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A Good Question About the Pirate Movie…

Jennifer's Question: 

Since the movie Jonah was so successful, why is Big Idea softening (or in other words taking out) all religious talk in this next movie- The Pirates That Don't Do Anything? And why won't there be a bible story? Seems that the success of the previous movie proves that there is a large number of Americans who want Christian movies. Anyone can put out a movie without bad morals. We need movies with a Christian message not more 'Finding Nemo'.

Good question, Jennifer.  First, why isn't the second VeggieTales movie, like our first effort, Jonah, based on a Bible story?  Aren't all VeggieTales stories based on Bible stories?  Well, actually, only about half the stories we've told in VeggieTales films have been based on Bible stories.  The other half have been either parodies of other works (like Star Trek, Gilligan's Island or the Lord of the Rings), or entirely original stories not based on anything, like Snoodle's Tale or the Star of Christmas.

So which is the new veggie movie, The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything?  Well, contrary to the hopes (or fears) of some, it is not a parody of The Pirates of the Carribbean.  I wrote the script for the new movie near the end of 2002, before the bankruptcy of Big Idea Productions and about six months before Disney launched the first Pirates of the Carribbean film, so any similarity is merely coincidental.  It obviously isn't a retelling of a Bible story – at least none that I've ever heard of.  So what is it?

First and foremost, it was an attempt to create a great, compelling story about three of our favorite characters.  At the end of the day, most people go to the movies to enjoy a story well told, involving characters with whom they can relate and empathize.  I think we pulled this off rather well.  Almost everyone who has seen the film really feels for our three 'heroes,' and can relate to at least one, if not all three of them.

But is it, in fact, a "Christian film?"  If you mean by that a literal retelling of a Bible story, then no, it isn't.  If you mean by that a film where characters talk directly about Jesus or the Christian faith, then no, it isn't.  It has never been my goal to only tell stories that are explicitly biblical in nature.  But I do intend for all my films to evidence, in some way, a Christian worldview; I intend to tell stories that illuminate the Christian experience or demonstrate Christian belief.  In other words, they might not all talk about Christianity, but they will all, in some meaningful way, demonstrate Christianity.

So what is the new VeggieTales movie?  It's a parable.  A distinctly Christian parable.  On the surface it is a fun, engaging story about three friends who find themselves caught up in an adventure seemingly miles beyond their capabilities.  But beneath the surface, it is, as story expert Robert McKee describes every good story, "a living proof of an idea."  It is a distinctly Christian illustration of how God calls us into adventure – calls us to be 'heroes', if you will – and then once called, will equip us for the tasks he has given us and supply us with the strength to finish the job.  The ultimate victory in Christian life comes not from our power, but from Christ's.  Apart from him, I can do no good thing.

All of this significant Christian theology is in the Pirate movie.  But it's beneath the surface.  It's the subtext, not the text.  You see, very few people want to hear stories about ideas or theology.  They want to hear stories about people.  Jesus told stories about bridesmaids and  vineyard owners and women with lost coins.  The subtext of each of these stories was a lesson about the kingdom of God.  But he knew his 1st century audience of fishermen and  shepherds wasn't easily engaged by "lessons," they were engaged by stories.  When his disciples wondered if the masses were really "getting" the lessons, Jesus simply answered, "For him who has ears to hear."  The most gifted Christian writers of our time – Tolkien, Lewis, Chesterton, O'Conner, L'Engle, just to name a few – knew this pattern well and continued the tradition effectively, using lions and dwarves and strange, flying creatures to give flight to their own musings about man and his creator.

And so our lazy pirates join the parade in their own feeble way.  Is the new VeggieTales movie a Bible story?  No.  But it is profoundly, profoundly Christian.

Now that I got all that off my chest, I can't wait to hear what you all think!

48 CommentsLeave a Comment


  • Reply

    Lydia Williams

    11 months ago

    I’ll write you an email this week, I promise.

    And yes I know the week is almost over, but I actually had to write “email phil and mike” into my production schedule just to be able to fit some extra time into actually doing it, LOL! Ive scheduled that time for friday afternoon, yay!

    I coould do it now, but I actually get the chance to go to bed at…well its 1:30am now, so thats pretty early compared to the last 7 weeks.

