Big Idea Entertainment
|Founded||1989 (GRAFx Studios)|
1993 (Big Idea Entertainment)
|Products||VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins! and other faith-based products|
Big Idea Entertainment (formerly known as Big Idea Productions and Big Idea, Inc., or simply as Big Idea) is an American Christian animation studio best known for its computer-animated VeggieTales series of Christian-themed family home videos. It is a subsidiary of DreamWorks Classics, which in turn is owned by DreamWorks Animation, a subsidiary of NBCUniversal, a division of Comcast.
As soon as VeggieTales was cancelled in March 2018, its HQ in Nashville closed, but some of the company's operations continued.
Big Idea was founded in 1989 under the name GRAFx Studios by Phil Vischer to create graphics in television commercials. In 1991, Vischer created a 12-second short film called Mr. Cuke's Screen Test. This short inspired him and Mike Nawrocki to create VeggieTales in 1993. The company's first video, Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, was released the same year. Rapidly running out of office space, Big Idea relocated to the Chicago suburbs in 1997 with the purchase of the DuPage Theater in Lombard, Illinois. However, renovation delays, unforeseen building conditions, and lengthy zoning battles resulted. In the interim, the company was guided by City of Lombard officials to rent space at the Yorktown Center, a local mall.
In 2003, after management and financial issues and a lawsuit by Lyrick Studios in 2001, Big Idea declared bankruptcy and was auctioned off to Classic Media. After purchase by Classic Media, the company relocated to Nashville in 2004.
In March 2009, Entertainment Rights sold its UK- and US-based subsidiaries, including Big Idea and Classic Media, to Boomerang Media. As of 2011 Big Idea, Inc. has been repackaged officially as Big Idea Entertainment, LLC. In July 2012, Big Idea's parent company, Classic Media, was acquired by DreamWorks Animation and renamed DreamWorks Classics.
On July 3, 2018, Vischer confirmed that Big Idea's offices in Nashville were shut down shortly afterward. The employees continue to work for Big Idea, and have not been laid off.
In March 2019, it was announced that the Trinity Broadcasting Network was picking up the broadcasting rights to a new VeggieTales series to air on their networks. Vischer confirmed on Twitter that he and Nawrocki were both returning to Big Idea as full-time staff to work on the series, tentatively titled The VeggieTales Show.
VeggieTales is a series of children's computer animated films featuring anthropomorphic vegetables and conveying moral themes based on Christianity, spliced with joking references to pop culture and current events. VeggieTales was created by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, who also provide many of the voices. VeggieTales has also been released as books, games, and many other branded items such as toys and clothing. Additionally, the series has been adapted for television broadcast on Qubo (where it aired from September 9, 2006, to September 5, 2009) and on Netflix where DreamWorks Animation Television produced two series, VeggieTales in the House (which ran from November 26, 2014 to September 23, 2016) and VeggieTales in the City (which ran from February 24 to September 15, 2017).
|#||Title||Release date||Co-production with||Budget||Gross||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic|
|1||Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie||October 4, 2002||FHE Pictures||$14 million||$25.6 million||65%||58|
|2||The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie||January 11, 2008||Universal Pictures and Starz Animation||$15 million||$13.2 million||39%||49|
|#||Title||Premiere date||End date|
|1||VeggieTales||December 21, 1993||March 3, 2015|
|2||3-2-1 Penguins!||November 14, 2000||July 1, 2003|
|3||Larryboy: The Cartoon Adventures||March 16, 2002||June 10, 2003|
|1||VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular!||December 19, 1998||PAX|
|#||Title||Premiere date||End date||Network|
|1||VeggieTales on TV||September 9, 2006||April 10, 2009||Qubo|
|2||3-2-1 Penguins!||October 6, 2007||November 13, 2008|
|3||VeggieTales in the House||November 26, 2014||September 23, 2016||Netflix|
|4||VeggieTales in the City||February 24, 2017||September 15, 2017|
|5||The VeggieTales Show||October 2019||TBN|
- "Big Idea Productions, Inc. -- Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Hertz, Todd. "Big Idea Loses Suit". Christianity Today. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
- "Boomerang buys Big Idea". ChristianCinema.com. April 6, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
- "Comcast Completes Its $3.8B DreamWorks Animation Purchase". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- "Comcast's NBCUniversal completes purchase of DreamWorks Animation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 23, 2016.
- Vischer, Phil. "Phil Vischer on Twitter: "Big Idea still exists. The HQ office in Nashville closed. Several people still work out of their homes managing social media and other deals. There could still be more veggies...."". Twitter. Retrieved July 4, 2018.
- "Phil Vischer on Twitter: "Correction - TBN is licensing VT from Universal... they didn't buy it. Bob and Larry still live with Shrek and Donkey and Minions. BUT... TBN is producing new eps and Mike and I are writing!"". Twitter.[non-primary source needed]
- Munoz, Lorenza (September 23, 2006). "NBC Issues New Explanation for VeggieTales Cuts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009.
- Brian, Matt (March 13, 2014). "Netflix's three new originals include 'Shrek' and 'Madagascar' spin-offs". Engadget.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015.