Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
|Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Phil Vischer|
|Produced by||Ameake Owens|
|Written by||Phil Vischer|
by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki
|Music by||Kurt Heinecke|
|Edited by||John Wahba|
|Distributed by||Artisan Entertainment1|
|Box office||$25.6 million|
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is a 2002 American computer-animated Christian musical comedy adventure film produced by Big Idea Productions and released by Artisan Entertainment through its F.H.E. Pictures label. It is the first feature-length film in the VeggieTales series. The themes for the film are compassion and mercy, using two stories as illustrations. The first takes place in the current day and concerns a mishap with Bob the Tomato and Dad Asparagus on the way to a concert; the second, set in ancient Israel, is based directly on the biblical story of Jonah. Through both stories, compassionate and mercy play a role in giving people a second chance. The film also features the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything in both segments who were first seen in the Silly Song of the same name in Very Silly Songs!.
Most of the animation was done in house by Big Idea Productions.[not verified in body] Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie premiered on August 14, 2002, at a Hollywood movie theater[which?] and came out as a regular release two months later on October 4, 2002. The film also came out on VHS and DVD on March 4, 2003, as a worldwide home video release in both full-screen and anamorphic widescreen formats with a two-disc collector's edition. A DVD reprint with the feature and bonus features was released on January 29, 2008, by Word Entertainment and on Blu-ray in 2011 by Lionsgate (Artisan's successor), another reprint was released in 2018 by Universal Pictures (Big Idea's current parent company). It received mixed to positive reviews from critics and grossed $25.6 million against a $14 million production budget.
Bob the Tomato is driving the Veggie children and Dad Asparagus to see the popular singer "Twippo" in concert. During the drive, Laura taunts the other children because she won a backstage pass, which particularly annoys Junior. Meanwhile, Bob is frustrated with Dad for singing songs and playing his guitar instead of helping him with the map. After Laura's taunting distracts Dad and causes him to accidentally strike Bob on the head with his guitar, he unwillingly breaks off the steering wheel. This causes Bob to lose control of the van, leading Laura to lose her pass before Bob reattaches the steering wheel. Soon afterwards, a porcupine shoots out two of the van's tires with her quills in order to protect her babies, causing the van to veer off the road and careens down a hill, stopping short of a river.
In a nearby seafood restaurant, Bob (with a porcupine quill attached to his behind) blames Dad Asparagus for the crash and Junior tells Laura losing her pass was her own fault. While Bob goes to call a tow truck, Junior is met by The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, who tell Junior he was being rather tough on his friend and encourage him to show some compassion. To emphasize, they tell all the Veggies a story about a man of God named Jonah.
Jonah (played by Archibald Asparagus) is a Prophet of ancient Israel who goes from town to town delivering God's messages. But when God asks him to deliver a message to Nineveh, a town notorious for its corrupt citizens, he resents Him and runs away to Tarshish with The Pirates. After leaving port, a guilt-stricken Jonah goes below deck to rest where he meets a salesman caterpillar named Khalil, who agrees to go with Jonah to sell his merchandise.
After experiencing a nightmare, Jonah awakens to find the ship beset by a great storm. Captain Pa Grape concludes the storm has been sent because God is angry at someone on the ship. The group decides to play Go Fish to divine who is at fault. Jonah loses the game and is forced to walk the plank. As soon as Jonah is off the ship, the skies clear. The Pirates attempt to reel Jonah back in, but before they can do so, Jonah is swallowed by a giant whale. The pirates attempt to attack the whale using a cannon with cannonballs and a bowling ball as ammo, but the whale merely swallows the ball (which Khalil is hiding in), disgorges Jonah's lifebelt, and swims away.
Inside the whale's stomach, Khalil finds a grieving Jonah and the pair are soon visited by a host of God's angels, who explain that if Jonah repents, God will grant him a second chance. Upon repenting, Jonah and Khalil are spit up onto the shore, where they ride Jonah's camel Reginald to Nineveh.
As Jonah reaches the entrance, The Pirates appear and help sneak him into the city under the guise of having won the Mr. Twisty's Twisted Cheese Curls sweepstakes. The group is soon arrested after Larry tries to steal the King's Cheese Curls and are sentenced to death. As a last request, they are granted an audience with King Twistomer. Jonah then delivers the message given to him by God that the Ninevites should immediately repent of their ways forever or Nineveh will be destroyed; King Twistomer and the Ninevites quickly agree.