    Talk to ya soon Phil!

  • Reply

    EJ Watson

    11 months ago

    Phil:

    I do not know what it feels like to be a lightning rod for criticism but clearly my friend you do (and I do not mean to single out any one question from anyone in particular).

    I am reading Phillip Yancy’s book “Prayer” (struggling might be a better word). At one point he asks the question “why pray?” – I am over simplifying but he responds because Jesus did. So, why teach in parables? Because, as you said, Jesus did!

    It has been my observation that people who don’t know Truth and the Purpose of Life rarely come to know it when it is being presented to them bluntly (or coldly), but if you engage their intellect…well you already said it.

    Am I allowed to say that I found your response to be kind, articulate and profound?

    Kindest Regards,
    EJ Watson

  • Reply

    Ian Beyer.

    11 months ago

    I enjoyed the story (I got to see a screening on Monday), and thought it was well told (some of the unfinished bits of the score amused me, like the Toy Story piece at the very end!)

    There’s a distinct parallel in the story between peter having to take a huge leap of faith and get OUT of the boat, and the three PWDDA that have to take a huge leap of faith to get IN the boat.

    History is full of unlikely heroes called to service by God, and this story certainly brings that to mind. Good work.

    Sadly, because my children are still quite small and lugging them to the theatre is rather trying, I’ll probably not get to see it again until the DVD comes out… But they did come to the screening with us and thoroughly enjoyed their first theatrical experience!

  • actoneprogram.comPhil, you are completely right. Christian film does not equal Bible story. It doesn’t even equal vegetable rendition of Bible story. It doesn’t have to be blatantly Christian by talking directly about God or theology.

    What separates successful Chrsitian movies from non-successful ones is simply story. Is the story compelling in some way? Is it a GOOD story? Barbara Nicolosi (of Act One) stresses to writers that it’s important to have a good script, not just a Christian one. Knowing the way your stories have gone in the past, I’m sure that this will be a movie our family will enjoy.

    Thanks for all that you’ve done over the years.

  • I probably should have mentioned Barbara Nicolosi’s blog, too. It’s excellent, and is called Church of the Masses. She actually posts frequently on topics such as this (i.e. Christians making an impact in Hollywood by making good movies).

  • Reply

    Booples.com

    11 months ago

    Great points. Kids can get a lot out of the story steep in the Christian worldview. When it’s too overt, it can be “churchy” and such.

    There’s a place for both the direct “Bible story” and the story w/ the Christian presence. I’ve considered making a series for older kids w/ a Christian super-hero that isn’t over the top “Bible” but it’s clear he’s a Christian (and cool/hero/etc.).

    BTW, I got “Surf’s Up” to check out based on your comments. I haven’t seen it yet. However, we just adopted a baby last week and “coincidentally” rented “Meet the Robinsons.” I loved it!

    It’s got it all: comedy, action, sci-fi, drama, etc. Plus, I thought it was really well written and made. Also, it has an adoption story in there too (which may have affected my reaction). I’d love to hear/read your thoughts on that one if you’ve seen it.

  • Reply

    Lisa S.

    11 months ago

    I am so happy you posted this. One of the things that I have been told by some of the churches I brought to the screening is that the movie’s message wasn’t clear or wasn’t Christian enough. ??? Our screening of Pirates was about a week ago, and I have to say I loved it. I’m not saying that just because I think you are awesome or because I’m some VT fan that lacks objectivity. It really is a good movie; beautifully animated (the water and landscapes look amazing…), and I hear that the score is great, too. But the story is what it’s all about, for me. I loved the story. I loved that the characters struggled when faced with challenges. I won’t spoil anything here, but I really liked how human the characters became. Kids (…even adults) struggle with the same issues, everyday.

    I think that kids, whether they’re Christian or not will enjoy the movie. The tricky part is going to be convincing the mainstream audience it’s not a story that will push a particular religious agenda down everyone’s throat. There’s a pre-conceived notion about that out there. Sadly, the harder thing might be to convince some Christians that even though there isn’t a Bible verse at the end of the show, it is, like you said, a very Christian-themed story.

    It’s good that you used the word ‘parable’. I like that! There were those of us that grew up getting the meaning behind the symbolism in “The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe”, and then there were people that just thought is was a cool book about a Lion who could talk and come back to life after being killed. Either way, it was a good story. We just got more out of it, I would imagine.

