Mike Nawrocki - News Poster


Win a VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess Prize Pack!

Big Idea Entertainment is proud to release their newest DVD VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess . God.s Little Girl, available at Christian retail stores August 11th and everywhere August 14th and M&C.s giving away a VeggieTales: The Penniless Princess Prize Pack - which includes a Penniless Princess DVD, Girl's Journal and Activity Book, Princess and the Popstar DVD, Songs for a Princess CD and more. In this Veggie-version of the children.s book A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett, Larry the Cucumber stars as Captain Crew and helps to teach an important lesson about knowing your own true worth to his young daughter, Sarah, even if only through his spirit. Sweet Sarah has everything a little girl could want.
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Win a VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men Prize Pack!

The VeggieTales are back! Big Entertainment has released VeggieTales: Robin Good and His Not-So-Merry Men. M&C is getting in on the Veggie fun by giving away a prize pack that includes Robin Good DVD, Robin Good & Sweetpea .Motion. Puzzles, VeggieTales Bandages, VeggieTales Stackable Blocks, Veggiecations Books (Colors, ABC.s & 1-2-3), VeggieQuest Game and more! In this Veggie-version of the classic tale, Larry the Cucumber stars as Robin Good, a fearless man who roves the town of Bethlingham with his band of merry men to help people by fundraising from the rich and giving to the poor! But when a greedy Prince starts stealing the townspeople.s hams, donations are down and Robin.s friends take off and decide to
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Get a VeggieTales Easter Basket!

It is Easter time, and M&C.s giving away a VeggieTales Easter Basket - which includes the VeggieTales newest DVD .Twas The Night Before Easter. and other VeggieTales goodies! From Big Idea Entertainment, VeggieTales: .Twas The Night Before Easter. features plenty of fun music as well as a new character.Cassie Cassava.voiced by American Idol top finalist Melinda Doolittle. Other memorable family-friendly content includes silly songs, interviews and a backstage pass feature with Larry the Cucumber on the .VeggieTales Live!. tour. DVD Synopsis: It.s Easter time in Crisper County and cable news reporter Marlee Meade is hunting for a way to help others. She cooks up a plan to save the old theater with a cast of costume-clad townies, massive
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[DVD Review] Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

It’s easy (maybe even fun) to dismiss so-called “value-based media” on the basis that it’s sanctimonious, condescending, and inaccessible to anyone who might gain something from watching it. It’s even easier when it’s aimed at children, who tend to be more forgiving of material that is exceptionally poorly executed. But in a media landscape with clowns to the left and sermonizing to the right, VeggieTales is actually a refreshing addition. While other works of this nature tend to neatly divide its world into the righteous and the damned, VeggieTales endows its characters with a surprising dimension, and allows them to interact with the clearly established morals of the story in a recognizably human way. Even if the animation never quite equals the other talents on display, VeggieTales is a step in the right direction, and Jonah is a solid representation of that.

While driving through the
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DVD Playhouse--March 2011

DVD Playhouse—March 2011


Allen Gardner

127 Hours (20th Century Fox) Harrowing true story of Aron Ralston (James Franco, in another fine turn), an extreme outdoorsman who finds himself trapped in a remote Utah canyon, his arm pinned between two boulders, with no help nearby, no communication to the outside world, and dim prospects for survival, to say the least. Director Danny Boyle manages to prove again that he’s one of the finest filmmakers working today by making a subject that is seemingly uncinematic a true example of pure cinema. Inventive, breathtaking, funny, and horrifying, often all at once. Amber Tamblyn and Kate Mara make a memorable, brief appearance as hikers who connect with Ralston during his journey. Also available on Blu-ray disc. Bonuses: Commentary by Boyle, producer Christian Colson, co-writer Simon Beaufoy; Deleted scenes; Featurettes. Widescreen. Dolby and DTS-hd 5.1 surround.

Amarcord (Criterion) Federico Fellini’s Oscar-winning, autobiographical classic might
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Lionsgate Announces The Miracle Maker and VeggieTales Easter Blu-ray Titles

Lionsgate has announced a pair of animated biblical Blu-ray and DVD combo pack releases priced at $19.99 each are coming March 8 in celebration of Easter.