Still expecting God to destroy Nineveh for their past sins, Jonah watches and waits from a distance in the hot sun. God provides a plant to shade Jonah, only for Khalil to eat a single leaf off the plant, which kills it. Jonah laments the dead plant, and Khalil is disappointed Jonah shows compassion for a plant, but not the Ninevites. Khalil then tries to explain God is compassionate and merciful and that he wants to give everyone, both Israelites and non-Israelites, a second chance. Jonah refuses to accept this and states it would be better if he was dead. The story ends with Khalil and Reginald leaving Jonah to his sulking.
Back in the present day, the Veggies are disappointed in the anti-climactic ending, but come to understand the point of the story: God wants everybody to show compassion and mercy, even to those that do not seem to deserve it. Twippo, who bears a striking resemblance to Jonah, then appears in the restaurant unexpectedly and offers to give everybody a lift to the concert, while Bob forgives Dad Asparagus and Junior gives his Twippo ticket to Laura. The film ends with a song and the surprise arrival of the tow truck driver, who is none other than Khalil.
- Phil Vischer as Bob the Tomato / Archibald Asparagus (as Jonah and Twippo) / Mr. Lunt / Pa Grape / Mr. Nezzer / Apollo Gourd (as King Twistomer) / Jimmy Gourd / Phillipe Pea
- Mike Nawrocki as Larry the Cucumber / Jerry Gourd / Jean Claude Pea
- Tim Hodge as Khalil
- Dan Anderson as Dad Asparagus
- Lisa Vischer as Junior Asparagus
- Kristin Blegen as Laura Carrot
- Shelby Vischer as Annie
- Jim Poole as Scooter
In 1999, Phil Vischer proposed a film adaptation of VeggieTales based off the story of Jonah. The film's script and songs were completed soon afterwards. In 2000, Big Idea announced that the film will be released sometime in 2002. A teaser trailer for the film was released with the VeggieTales episode, "Lyle, the Kindly Viking" 1 year and 7 months before the film's release. The film was the first to be animated entirely in Autodesk Maya. Before the film's release, Vischer predicted that the film would break even if it grossed $25 million, and it ended up grossing just barely over that much, at $25.6 million.
- "Billy Joe McGuffrey" 
- "Bald Bunny" 
- "Steak and Shrimp" 
- "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything", sung by Relient K
- "Message from the Lord"
- "It Cannot Be"
- "Second Chances", sung by Anointed
- "Jonah Was a Prophet" 
- "In the Belly of the Whale", sung by Newsboys 
- "The Credits Song" (end credits only)
- "Billy Joe McGuffrey" (Single Version), sung by Chris Rice (soundtrack only)
Jonah was released on October 4, 2002 in 940 theaters, debuting at sixth place with $6.2 million in its first weekend of release. It fell -40.9% in its second weekend, falling to eleventh place with $3.7 million.
At the end of its theatrical run, the film had grossed over $25.6 million worldwide.
Based on 56 reviews collected by review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, 66% of critics have given the film a positive review, with an average rating of 5.86/10. The site's critics consensus reads, "Jonah teaches wholesome messages to children in a funny, bouncy package." At Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 58 out of 100 based on 20 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Pete Croatto of the now-defunct Filmcritic.com praised the film as "a blast of educational energy", later citing it as an example of the surprises critics can find in viewing every film they can regardless of expected quality.
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie was released on a two-disc DVD by Artisan on March 4, 2003. The release includes three different audio commentaries, one by the directors, one by the producer and animation director, and one featuring the directors acting as their respective characters Larry the Cucumber and Mr. Lunt. On the second disc, special features include six featurettes for the "Behind the Scenes" section, five featurettes for the "Music" section, five featurettes for the "Bonus Material" section, five featurettes for young audiences in the "Fun!" section, six trailers, and five Easter eggs. On March 8, 2011, Lionsgate released the film on Blu-ray, with most of the DVD's special features retained.
The commentary featuring Larry and Mr. Lunt has received special praise from home media reviewers. Jeffrey Kauffman of Blu-ray.com stated that it "verges on the surreal and should be enjoyed by those who love Monty Python". David Blair of DVD Talk stated that it was "without a doubt the craziest, outright pointless, and most enjoyable commentary I've ever had the good fortune to hear", adding that he "found it substantially funnier than the movie itself".
In 2008, Universal Pictures and Big Idea, Inc. released a second VeggieTales film titled The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie. It was the first movie from Big Idea that wasn't animated by Big Idea; most of the animation was produced at Starz Animation. Larry, Pa Grape, and Mr. Lunt (as the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything) were the only returning characters from Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and it is not considered a sequel to said film.
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