    I pray for the movie’s success! We’ll be there supporting you guys on opening weekend.

  • Reply

    OKVeggieMom

    11 months ago

    I saw a screening on 10/22, and I really enjoyed it, Phil! I like the clever ideas and surprises. I thought it was a good use of the characters. I especially thought that Pa Grape had a deeper characterization than previously seen.

    I have been struggling with a way to describe the message of the film, and I LOVED reading this in your blog:

    “It is a distinctly Christian illustration of how God calls us into adventure – calls us to be ‘heroes’, if you will – and then once called, will equip us for the tasks he has given us and supply us with the strength to finish the job. The ultimate victory in Christian life comes not from our power, but from Christ’s. Apart from him, I can do no good thing.”

    This is the kind of info BI should share with the Ambassadors who will try to help promote the show.

    BTW, at my screening, we were supposed to see an “intro by Phil Vischer” and it didn’t work. Could you post your message on your blog? Please? Thanks and God Bless.

  • Reply

    David Mackey

    11 months ago

    Phil, great post. You really hit the nail on the head. I’m afraid far too often we as Christians seem happy putting out mediocre content which monologues on ideas or theology thinking we are doing the right thing, but far too often we do a disservice to these ideas through our methods. Thats not to say that theology/ideas/scripture can’t be powerfully and directly portrayed through scripture – I think films like Luther, Passion of the Christ, and Second Chance are immediate examples of using straight ideas/theology in story…The biggest problem isn’t the method (either way the films can honor God) but the execution.

  • Reply

    Brian

    11 months ago

    I wanted to stand up and clap in the middle of reading that! Well said, Phil! I feel better about the Veggie Pirates movie now. First, that it’s not a PotC parody. And second, I understand what kind of film it’s supposed to be, from an outreach perspective, and I love the idea. I think films like Spider-Man 3 actually have actually had a bigger impact because it illustrated the theme of forgivness in such a powerful way. More powerful than any “Christian” film I have seen. This blog entry doesn’t mean Veggie Pirates is going to be a great film, but I feel better about it as far as outreach.

  • Reply

    Chuck P

    11 months ago

    I hope that Big Idea will remember that for every loyal customer whose heart is stirred to hear a good, moral, and righteous tale, there is a customer who loves the same but is all the more delighted that there is someone making movies that do directly acknowledge God. This world needs both kinds of movies.

    I too have seen the early preview of the Pirates movie. It seems to me to be a good parable, and I think you have succeeded in making a fun and fairly engaging story. I found it hard to cheer on such lazy main characters, who sort of get pushed into each new situation. Still, it was funny and had a good message to be taken to heart.

    Technically it was excellent. The geek in me was delighted, too.

  • Reply

    ILENE

    11 months ago

    AFTER SEEING THE MOVIE AND TALKING TO MY 7 YEAR OLD, WE REALLY WISH YOU COULD AT LEAST ADD KAHLIL TO THE ENDING “ROCK MONSTER” SONG. WE MISSED HIM IN THE MOVIE. BUT WE STILL LOVE IT.

  • Reply

    dave

    11 months ago

    So is this film targeting Christian families or ‘moral active’ families? :-)

    Seriously, I am excited about the movie. Seriously excited.

    If you can get the message across within the subtext, go for it. I’ve learned to trust you guys. So far, you’ve done a great job walking that fine line between ‘being relevant’ and ‘watering down the message’. I don’t expect the Pirate movie to be any different.

  • Reply

    Lisa S.

    11 months ago

    I forgot to include something in my comment above….the movie is really funny! Yes, there is a lesson and values are taught, and there is symbolism….but bottom line, it’s a fun movie. Ok…now I’m done. Thanks!

  • Reply

    Olol age,13 (almost)

    11 months ago

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why does every one get to see the movie but me !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t mean to sound like a baby on your blog Mr. Vischer, but I really want 2 see the movie like everyone else. By the way, I saw a kid at my school that looked almost just like u. He is a shy kid, but I know that he is a Christian because he wore a shirt that said ” He is my God. ” I can’t help but wonder if you were like this when you were my age. I hope 2 get your book this Christmas. (I would just like 2 say that I am listening to the Jackson 5 while typing this.)

