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VeggieTales
Veglogo.png
Created by Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki
Voices of Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki
Tim Hodge
Brian K. Roberts
Lisa Vischer
Jim Poole
G. Bock
Megan Murphy
Cydney Trent
Charlotte Jackson
Theme music composer Kurt Heinecke
Country of origin United States
Language(s) English
No. of series 1
No. of episodes 39 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Phil Vischer,
Leslie Ferrell,
Mike Heap,
Jane Smith
Producer(s) David Pitts
J. Chris Wall
Editor(s) John Wahba,
J. Chris Wall,
David Watson
Running time 30–50 minutes (videos)
30 minutes (television)
Production company(s) Big Idea Productions
DKP Studios (2004–2006)
Starz Animation (2006–2008)
Huhu Studios Ltd (2009–present)
Broadcast
Original channel Qubo (NBC)
First shown in United States
Original run December 21, 1993 (direct-to-video) – present

VeggieTales is an American series of English language children's computer animated films featuring anthropomorphic vegetables. Developed by Big Idea, the films convey moral themes based on Christianity, often compatible with Judaism, spliced with satirical references to pop culture and current events. VeggieTales was created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, who also provide many of the voices. Originally released in direct-to-video format, the series debuted in December 1993 and started being released on VHS tape (until November 15, 2005), and later onto DVD. From September 9, 2006 to September 5, 2009, VeggieTales was featured on the children's programming block called Qubo on the NBC network. As of 2009, the TV show is shown on Gospel Music Channel. The series has still been releasing new episodes on DVD while the television show airs. VeggieTales has also published books, music CDs and branded items such as toys, clothing, and seeds for vegetables and flowers. The main characters' names are Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber.

Contents

History

VeggieTales was created by computer animators Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki through their company Big Idea Productions. Their aim was to produce children's videos which conveyed Christian moral themes and taught Biblical values and lessons. The animated feature involved stories told by a group of recurring vegetable characters who lived on a kitchen countertop. The program was offered in the direct-to-video market, with the first 30-minute program, Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, released in July 1993. Since 1993, Big Idea has released 39 VeggieTales episodes. These include three Silly Song collections, three holiday specials, three LarryBoy episodes and a drawing tutorial. In addition to these episodes, there are five compilations that combine previously released material, and two feature length movies, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie. Beginning in 2006, the VeggieTales videos were adapted as a regular television program through the Qubo multi-platform network and NBC network. On September 30, 2008, Big Idea said that Mike Nawrocki would create an "original new VeggieTales TV series," though no further news has been revealed.[1]

The idea for VeggieTales came in the early 90's when Phil Vischer was testing out animation software as a medium for children's videos. Due to the software's limitations, he chose to avoid creating characters with arms, legs, and hair. His first animation model on the software was an anthropomorphic candy bar. At first he thought this was good idea, until his wife pointed out: "You know, parents are going to be mad if you make their children fall in love with candy bars." Taking this advice, Vischer instead chose to use their polar opposites: vegetables.

Format

The new video episodes generally follow a standard format where a moral issue is posited in the opening countertop sequence followed by one or more "films" that address the issue, with a silly song in the middle. The television show altered this by opening with Bob greeting kids and inviting them over to his house. Then Bob, Larry, and other characters (Archibald Asparagus, Junior Asparagus, Mr. Lunt, Pa Grape, and Jimmy Gourd) sing the show's theme song as they hop to Bob's front door. The theme song ends with a character making a random comment, for example Pa Grape comments on Archibald's new sweater.

The television show opens in Bob's living room where Bob says "Hi kids! Welcome to VeggieTales!". Followed by Larry saying "On TV!" The two wait for the mailman, Jimmy Gourd, to deliver a letter. When Jimmy comes, he happily sings his Mail Song, which Bob and Larry both find tedious. Then instead of handing the letter to Bob and Larry, he insists on cramming it through the mail slot.

Bob and Larry read their letter and try to decide how to solve the viewer's problem. One of their neighbors comes in and attempts to solve it, followed by one of three regular segments: Archibald reads a story from his Big Book of Oddities (which he got from Oprah's Book Club), Pa Grape shows an old film, or Mr. Lunt appears as Paco the Storytelling Mule (a stick puppet) and tells a story. The result always proves disastrous, as the story or film makes no sense. Bob and Larry intervene with a story from a VeggieTales DVD episode to solve the problem. The show ends with Bob and Larry wrapping things up by reiterating the story's lesson and thanking the kids for coming to his house.

Some episodes include a segment titled Silly Songs with Larry, introduced with a title card and the voiceover saying, "And now it's time for Silly Songs with Larry". Some silly songs have alternate titles, such as "Love Songs with Mr. Lunt," where another character sings the song instead. The Silly Song, if one appears, is always in the middle of the program, often at a cliffhanger moment. The Larry-Boy episodes in particular lack this segment.

