missing frame shot when Nezzer shows his office.
- Before the bunny statue is reveal, Junior's mouth was missing.
- While Mr. Lunt was sending the trio into the furnace, there's a gap above him. Phil stated that was a render mistake and there was suppose to be a catwalk there.
- The DVD captions
- Larry's quote before Bob rescued him was based on Dorthy's from MGM's "The Wizard the Oz", there she says those words and click 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 spoke of in a later episode.
Directed by PHIL VISCHER
Written by PHIL VISCHER
Storyboarding by PHIL VISCHER
Concept Art MIKE NAWROCKI CHRIS OLSEN RON SMITH PHIL VISCHER
Character Voices DAN ANDERSON KRISTIN BLEGEN MIKE NAWROCKI LISA VISCHER PHIL VISCHER
Edited by MIKE NAWROCKI
Sound Effects Editor MIKE NAWROCKI
Animation Supervisor CHRIS OLSEN
Character Animators THOMAS DANEN ROBERT ELLIS MIKE NAWROCKI CHRIS OLSEN RON SMITH PHIL VISCHER
Translation LISA NAWROCKI MANUEL VALENCIA
Render Management LESLY BENODIN
Software Development LESLY BENODIN
Musical Score Composed And Produced by KURT HEINECKE
Audio Engineering MIKE NAWROCKI
Instruments KURT HEINECKE RUSS NOLAN MIKE SAGE
Choir GINGER TAM LISA VISCHER
Content Consultant SCOTTIE MAY Ed.D.