  • Reply

    Tom Bump

    11 months ago

    Phil,
    I cannot wait to see the screening when it comes to PA. I am so thrilled that God has blessed us with people like you and Mike. Your talent and creativity allow me as a children’s pastor lots of opportunities to use VT. I will be having a pirate party at our church in celebration of the movie and will be encouraging our church families to have a family night out and go see it.
    (I haven’t even seen it yet) Why do I feel this way? Because of what you shared in your blog. Reading and “hearing” your heart for this movie just encouraged me even more that your on the right track. God Bless you !! Keep it coming!

  • Reply

    Jonathan

    11 months ago

    Well, I haven’t seen a screening but its great to hear more about the new Veggie movie. I really hope it is released worldwide as promised, I want Australia (where I live) to be exposed to the veggies!

  • Reply

    Larry Amon

    11 months ago

    Hmm, I’m really glad you posted this topic. It is undoubtedly a question I would have wondered about. I haven’t seen any previews yet. On the one hand I am sure I will thoroughly enjoy the movie and my four year old probably will too. I think your response makes some very good points. Christian film-makers need to know about good storytelling to make good movies. However, one thing I wonder about is, If it’s a good story and points out in a not so blatant way Christian principles, but doesn’t say where these principles come from does it still reach people for God? I really enjoyed the Spiderman movies and others that show us good Godly principles, however I’m not sure it will make a difference in non-Christians lives, if they don’t know what or who the source of all good things is. Like I said I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I will and I’m fairly certain I’ll really enjoy it. In the end I may even say that is the best thing to reach non-Christians. I just thought this was a good topic to think and talk about. By the way I loved your book and it’s message about dreams. I’ll be recommending it to everyone I know has ever had a dream or who enjoys reading about a good story.

  • Reply

    Stephanie Conlon

    11 months ago

    I have a question:

    Is the screening for veggie tales movie in theathers different from the one on DVD or the same?

    (Looking forward seeing the movie, you should do a movie about how the Veggies live their lives off the countertop!)

  • Reply

    steph

    11 months ago

    LET’S PRAISE GOD! YAYAYAYAYA!!!

  • Reply

    steph

    11 months ago

    YA! my message worked, I thought it wouldn’t cause I’m somewhere else. Hey, Phil Vischer check out your comments sometime, you got some awesome messages.

    (Oh ya some time you should how the veggies live their life, like you did for bob in the dvd ‘God made U special’. ok I can’t spell.)

  • Reply

    Tiffany Beth

    11 months ago

    Jennifer’s question made me think of a statement I heard at my church’s last Sunday school meeting. We were discussing some teaching material for the kids, when the assistant pastor surprised us by suddenly saying, “Veggie Tales teaches some pretty good moral lessons, but they never draw it all in to Christ. They don’t specifically teach about Jesus. That’s why I don’t like Veggie Tales.”
    The room turned very quiet. I think half of us were just amazed that ol’ Jeda finally gave a negative opinion of something. And the rest of us were feeling sheepish because we dearly loved Veggie Tales, but didn’t want to waste the meeting in argument over cartoons.
    Anyhow, that little awkward moment got me thinking. Jeda was probably right. Even though Veggie Tales has given me many a delightful story that made me want to improve my character, I can’t say I learned much about the Person Jesus from Veggie Tales. So… Well. All that REALLY tells me is that Veggie Tales better not be my only source of the scripture!
    That’s the most condeming thing I can possibly say.

  • Reply

    steph

    11 months ago

    Ya but God says never to create an image of himself, because God is no idol we should worship. We should believe in God through faith. And Ya, I guess your right, but maybe veggie tales is an example of how we should live our lives or how the chirstains live their lives today and if you read the old testament, not only in Isaiah and Jerimiah, but in other parts of the bible they all tell of Jesus’s coming. But some of the stories like ‘Little Joe’ & ‘Moe and the Big Exit’ are suppose to tell how God led the Isralites through Moses and how God took care of Joseph and his brothers and all of Egyht, God uses people as his tools on earth to bring us closer to him and to get our reward in heaven! Remember God knows what that person is like before that person was even born! Don’t you remember the easter veggie tale show, how the told about how Jesus was born, lived his life, died, and rose 3 days later? They showed us that w/out God we a worthless! Besides Veggie tales is suppose to be a starter for us to read the bible, to encourage us to find out ourselves instead of relying on a church or a pastor to preach to us every Sunday, we should rely on God’s Holy spirit to lead us, not on each other! C’mon people THINK!

