‘VeggieTales’ Celebrates 30 Years of Faith and Fun with Bob and Larry

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The iconic faith-based children’s series VeggieTales turned 30 on Thursday, with fans and filmmakers alike celebrating a project that transformed Christian entertainment and shaped the childhoods of countless individuals.

The first VeggieTales release — a VHS copy of “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared?” — appeared in Christian bookstores on Dec. 21, 1993, according to Lifeway.

“On that day, not even VeggieTales’ creator Phil Vischer could imagine how the series would go on to impact kids and families for the next quarter of a century,” Lifeway said.

Vischer and co-creator Mike Nawrocki launched VeggieTales in 1993 through their new company, Big Idea, taking fans on a journey with Bob the Tomato, Larry the Cucumber, and an eclectic cast of vegetable friends who sang silly songs, recreated Bible stories, and performed skits. Vischer voiced Bob, while Nawrocki voiced Larry.

The series taught children biblical values through cartoons that even parents and teens enjoyed. Eventually, the VeggieTales franchise includes books, toys and theatrical movies.

“30 years ago this week, Mike Nawrocki, Robert Ellis, Chris Olsen, and I packed 500 copies of VT #1 in Robert’s station wagon and drove them to the post office — barely in time for Xmas! And Bob and Larry entered the world!” Vischer wrote Thursday on X, formerly Twitter. 

The idea for VeggieTales idea was birthed in puppetry. 

“We wanted to take what we did in puppetry and put it into video,” Nawrocki said in 2022 in an article on the website of David Lipscomb University, where he teaches. “Larry’s voice, I originally used in puppetry. Phil was a little more serious and driven, and Larry was a little more goofy like me. We related to each other as friends the same way Bob and Larry relate to each other.”

Vischer, in a 2020 interview with Pure Flix, said he decided early in life he wanted to make entertainment that promoted biblical values. As a teenager, he had watched MTV and wanted to produce content that countered the unbiblical content on that popular channel.

“I was only 16, but I knew that the values I learned growing up in Sunday school were not the values that were coming across on many of the music videos that were on MTV,” he said.

VeggieTales sold more than 75 million videos, 16 million books, and 7 million CDs. It streamed on Netflix and aired on NBC, and today can be found on countless platforms. 

Photo Courtesy: ©TBN

Video Courtesy: Veggie Tales Official via YouTube

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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The views and opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the views or positions of Salem Web Network and Salem Media Group.

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‘VeggieTales’ Celebrates 30 Years of Faith and Fun with Bob and Larry