NBC controversy

When the show aired on NBC network television in September 2006, VeggieTales episodes were edited to remove most references to God at the request of the NBC network's standards and practices department. (The religious references remained intact in the closed-captions accompanying each episode.) Notable was the removal of the program's signature sign-off message: "Remember kids, God made you special and he loves you very much."[2] The removal drew criticism from the Christian conservative watch group Parents Television Council, which complained to NBC.[3] NBC replied that the editing conformed to the network's broadcast standards of "not to advocate any one religious point of view." VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer also expressed discontent with the edits, stating that he was not informed that religious content would be removed from the series, and he would have refused to sign a contract if he had known of this beforehand. Vischer said, "I would have declined partly because I knew a lot of fans would feel like it was a sellout or it was done for money."[4] Still, Vischer added that he understood NBC's wish to remain religiously neutral, and said, "VeggieTales is religious, NBC is not. I want to focus people more on 'Isn't it cool that Bob and Larry are on television?"[5]

Logos

Characters

VeggieTales has a continuous back story that all of the cartoons are actually teleplays, performed by various vegetables and fruit that live together on the same kitchen countertop. Some of these characters have "real names", and take on various roles in the teleplays, although they will also frequently appear as themselves. Most of these "regulars" were established in the very earliest videos, but some have been added more recently.