  • Reply

    Brian

    11 months ago

    Just got back from my local Family Christian Stores, and they bad a bunch of new Veggie Pirates stuff! It’s about time they made a Mr. Lunt plush toy. I’m just really sad that the shirts don’t appear to come in my size. I also saw the new trailer, and it’s a lot better than the first trailer that was with Evan Almighty. “Guys…there’s bubbles” haha. (One thing I don’t like is that so far, I’ve counted two bathroom jokes, both of them coming from Mr. Lunt)

  • Reply

    Beth

    11 months ago

    Thanks for posting this Phil! I had the exact same question and you have a great answer.

    God bless
    ~Beth

  • Reply

    Sandy

    11 months ago

    This is off topic, but I would love to hear your take on “The Golden Compass”

  • Reply

    Lisa S.

    11 months ago

    Sandy, I got this link from a friend a couple weeks ago. My kids go to a Christian school, and they are warning the families about The Golden Compass, since it’s being marketed to “look” like another Narnia.
    FYI: http://snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

  • Reply

    Matt

    11 months ago

    I think Christians sometimes have a narrow view of art of what God can use. Having said that I also think that there is a great amount of bias against Christianity and this idea of Separation of Church and State seems to be applied to children’s cartoons.

    Wasn’t the secularizing of the Veggie Tales on NBC a big issue?

  • Reply

    mrs. the cucumber

    11 months ago

    very interesting

  • In a way I could see why a questions like this would come up. Afterall, the point of all VT episodes is to teach something about God. I believe this is in part why Vt has been so popular. Yet I have to wonder, can`t a Christian just simply have some clean fun? I think this is what you were getting to here Phil. You just meant the film to be light hearted and fun and at the same time give out a good message Biblically based. I hightly doubt you water down anything and I while I haven`t seen the movie yet, I truly do believe the presence of who God is and just what He can do is in this film. I say this because for some reaon, at the age of 17 yrs old, even VT episode has touched me in very personal ways. They have taught me about who God is and His will for me. I can`t think of this movie being any different.

    Oh, and bytheway, Happy Thanksgiving Phil! ;)

  • Reply

    KennyB

    11 months ago

    I got to see Pirates in Nashville a couple of weeks ago. Took the kids with me and asked them if they got the “God” part of the story, especially at the end. They didn’t so we talked about it; then they got it. Sometimes that’s what you’ve gotta do with a parable! Jesus sure had to do it plenty. You know, if the movie had a Bob/Larry/Qwerty countertop scene at the end, it could make the meaning more obvious. While that may not work in theaters, I think something like that could make a great bonus DVD feature. Just a thought! I liked Pirates even more than Jonah (which I truly did not expect) and I’ll be taking a group from our church on opening weekend. And I’ll probably pre-buy the DVD when the time comes. You outdid yourself Phil!

  • Reply

    James Finn

    11 months ago

    Phil,

    The site looks great. Really enjoyed the section detailing the ups and downs of doing VEGGIE TALES. My daughter is a big fan of the show. I’m developing a concept for a kid’s show now, my blog (listed in url above) tracks my progress. Best of luck

    James

  • Reply

    Brian

    11 months ago

    What I want to know is… Is this movie supposed to be a sequel to Jonah?

  • Reply

    Craig

    11 months ago

    Well, when you come in with post #35, there isn’t much to add that hasn’t already been said. I went to the screening this past Monday and took 3 of my children (17, 12, 10) becasue I’m a die-hard Veggie lover and they could have just stood on the screen for 90 minutes and I would have applauded. So I watched my kids watch the movie to get their reaction – and they were absolutely glued to the screen. They laughed (loud and often), the clapped, and at one point early on in the movie in a scene involving Pa Grape, I thought my youngest was going to cry. To be honest, I think this is your best work to date. While it may not be a Bible story, the spiritual overtones are very apparent throughout. Parable is good descriptive word for the movie. Anyway, I will be back at the theater opening night (with all my children) to see it again. Bottom line – it is that good.

