For Christians growing up in the 1990s, the Veggie Tales series was something of an institution. Featuring characters like Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber, this musical computer animated series brought Bible stories to a generation.
The series was created by Phil Vischer, who quit his job in video production to pursue a show with his own characters and then-new technology.
According to Vischer, the show was initially financed by an anonymous cheque for $400.
At the height of its popularity, the show had a large
crossover audience. Debuting in 1993, it has sold more than 75 million videos
and aired on Pax TV, NBC, and Netflix.
“We were showing up on the bestselling charts for all of video, not just for Christian video,” Vischer told NPR.
“To me, that was indication that God wanted me to build something huge.”
People who like to talk to tomatoes were denied new episodes of the show for some time, however, as rights to the series passed through a number of owners.
A more recent iteration of the series saw a secular version of Veggie Tales that sought to impart ‘values’ to children, sans any explicitly religious message.
In April, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) announced that the series would return, with a new season that emphasised Christian values and stories.
The new show will start with a Christmas special, which aired on TBN on 22 October and is expected to release on DVD and digital platforms in December.
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor