Phil Vischer: What Happened to Veggie Tales and What He’s Working on Now
Veronica Neffinger wrote her first poem at age seven and went on to study English in college, focusing on 18th century literature. When she is not listening to baseball games, enjoying the outdoors, or reading, she can be found mostly in Richmond, VA writing primarily about nature, nostalgia, faith, family, and Jane Austen.
- 2015 Oct 09
Phil Vischer, creator of the popular “Veggie Tales” cartoons, recently shared his thoughts on the series he created and what he is currently working on.
In an interview with The Christian Examiner, Vischer stated, “When I launched 'Veggie Tales,' I was 24 years old. My initial goal was to see if I could make a film successfully. My secondary goal was, 'If I can make a film, can I put Sunday School values in it?' And that ended up going really, really well. My thought was that once I've established that and I have an actual studio, then I'll take kids deeper."
Vischer shared that the time to “take kids deeper,” however, never came, because he became so caught up in a leadership role in his company after “Veggie Tales” became so successful.
He says the vision for “Veggie Tales” became lost and he realized, “‘Wait a minute, did I just spend 10 years persuading kids to behave Christianly without teaching them Christianity?’”
When Big Idea, Vischer’s company that produced “Veggie Tales,” went bankrupt in 2003, he realized her had to make a change.
In 2010, Vischer launched “What’s In the Bible?,” a 13-part DVD series starring a character named Buck Denver who explores the Bible in great detail, teaching children about the Christian faith.
Vischer is currently working on his series “Galaxy Buck” which uses puppets to teach children about the Bible and Christianity.
When asked why he chose puppetry for “Galaxy Buck,” Vischer responded, “I enjoy, with kids, taking a ball cap or taking the end of my jacket sleeve and turning it into a puppet. And young kids are just entranced that you've brought this thing to life that should not be talking. That's the fun of puppetry – bringing something simple to life.”
Vischer also expressed his concerns that people in children’s ministry don’t realize that children are capable of understanding much more than we often give them credit for. He stated that we shouldn’t be afraid to go deep with children when teaching them about the Christian faith.
If we do not, Vischer says, “[W]e end up with superficial adults. I'm very intentionally trying to push kids. I would rather go too deep and lose some, than raise another generation of superficial Christians.”
This is what Vischer is doing with “Galaxy Buck.” Some parents have even admitted that they are learning as much as their children while watching the show.
When asked what his involvement with “Veggie Tales” is today, Vischer said, “Voices, and that’s it. I’m the voices of about half of the characters. But right now the only “Veggie Tales” that are in production are shorts for Netflix.”
Photo courtesy: flickr.com
Publication date: October 9, 2015