  • Reply

    Pastor4kids

    11 months ago

    First, I want to say that I adore VT (and Penguins!). I enjoyed watching the veggies with my son (who is now 15) and now I’m doing the rerun thing with my daughter who is 4 and is loving them.

    Being a CP, I make a point to watch the cartoons and pre-teen shows. It’s hard for me to believe that with all the ones out there full of sexual innuendos, disrepect, profanity (yes, even on cartoons), witchcraft and lack of morals – we’re hammering Phil for not being “Christian enough” in a VT movie.

    I’ve had this very discussion with other parents – my husband inlcuded – because of VT & Penguins being on the Saturday morning lineup and him compromising his Christian values to get them there. I think it’s crazy to believe this. I’m a believer that even without the scripture quoting, the Veggies we all love are still making an impact on the lives of children. How many of us have purchased a video because it’s a cartoon your kid watches on TV and they want to watch it more than 1 time a week? I did this week – a Hollie Hobbie. Parents will go out – purchase the videos, and hear the scriptures. If it was written, produced, directed, and marketed by Christians, Can it not be a Christian video – even if it doesn’t include scripture? We accept music by Christian artists on their cd that doesn’t always include a direct lyrical mention of God.

    My husband and I have different viewpoints of this conversation but recently, we have been discussing the topic of where to send our daughter to Kindergarten next year. She’s been attending a Christian preschool for the past 2 years. It’s costly and we live right next to the Elementary school (which is free) that our son attended. I pusing the point that she’s learned so much and I like hearing her sing the praise & worship songs, hear her quoting the scriptures, retelling the Bible stories. Thinking I would get a real aha! moment. My husband replied “Shouldn’t that be the responsiblity of teaching that at home?” Won’t she still hear them at church?” Being her mother AND her Children’s Pastor, it made me sigh and realize, it IS my responsiblity. We push it off on other organizations, movies, books, programs, etc…and are irritated when it’s not happening the way we want it to when in reality, it’s not their place – but ours as the parent to be teaching them of the Lord.

    Thanks to Phil for his creative resources to help us do that. Whether it’s the Pirates or LarryBoy, whether it’s the video with the scripture or the Sat morning version without – we can sit there with them and talk about how they were following (or not) God’s Word and thank God for Christians like Phil and Big Idea who made it fun!

    I have had this very discussion with other parents and my husband.

  • Reply

    Australian mum

    11 months ago

    Thanks Phil – especially for the point about STORY. We get so caught on the lesson we forget that our faith is full of stories – that sometimes have to stand on their own… and stories by Lewis and L’Engle and the like continue the tradition – stories for which you can say, “I don’t know if this happened, but I know that it is true.” Let’s keep on sharing stories…thank you Phil for yours!

  • Reply

    Brian

    11 months ago

    I just got the VeggiePirates Resource DVD in the mail. After watching the clips from the movie, it’s hard for me to understand why that IMDb reviewer couldn’t find the Christian message. Maybe I will feel differently when I see it all in context with the rest of the film, but right now, the theme/lesson seems very clear to me, and it’s a great one!

    I don’t like it when Christian filmmakers say “okay, we have a story…now how can we get a lesson into it?” I’m glad that’s not what’s happening with VeggiePirates…
    Just the basic concept of VeggiePirates is both hilarious and a great lesson all at the same time. The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything having to become real pirates…that’s funny. But there’s also a great Christian theme in that idea! God calls all of us to be “heroes,” and He often picks the most unlikely people.

    After seeing the clips, I have a better feeling about the film. Still can’t help but be a little pessimistic because of the decreasing quality of recent Veggie episodes, but I really like the clips I have seen.

  • Reply

    Alex King

    11 months ago

    Awesome post! It’s good to hear someone talking about Christian worldview in movies as opposed to saying that they must have explicit Christian messages. The first definitely the more powerful. Can’t wait to see the Pirates movie.

  • Reply

    SolShine7

    11 months ago

    Nicely said!!! I agree with your perspective on film.

