What's the latest? Where's Phil? What's going on now? Oh, so much it's hard to know where to start!
As you may have heard, Big Idea is producing a second VeggieTales feature film in partnership with Universal Studios. Way back in 2002 as Jonah was headed for theaters, I wrote a script for a follow-up movie about the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. I had also written a script for a movie about Bob and Larry's origins (called The Bob & Larry Movie), but that script had been set aside due to budget concerns. So I wrote a second script that was simpler and sillier based on those goofy little pirates, and the premise that great adventure can happen when "fake" heroes are thrust into real adventure and forced to become real heroes. (See The Three Amigos or Galaxy Quest for good examples of this premise.) Written in about a month, the script turned out to be a lot of fun, but, like everything else, was lost in the ensuing bankruptcy.
Four years later it's alive again, to be produced at Dan Krech Productions in Toronto (where all post-bankruptcy veggies are produced) and directed by none other than Mike Nawrocki, working off my original script. We actually pitched Jonah to Universal way back in 2001, but that was before Mel Gibson became a "Christian filmmaker" and no major studio was yet interested in the theater-going habits of Christians. All that has changed, and Universal Studios is now an excited partner for Bob and Larry's next trip to the multiplex. The film is currently expected to be in theaters in early 2008. I'll keep you posted.
The Pig Book
My first non-veggie kids book, Sidney & Norman – A Tale of Two Pigs, will be in stores the second week of September! I've got a copy of it in my hand, and it looks fantastic. Justin Gerard did a bang-up job on the illustrations. It's a really touching story – in the line of Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree. Here's the cover. You should be able to find it in most Christian bookstores as well as Borders, Barnes & Noble and others this September.
I have gotten a ton of feedback from people who have read my account on this website of the fall of Big Idea Productions. Literally. A ton. Several business owners have emailed to say they've made it required reading for every employee at their companies. There is much more to that story that still hasn't been told, including how VeggieTales started in the first place and what lessons God has taught me through it all. So much more to tell that I've finally put it all down in a book. That's right – a book for grown-ups! My very first! It's called Me, Myself & Bob, and it tells the entire story of, well, me, myself, and Bob. And bankruptcy court, and what God has done through all of this. It's pretty amazing, really. Thomas Nelson Publishers will be releasing Me, Myself & Bob early next year. I'll keep you posted. Fun, fun stuff.
If you have not picked up Sidney and Norman, you should. It is spectacular, moving and a direct hit with kids.
I agree! I read the book last week to my 6th grade students, many of whom have serious family issues to deal with, and who struggle with self-worth. I watched their faces as I read, and I could tell the story really touched their hearts. I asked them yesterday, in the midst of the 9/11 anniversary, what’s the one thing they should always remember when situations in life become too hard for them to handle. One small boy in the back of the room piped up and said, “Just what Sidney learned: that God loves us, and that God loves us, and that God LOVES us. Isn’t that right, teacher?”
Thank you, Phil Vischer, for touching children’s lives in yet another way.
Heard you on KLRC this week and would love to put a press release about your new pig book in a tab eXtra that I do here at The Morning News. Am working against a friday noon deadline tho. Please send me one and a good jpg of the book’s cover. Thanks, Lana
Hey Phil, love your work.
I will get my hands on a copy of both your books when I have the funds and the access (I’m fro Down Under). I am really liking the personal-ness of this blog. All the best in Jesus’ name…
Great job with the book, it has become one of our bedtime classics…and our new goodnight conversation with the kids is three things:
I love you.
I love you.
and I love you. (Great Stuff)
Thanks again for all of your hard work, and for not giving up when things got tough.
I just went out to the local christian book store and snatched ‘Sidney & Norman’ right up. It’s an adorable book with adorable illustrations! Good job, Phil.
Phil, I couldn’t be more EXCITED about your “book for adults!” I read you whole account of Big Idea here on your web site and found it fascinating. I think it would make a great book; especially for Christians in the business world.
