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Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie - Click to view! JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE (2002)
Starring Lisa Vischer, Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, and Tim Hodge.
Written and Directed by Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer.
MPAA rating: G

One must wonder at a company who chooses vegetables to become the characters of a children's series. That is almost planning for failure, not to mention all the infinite veggie puns: "Get your daily dose of veggies!" "Quit eating your veggies and watch them!" "Stock up on vitamin V!" and a host of other groaners. But children (and almost everyone else for that matter) quickly took to the lovable produce.

Here, 9 years after the first Veggie Tale (Where's God When I'm Scared) was released, Big Idea enters the world of feature films. Disney and Dreamworks move over.

Bob the Tomato is driving some kids to a "Twippo" concert when a wreck involving a guitar, underwear and a posse of porcupines leaves them stranded at a back-road seafood restaurant. Here they meet the three "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" who regale the group with the story of one of their former passengers who went by the name of Jonah. In this version, Jonah's camel wears a monocle, the Ninevites are in the habit of slapping people with fish, and there is a "traveling buddy" for Jonah whose name is Khalil. He is a caterpillar (well, half caterpillar at least) and serves as a sort of "Jiminy Cricket" to Jonah. After the pirates have finished the story the kids have a better understanding of compassion and mercy.

The writing was typical of Big Idea—Truth mixed with slapstick. Not a single nanosecond drags along. The music is great. Gospel group Anointed gets veggie-fied for a song played in the belly of the big fish. When the credits roll you are treated to a poppy song written by Newsboy Peter Furler and Steve Taylor, followed by a hilarious song by the veggies that is not to be missed. A brainy fact for you to amaze your friend with after you go see this flick: A fish's gastric juices affect the melanin in skin first. This is why Jonah comes out looking kinda "bleached" and why God grows the weed to protect Jonah while he watches Ninevah. Without that shade, Jonah would have fried to a crisp. Go therefore and be brainy.

If you are a long time fan of Veggie Tales you will love Jonah. If you haven't really seen the Veggies, this is a great way to get inducted to veggie-mania. If you don't like the veggies, stay at home sitting in the dark repeating to your self over and over "I am a stick-in-the-mud." And then go see the movie.

* Insert favorite veggie pun here *
- Melissa Miles
October 2002
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