  • Reply

    Mark Wood

    11 months ago

    Well, this is exactly why I feel that Veggie Tales are so much better than the more strident sort of material. Scripture, and the themes embodied therein, work so much better when you examine and discuss them as part of everyday life than when you whack someone in the face with the text. I think Christians should be grateful that we have a few people among us who understand what stories are and know how to tell them.

    I believe it was Erma Bombeck who observed that liver with cookies on it will not fool anyone. Veggie Tales are good cookery: tasty, satisfying and nourishing. I’m looking forward to another helping.

  • Reply

    Josh

    11 months ago

    Actually, I kinda wanted more Veggietales that were based on the actual characters of Bob and Larry, such as the second part of “God wants me to forgive them?” which is why I was so disappointed the Bob and Larry movie was dropped. Hope the Pirates movie goes well so BaL might return to production!

  • Reply

    Suzanne Sinachack

    11 months ago

    We saw the movie 4 times! I heard the good messages loud and clear. My son, who is 7, can explain in great detail the moral of the story. It is so refreshing to hear such encouraging words through a funny, adventurous film.

  • Reply

    MR Jones

    11 months ago

    Mr. Vischer,
    I think your a wise and gifted story teller, and as such, I have always admired you. Never the less, I have somewhat against thee, and if you’re as wise as I have always believed you to be, I would hope you will read the following in the knowledge that wise men sometimes become wiser in reproof from people who disagree with them.

    You are correct, Sir, in that Jesus spoke in parables and intentionally vieled hints such that only those who were meant to understand WOULD understand. But at one time in VEGGI history, the intention was to write messages so clearly and plainly that even a 5 year old could understand them. The disciples – though they were rough, uneducated men by worldly standards- were middle-aged, heavenly minded people, hand picked by Jesus, and even THEY had trouble figuring out what Jesus was saying, sometimes. That in mind, are parables with no interpretation thereof the best way to reach a 5 year old?
    If form follows function, and the general function of VEGGIETALES is to point 5 year olds and older in heaven’s general direction, why in the world would you make your form purposely vague?

    You also spoke of C. S. Lewis and J. R. Tolkien and how they wrote cryptic Christ symbols into their books. As someone who didn’t know or care about the spiritual signifigance of either authors until age 18, I can tell you that subtle hints of Jesus can go ignored for years. You are welcome to disagree, Sir, but sometimes blunt, obvious, unbuffered, unabashed truths simplify a man’s testimony quite a lot; regardless of how “churchy” or preachy critics might think he is, at least they would bloody know what side he’s on.

    Bless you on the movie success just lately. I take it by the possitive reviews under your blog that there are people who agree strongly with your parable approach. May God bless you in your ministry, and if he is (and you are) willing grant you the means by which to make more movies and shows to come (if you ever get ’round to making the Bob and Larry movie pf which you spoke in your book, I will most assuredly go to see it.

    Earnestly Yours,
    M R Jones

  • Reply

    TaylorG

    11 months ago

    Hey, I just finished reading your book, Me, Myself, and Bob, and of course I was wondering about this movie, seeing as well… you know…. It was made after Johnah… Anyway I saw the movie, and I have always been a HUGEANTIC fan of the Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything, so I was completely ecstatic when it came out. Most of my friends say that I have completely outgrown Veggie Tales (my fourteenth birthday is coming up here) but I highly disagree. Veggie Tales is and will always be my favorite show EVER.
    ~sincerely
    “Tay Tay”

    PS I read your book for school so now I have to make a cereal box based on you. :D Soon as I’m done, I’ll send you some pictures of it! ^-^

  • Reply

    Lindsay

    10 months ago

    I just wanted to say that I had been mistaken and wrote on here, in response to your “What happened to Big Idea” that I thought you weren’t involved anymore and that was the reason for the “Pirates” movie being so different. Now that I’ve done my research, I see that you DID write the movie and are still plenty enough involved with Big Idea–just enough to let your relax and let your creative juices flow into your next project! I’m thrilled for you! And I may not have been perfectly happy with how “Pirates” was, without talk of God, etc, but now I at least know why it’s like that, and I’m happy. Honestly, that scared me at first so I’m glad you answered this woman’s question. Anyway, I’m sorry I hadn’t done my research–it was actually a great movie now that I know that this new company wasn’t trying to take out God. All the recent Veggie videos have been wonderful, actually. God is obviously still in control! Yay!

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