Fruity Fables

December 2019 View more

While most vegetables don’t have a terribly long shelf life, for many kids who grew up in the ’90s—and their parents—the biblically inspired songs and stories from the popular computer-animated series VeggieTales are likely as fresh in the mind today as they were almost two decades ago. 

Now, after a long period of shifting ownership and sporadic production, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber are back out of the crisper with new adventures and a renewed spirit, compliments of original creator Phil Vischer. As part of a partnership between Trinity Broadcast Network and Universal, Vischer is once again overseeing his whimsical characters in 18 new episodes of the beloved show (including the holiday-themed “The Best Christmas Gift”) streaming on various platforms, airing on TBN and available on DVD.

“We’re going back to the classic format of VeggieTales, which was shorter stories that teach biblical values through retellings of Bible stories,” says the 53-year-old Wheaton resident. “There are also short little segments that are just goofy fun, which is something that Veggie-Tales has always been known for. Kids love stories, and parents love it when those stories bring faith to life.”

Wheaton resident Phil Vischer revives VeggieTales for a new generation

And Vischer loves the idea of being back in the writers’ room finding new ways to tell those stories with the characters that have been such a huge part of his life. Bringing spiritual lessons to kids through animated vegetables may have seemed like a crazy notion when he was first starting out, but more than 25 years later, it would seem that his faith in Veggie-
has been confirmed.

“I’m kind of a silly person,” Vischer explains. “Once I figure out what I want to teach, I just play around until I come up with a weird, unexpected way to teach it. So if the obvious choice might be to set a story about kids in a school or at home, I’ll put them on the moon instead, or maybe replace the kids with robots. It makes it more fun to write, and more fun to watch.”

Photo courtesy Veggietales