Episodes

  1. "Where's God When I'm S-Scared?" (1993): Junior learns that he doesn't need to be afraid because God is bigger than any monster, as well as a retelling of the Bible story of Daniel and the Lion's Den. Its theme is handling fear.
  2. "God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!" (1994): Bob and Larry learn what it means to forgive through parodies of The Grapes of Wrath and Gilligan's Island. Its theme is forgiveness.
  3. "Are You My Neighbor?" (1995): The Veggies learn what "loving your neighbor" really means through a Dr. Seuss-style retelling of the Biblical story of The Good Samaritan and a parody of Star Trek. Its theme is loving one's neighbor.
  4. "Rack, Shack, and Benny" (1996): A retelling of the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego being thrown into the fiery furnace with the VeggieTales characters as workmen in a chocolate factory who stand up for what's right. Its theme is handling peer pressure.
  5. "Dave and the Giant Pickle" (1996): Starring Junior as Dave who learns that "little guys can do big things, too" in a retelling of story of David and Goliath. Its theme is self-esteem.
  6. "The Toy that Saved Christmas" (1997): The veggies learn the true meaning of Christmas with the help of Grandpa George and a Buzz-Saw Louie action figure. Its theme is giving.
  7. "Very Silly Songs!" (1997): A collection of Silly Songs and other songs from the first five VeggieTales episodes. Originally titled "A Very Silly Sing-Along."
  8. "Larry-Boy! And the Fib from Outer Space!" (1997): This lesson on honesty features Larry as a plunger-headed hero who must defeat a Fib that is rampaging out of control. Larry-Boy is a spoof on Batman & Spiderman. The theme is telling the truth.
  9. "Josh and the Big Wall!" (1997): Larry stars as Joshua in this retelling of the Biblical story of the Battle of Jericho, highlighting the importance of obedience. The theme is obedience.
  10. "Madame Blueberry" (1998): Madame Blueberry falls victim to her own greed and learns to be thankful in a parody of Madame Bovary. Its theme is thankfulness.
  11. "The End of Silliness?" (1998): Larry has a nervous breakdown after he finds out that the "Silly Songs with Larry" segment of the show has been cancelled in this second Silly Songs collection.
  12. "Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed" (1999): Junior Asparagus and Laura Carrot learn about the dangers of spreading rumors as Larry-Boy battles a weed that grows bigger as everyone else besmirches Alfred's reputation. Its theme is the power of words.
  13. "King George and the Ducky" (2000): Larry stars as King George, whose obsession with rubber ducks teaches a lesson on selfishness and its impact in a retelling of the story of David and Bathsheba. Its theme is selfishness.
  14. "Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen" (2000): Esther saves her family from endless tickling and learns a lesson on courage in a retelling of the Biblical story of Esther. Its theme is courage.
  15. "Lyle the Kindly Viking" (2001): Junior stars as Lyle, a Viking who secretly returns his share of the loot in this parody of a Gilbert and Sullivan musical. The first segment of this lesson on sharing is a parody of Hamlet. Its theme is sharing.
  16. "The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown" (2001): In the third Silly Song collection, the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything present a compilation of the viewers' top 10 favorite Silly Songs.
  17. "Jonah Sing-Along Songs and More!" (2002): A collection of songs, mainly from Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.
  18. "The Star of Christmas" (2002): Starring Bob and Larry as Cavis and Millward, two theater proprietors whose extravagant production threatens to overwhelm Edmund's (Junior's) modest pageant on opening night.
  19. "The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!" (2003): Bob and Larry imagine the future of entertainment and learn a valuable lesson in this musical collection.
  20. "The Ballad of Little Joe" (2003): Larry stars as Little Joe exercising faith in the face of hardship in this retelling of the Biblical story of Joseph set in the American Old West, which is partially a parody of Bonanza and perhaps even Gunsmoke. Its theme is facing hardship.
  21. "An Easter Carol" (2004): Based on the Charles Dickens classic A Christmas Carol, this is a sequel to The Star of Christmas, climaxing in the clearest presentation of the gospel in the series. Its lessons include hope, faith, and the resurrection of Jesus.
  22. "A Snoodle's Tale" (2004): Kids learn that God made them special in an homage to Dr. Seuss and features a parody of "The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde". Its theme is self-worth.
  23. "Bob and Larry's How to Draw!" (2004): Kids of all ages learn to draw with Larry and writer/director/artist Tim Hodge.
  24. "Sumo of the Opera" (2004): Larry stars as the Italian Scallion, a Sumo wrestler who learns to persevere in this cross between Rocky, The Mikado, and The Karate Kid. Its theme is perseverance.
  25. "The Complete Silly Song Collection" (2004): A compilation of all silly song collection releases to date. Features brand new "Veg-O-Rama Jukebox", which allows the viewer to play any of 35 Veggietales songs in the order of their choosing.
  26. "Duke and the Great Pie War" (2005): In this prequel to King George and the Ducky, Larry stars as Duke who must rescue the second half of the golden duck. based loosely on the story of Ruth as well as a retelling of the childhood story of Moses from Miriam's viewpoint. Its theme is loving one's family.
  27. "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Samson's Hairbrush" (2005): In a parody of Indiana Jones, Minnesota Cuke (Larry) searches for the great ancient relic, Samson's Hairbrush, in the catacombs under the town of Seville. Its theme is dealing with bullies.
  28. "Lord of the Beans" (2005): Toto Baggypants (Junior) and the Fellowship Of The Bean journey through Center-Earth to discover the purpose of Toto's gift in this parody of "The Lord of the Rings". Its theme is using God's gifts well.
  29. "Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler" (2005): Larry stars as detective Sheerluck Holmes who must solve the mystery of the missing Golden Ruler in this Sherlock Holmes parody. Its theme is friendship.
  30. "LarryBoy and the Bad Apple" (2006): In Larry-Boy's third adventure he must overcome temptation and defeat The Bad Apple who attempts to lure the citizens of Bumblyburg into her trap by preying on their specific weaknesses. Its theme is temptation.
  31. "Gideon: Tuba Warrior" (2006): Larry stars in this episode based on a Biblical story of Gideon. Its theme is trusting God.
  32. "Moe and the Big Exit" (2007): Larry stars in the Biblical story of Moses told as a parody of The Lone Ranger and set years after The Ballad of Little Joe. Its theme is following directions.
  33. "God Made You Special" (2007): Bob and Larry decide to make a show about how God Made You Special.
  34. "The Wonderful Wizard of Ha's" (2007): Junior Asparagus stars in the story of a prodigal son as a parody of The Wizard of Oz
  35. "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Sing-Along Songs And More!" (2007): A sing-along to some songs from the theatrical film.
  36. "Lessons From the Sock Drawer: A Collection of VeggieTales Shorts and Briefs" (2008): A collection of previously-released shorts.
  37. "Tomato Sawyer and Huckleberry Larry's Big River Rescue" (2008): Bob & Larry star in this episode as Huckleberry Larry and Tomato Sawyer.
  38. "Abe and the Amazing Promise" (2009): A retelling of the story of Abraham and Sarah. Its theme is patience.
  39. "Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella" (2009): Minnesota Cuke is on a new quest. He searches for Noah's umbrella. Its theme is confidence.
  40. "Saint Nicholas: A Story of Joyful Giving" (2009): Bob, Larry, and the other vegetables celebrate Christmas, learning the story of Saint Nicholas in a Veggietales Christmas special. A 24 page book based on this release, written by Karen Poth and illustrated by John Trauscht, was released on September 8 2009. Amy Grant and Matthew West perform a song written specially for this movie.[6][7][8][9][10][11]
  41. "Silly Little Thing Called Love" (2010): Join Bob, Larry and all your Veggie pals featuring three classic stories of "true" love with lessons in Loving Your Neighbor (The Story of Flibber-O-Loo), Loving Your Family (Duke and the Great Pie War) and Loving God (Madame Blueberry). Plus...funny and touching thoughts from the "Veggie Kids" (as voiced by real children) sharing their perspective on love as only kids can. Also includes these four Silly Songs: Endangered Love, His Cheeseburger, Love My Lips, and The Bunny Song.
  42. "Pistachio - The Little Boy That Woodn't" (2010): A VeggieTales twist on the story of Pinocchio. It is a lesson about the importance of family and listening to one's parents (i.e., the Fifth Commandment). [12][13]

