Big Idea Entertainment

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Big Idea Entertainment, LLC
Subsidiary
Founded 1989; 29 years ago (1989) (GRAFx Studios)
1993; 25 years ago (1993) (Big Idea Entertainment)
Founders
Key people
  • Mike Nawrocki
  • (Executive Vice President)
  • Leslie Ferrell
  • (General Manager)
  • Tim Hodge
  • (Director)
Products VeggieTales, 3-2-1 Penguins! and other faith-based products
Owner Comcast
Parent

Big Idea Entertainment (simply known as Big Idea, formerly known as Big Idea Productions and Big Idea, Inc.) 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.

As soon Veggietales was cancelled in March 2018, its HQ in Nashville closed, but some of the company's operations continued.

Company history[edit]

Big Idea was founded in 1989 under the name GRAFx Studios by Phil Vischer to create graphics in television commercials. That same year 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.[1] 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.[2][3] 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.[4] 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 April 28, 2016, NBCUniversal announced it would be acquiring DreamWorks Animation for $3.8 billion.[5] The sale was completed on August 22, 2016.[6][7]

On July 3, 2018, Vischer confirmed that Big Idea's offices in Nashville closed. The employees continue to work for Big Idea and have not been laid off.[8]

VeggieTales history[edit]

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)[9] and on Netflix where DreamWorks Animation Television produced two series, VeggieTales in the House[10] (which ran from November 26, 2014 to September 23, 2016) and VeggieTales in the City (which ran from February 24 to September 15, 2017).

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Released films[edit]

# Title Release date Co-production with Budget Gross RT MC
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

Direct-to-Video programs[edit]

# 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 21, 2002 June 10, 2003

Television specials[edit]

# Title Release date Network
1 VeggieTales Christmas Spectacular! December 19, 1998 PAX

Television series[edit]

# 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Big Idea Productions, Inc. -- Company History". Funding Universe. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  2. ^ http://www.philvischer.com/phil-news/what-happened-to-big-idea-part-10
  3. ^ Hertz, Todd. "Big Idea Loses Suit". Christianity Today. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "Boomerang buys Big Idea". ChristianCinema.com. April 6, 2009. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  5. ^ "Comcast's NBCUniversal buys DreamWorks Animation in $3.8-billion deal". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 28 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "Comcast Completes Its $3.8B DreamWorks Animation Purchase". Deadline.com. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Comcast's NBCUniversal completes purchase of DreamWorks Animation". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 23 August 2016. 
  8. ^ 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.... https://t.co/nCwNjEItW8"". Twitter. Retrieved July 4, 2018.  External link in |title= (help)
  9. ^ Munoz, Lorenza (September 23, 2006). "NBC Issues New Explanation for VeggieTales Cuts". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 15, 2009. 
  10. ^ Brian, Matt (March 13, 2014). "Netflix's three new originals include 'Shrek' and 'Madagascar' spin-offs". Engadget.com. Retrieved April 5, 2015. 

External links[edit]