Phil – Just saw your picture in a marriage enrichment magazine (forget the exact title of the publication) and it is awful hard for me to find the little boy (Flip) with the big glasses sitting on the steps at Mulford Evangelical church.
Oops – That should have been Mulford Evangelical Free Church.
I just finished watching your testimony on the Robinsons’ program and the Lord led me to write and thank you for your obedience. I am so thankful for people such as yourself who share their story of how God is moving in their lives. Thank you in advance for “Sidney & Norman”, I haven’t purchased it yet but I know it will be helpful for my two youngest children. My daughter 8, is very organized and moves through life gracefully without much difficulty. My son 7, has autism and things just don’t happen as fast for him. I pray God speaks to them through this book and helps them to understand though very different, they are loved the very same. I pray a blessing over your ministry, marriage and health.
His obedient servant,
Will we be able to order products from your web site?
I just watched you on “James Robison” and I am so encouraged by your words and your faith.
I may be watching my dream die, and to hear your story and then to know to read about the Schulamite woman… wow! I never made that connection.
Thank you for your testimony!!
Also, I am that messy, late, unorganized pig… I have always felt below all others that have it all together… what a wonderful thing to know God loves me too!!
Dear Phil: God bless you. I just watched on TBN and loved your
story. I have not read your book yet but I am going to buy several
copies for give away as Xmas presents. If you decided to
translate it into Spanish, I would love to help you…for free.
LORD BLESS YOU R E A L GOOD!!!! 🙂
Hi Phil, saw you on Life Today show last night. Wondering if you have a written testimony?
Thanks for Veggie Tales. My grandson watches DVDs everyday.
Sidney and Norman – not a great title by the way – but what a great little book. I hope it becomes a classic. I plan on buying it as a Christmas present for several of my favorite little people.
Sidney and Norman, in my humble opinion, is a “Christian” childrens book that reads more like a good “mainstream” book. That’s the ticket. Christian books preach to the choir. This will speak to everyone, equally well. Its message is one that resonates with all ages and reminds us that God’s love, like true success, is not based on money!
Also saw you on LIFE Today. Thanks so much. Been a fan for years and now I’m a student. Much love. Ben
Saw you on James Robison’s show. Didn’t know a lot about the Veggie tales, except that my grandchildren liked them.
After hearing you, I will definitely get the Pig book, and also catch up on the Veggie Tales I never read.
God bless you. You’re a genius.
I just saw you on TBN. What a tremendous blessing you were to me. My husband recently went home to Jesus. There went our dreams for retirement from the secular workplace to full-time ministry where we could give all our time to work for our Lord together. However, like you, His grace and mercy are far greater than even our dreams, no matter how well-intentioned they may be.
Windowhood is not the journey I would have chosen for myself. However, I am thankful for each day, for my God who walks with me is now also my Friend that sticketh closer to me than a brother. It’s a communion that’s more precious to me than life itself. Like you said, He loves me more than anything I could ever do or have ever donefor HIm. Thank you for your words of encouragement. God bless you in your walk with Jesus.
Another example of the Three Amigos/Galaxy Quest theme was called Galaxy Gus, by some company called Big Idea.
God spent the summer taking me by the hand and showed me step by sometimes painful step that He is in absolute control.
I purchased and read “Me, Myself, and Bob ” and “Sidney & Norman”. Both books help to set in my mind what the Lord really wants from and for me. Thank you. I needed to hear that.
I have 3 grandchildren and I have become a huge Veggie-Tales fan watching the videos with them. Now I buy the videos for myself and my husband to enjoy together. On Saturday morning, I sit in frony of the tv with a cup of coffee in hand waiting for the Veggie-tales portion to come on.
I am so glad to hear that you will be involved with V.T. for three more years. Some dreams are worth keeping as long as we can remember who gave them to us in the first place.
May God richly bless you and your family,
In christian love, Nancy Dice