It’s almost time for Veggie Tales

Bob the Tomato, Mr. Lunt, Mr. Nezzer and Archibald the Asparagus are visiting the JBU campus next week on Feb., 21. Well, the voice behind them will. Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales and founder of Big Idea Productions, Inc. will speak at chapel for Leadership week.

John Brown University’s Leadership week has chapel speakers invited by the Soderquist Center, and this year one guest will be Vischer, joining us in the Bill George Arena.

Vischer will speak about trusting God when a person loses everything. His personal testimony of losing Big Idea Productions, Inc. through bankruptcy in 2003 gives him a unique voice among the business leaders the Soderquist Center typically invites.

“Phil’s story of VeggieTale’s amazing success and how he lost it all has led to a greater understanding of who God created him to be,” said the Soderquist Center’s website.

Sophomore Krisha Mason enjoyed VeggieTales as a child and is interested in attending chapel. “It sounds really cool.”

She began watching VeggieTales when she was six or seven, and her favorite was the story of Jonah.

Vischer has given surprisingly candid explanations of what happened to VeggieTales and Big Idea Productions.

“Technically speaking, Big Idea Productions, Inc., the company I started in 1993, no longer exists. It was dissolved in bankruptcy court in November of 2003,” he wrote on his website. “Due to a whole host of unfortunate events, Big Idea fell into bankruptcy in mid-2003. All the assets (characters, films, songs, file cabinets, Sharpies…everything) had to be sold through a public auction process governed by the court to try to repay as many of Big Idea’s creditors as possible.”

Classic Media, a company that owns classic characters and ideas, such as the Lone Ranger and Lassie, created a corporation called Big Idea, Inc., to continue to create VeggieTales. Vischer works with Classic by writing one episode a year, give notes on up to two more episodes that are fleshed out by people in-house and voicing almost half the characters like he used to.

Vischer now owns a new creative shop, Jellyfish Labs, and JellyTelly, an online mini-network partnered with Focus on the Family for children.

Vischer’s book “Me, Myself, & Bob” captures the journey of Big Idea Productions, from the idea of VeggieTales to the auction block.