Director Brian K. Roberts cried the first time he read the script.
He was to direct The Penniless Princess (Big Idea), the newest VeggieTales video, based on Frances Hodgson Burnett’s novel The Little Princess. “I was brought on after the initial draft of the script was finished, and I remember when I read the first draft of the script, I was completely taken by it.” He hadn’t read the original book, but he was familiar with, and loved, the story and “was really excited to put a VeggieTales spin on it.”
The Penniless Princess is a “riches to rags” story, about a young girl named Sara who has everything she could want, only to find herself “penniless” after her father goes to war. As Sara learns about her true worth, the story presents “themes of hope and imagination and being kind even when others are unkind to you,” Roberts says. “(Her father) has always taught her that God loves her no matter what, and the story is about learning to live that out even when life gets hard.”
They chose Burnett’s novel as the inspiration for this new story “because of its status as a classic girl’s story. For the last two years we’ve done girl-targeted releases in the summer, and this year we were looking for a classic.”
In working out how the story would translate into a VeggieTales version, Roberts explains “one of the challenges was to find the central nugget of truth … and draw that out.” For The Penniless Princess, there were two Biblical lessons: knowing your true worth (from Philippians 4:8) and trusting God (from Romans 8:39).
The DVD also includes the silly song “Best Friends Forever” and a singalong version of a song featured in the story, “No Matter What.”