JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE
Review by Ruth E. Ferguson
Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer and others
Director: Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Stereo
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen 5.1, Full Frame 1.33:1
Features: See Review
Length: 83 Minutes
Release Date: March 4, 2003
“My mother was a caterpillar,
my father was a worm, but I’m comfortable with that now.” -
Khalil, the caterpillar
2002, Big Idea Productions and Chordant took their immensely popular VeggieTale
characters from the little screen to the theater for their first feature film, Jonah
– A VeggieTales Movie. The
film is a clever re-telling of the well-known Biblical story of the prophet
Jonah, a messenger from God, who received a rather unwanted assignment, a trip
to Ninevah to tell the citizens of the city to change their ways.
is a delightful film and like many recent successful animated kid flicks, very
funny for children and adults alike. There
are so many little jokes and moments – far too many to list – but just a few
of highlights include a prayer for a dearly loved rubber ducky, a Motown-like
gospel choir and those sinners in Ninevah who are notorious fish slappers!
addition to well-known VeggieTale characters like Bob the Tomato and Larry the
Cucumber, Jonah introduces new members of the Veggie Tale family –
including the two French peas running the seafood restaurant and the
scene-stealer Khalil, a Persian rug-selling caterpillar.
have said it is not as good as Pixar’s films, but it is very comparable,
especially considering their much smaller budget and staff. The colors are vibrant and crisp really enhances your
enjoyment of the movie.
with most kids’ films, the soundtrack is an important element of the movie.
The audio for the disc is crystal clear and enhances the fun of the
small sampling of the bonus materials on the two discs include:
Main Menu on the Bonus Disc features two French peas, talking while busy working
at their Seafood restaurant. The
menu vignettes are so funny, that you occasionally forget to make a selection.
And you have so much to choose from:
Behind the Scenes, The Music, Bonus Material Trailers & Previews, and
Fun! Each selection leads you to
another menu of four or five choices. With
over five “making of” featurettes you learn all you want to know and more
about how the film was made, including the fact it took about 500 computers to
generate the final renderings of the animation.
the Movie –
Creators Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki discuss why they chose this particular
Biblical story and how the assigned the popular Veggie Tale character to
particular roles for the film. It took more than two years to create the film, which included
a year of hiatus while they beefed up their staff for their first feature film.
first disc includes three audio commentaries – creators Vischer and
Nawrocki; producer Ameake Owens and director animation Marc Vulcano; and Larry
the Cucumber and Mr. Lunt.
Music – The
Veggie Tale franchise has sold over not only 30 million videos since their debut
in 1993, but also over three million albums.
So, it is no surprised to find an entire section of the bonus disc
devoted to the music of the film. In
addition to “Scoring A Movie,” there are music videos by Chris Rice, the
Newsboys, and Superchick.
Studio Process –
Short feature walks the audience through the process of making a CG animated
film. Beginning with the story, to
storyboards where they bring visual life to the story the follow the process
through to the end. Fans of
animation will find this interesting look behind the scenes.
–The tour serves as an opportunity to introduce you to the staff behind the
Veggie Tale franchise. The studio
is actually housed in an old mall store, hence the non-working escalators.
Their studio is not luxurious digs, it is pretty much what you expect for
a place of creative computer geeks – cluttered but colorful.
Do not watch the visit to the regrettable edible collection of one
employee on a full stomach; trust me there are food items out there you do not
want to know about!