Other media

DVD compilations

  1. Heroes of the Bible Volume 1: Lions, Shepherds and Queens - Oh My! (2003): Includes Daniel and the Lion's Den (from "Where's God When I'm S-Scared?"), Dave and the Giant Pickle, and Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen.[14]
  2. Heroes of the Bible Volume 2: Stand Up, Stand Tall, Stand Strong! (2003): Includes The Story of Flibber-O-Loo (from "Are You My Neighbor?"), Rack, Shack, and Benny, and Josh and the Big Wall.[15]
  3. Heroes of the Bible Volume 3: A Baby, a Quest, and the Wild, Wild West" - (2009): A compilation episode featuring three previously released episodes, The Ballad of Little Joe, "Moe and the Big Exit", and "Baby Sitter in De-Nile" from Duke and the Great Pie War.[citation needed]

Re-issues and re-releases

  • King George and the Ducky Exclusive Special Edition[16] (2008)
  • Where's God When I'm S-Scared? 15th Anniversary Collecter's Edition[17] (2008)
  • Lyle the Kindly Viking Exclusive Special Edition[18] (2008)

Feature-length films

  • Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002): Archibald Asparagus stars as Jonah in this version of the Biblical story. The Veggies learn that God is a God of second chances, and that why and how we need to give second chances too and be compassionate and merciful.
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie (2008): In this second VeggieTales feature film, three certain lazy wannabe pirates go back in time to the 17th century to fight real pirates and become heroes in a battle to rescue a royal family from an evil tyrant—for a hero is not tall, strong, handsome, or even human.

Stage production

The VeggieTales characters (left to right) of Mr. Lunt, Pa Grape, and Larry the Cucumber on the main stage at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers during the Celebrate Freedom 2007 concert on September 1, 2007 dressed in costume for their new film The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie that was released on January 11, 2008.

VeggieTales Live is a series of stage shows based on the VeggieTales videos. Five versions of the shows have been staged. The shows have toured across the U.S. and appeared at theme parks including Dollywood (2005) and Silver Dollar City (1993).

Music and audio CDs

  1. VeggieTunes 1 (1995)
  2. VeggieTunes 2 (1997)
  3. VeggieTunes 3: A Queen, a King, and a Very Blue Berry (2000)
  4. Silly Songs with Larry (2001) plus songs from Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen The Toy That Saved Christmas The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown and The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown
  5. Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie Soundtrack (2002)
  6. A Very Veggie Christmas (1996)
  7. The Incredible Singing Christmas Tree (2002)
  8. VeggieTunes 4 (2004)
  9. Veggie Rocks! (2004)
  10. Boyz in the Sink (2004)
  11. Bob and Larry Sing The 70's (2005)
  12. A Very Veggie Easter (2006)
  13. VeggieTales Worship Songs (2006)
  14. Pirates Boatload of Fun with four songs with "We're Vikings!" "There's a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" "Modern Major General" and "Erie Canal"
  15. On the Road with Bob and Larry
  16. Bob and Larry's Sunday Morning Songs with two songs with "Zaccheus" and "Love Your Neighbor"
  17. Bob and Larry's Backyard Party with two songs "You Are My Sunshine" and "I Can Be Your Friend"
  18. O Veggie, Where Art Thou?
  19. Bob and Larry's Campfire Songs
  20. Junior's Bedtime Songs with three songs with "My Day", " Think of Me" and "The Thankfulness Song"
  21. Junior's Playtime Songs with two songs with "Love My Lips" and "Look, Olaf!"
  22. More Sunday Morning Songs with Bob and Larry
  23. Bob and Larry's Toddler Songs
  24. LarryBoy: The New Soundtrack (2006) with the score of LarryBoy and the Bad Apple
  25. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything Original Movie Soundtrack (2008) plus a song for Anointed was Second Chances
  26. God Made You Special (2007)
  27. Christian Hits Music (2007)
  28. VeggieTales Greatest Hits (2008)
  29. Storytime with Bob and Larry Volume 1 (2009) with three stories: "King George", "Esther… The Girl Who Became Queen", and "Minnesota Cuke"
  30. Storytime with Bob and Larry Volume 2 (2009) with three stories: "LarryBoy and the Bad Apple", "Ballad of Little Joe", and "Lyle the Kindly Viking"
  31. Here I Am To Worship (2009)[19]

References

External links








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