First is Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, the first feature-length film starring the goofy and amusing VeggieTales gang lead by Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber. As the name implies, the film will retell the story of Jonah and the Whale with a comedic twist as only VeggieTales can deliver.

On a more serious note is The Miracle Maker, the popular clay animation starring the voices of Ralph Fiennes (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1), William Hurt (The Incredible Hulk), Miranda Richardson (Fred Claus) and Alfred Molina (The Sorcerer's Apprentice). The Miracle Maker tells the story of Christ and will feature over three-and-a-half hours of bonus features.

I'll pass along cover art and Amazon pre-order links for each title as they become available.
See full article at TheHDRoom »

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie
January is rarely the month of the year that comes to mind for quality family films, but the creative minds at Big Idea, home to the Christian-based animated VeggieTales franchise, buck that trend with the unspooling of Universal's The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie.

Following 2002's theatrical feature Jonah plus innumerable direct-to-video offerings and a TV series, Pirates scores with adventure, humor and a morality tale rather than a standard biblical message. Cannily riding the wave of Disney's blockbuster pirate trilogy, and borrowing heavily as well from Baum's The Wizard of Oz and others, this briskly paced voyage should bring the pre-tween set aboard.

Like Jonah, the new film is framed by a contemporary story, but the framing is more polished than that first feature six years ago. Set "somewhere in the 17th century," we meet Prince Alexander and Princess Eloise, just as their ship is attacked by their jealous, peg-legged uncle Robert the Terrible and his pirates. A feisty Alexander is kidnapped, and, interestingly, he is held captive -- and contributes virtually nothing -- for the remainder of the story.

It is Eloise, with her Franklin Pangborn-like butler-sidekick Willory, who propels the entire action. Via a magic ball, three dinner-theater waiters in the present-day are plopped into the past to assist Eloise: timid Elliot (played by VeggieTales regular Larry the Cucumber), lazy Sedgewick (VeggieTales' gourd, Mr. Lunt) and unsung family man George (Pa Grape).

The five battle obstacles -- including the Island of Walking Rocks -- and encounter a few energetic musical interludes (the B-52's' "Rock Lobster" becomes a rousing closing-credits bonus video, "Rock Monster").

The crew features the usual Big Idea names. This time, co-founders Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer produce (with Paula Marcus), Nawrocki directed and Vischer scripted. Each man provides at least a half-dozen of the lead voices. Computer animation and tech credits overall are excellent.


Universal Pictures

Big Idea/Entertainment Rights Group


Director: Mike Nawrocki

Screenwriter: Phil Vischer

Producers: Paula Marcus, Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, David Pitts

Executive Producers: Mike Heap, Jane Smith, Terry Pefanis

Production designer: Charles Vollmer

Music: Kurt Heinecke

Editor: John Wahba


George, Sedgewick, Willory, Sir Frederick, Mr. Hibbing, Bob the Tomato, Pirate Spy, Pirate Philippe Pea: Phil Vischer

Elliot, Pirate Jean Claude Pea, Theater Foe, Pirate Spy Sidekick, Pirate With Dummy, Rock Monster Father: Mike Nawrocki

Robert the Terrible, the King: Cam Clarke

Running time -- 84 minutes

MPAA rating: G

Uni boards VeggieTales film

Uni boards VeggieTales film
Seeing the green, Universal Pictures has nabbed the theatrical worldwide distribution rights for the family film The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything -- A VeggieTales Movie based on Big Idea's successful VeggieTale franchise. The CG film will be directed by Mike Nawrocki and written by Phil Vischer, the creative force behind the series. Vischer will also serve as executive producer through his Production Company, Jellyfish Labs. Big Idea's David Pitts will produce. The film will feature an original soundtrack by Kurt Heinecke. VeggieTales' second feature film follows the successful 2002 release of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, which grossed over $25 million theatrically. Since 1993, nearly 50 million VeggieTales videos have been sold.

Jonah: VeggieTales Movie

It would take a fairly atheistic grump or vegetarian-hating carnivore not to get some enjoyment from this first feature adaptation of the popular "VeggieTales" children's cartoon home video series. "Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie" employs computer animation to good effect -- visuals are definitely superior to the straight-to-video releases -- for a musical whale-of-a-tale that should engage, inform and amuse parents as well as offspring.

Framing the age-old biblical tale of Jonah in the whale with a contemporary story works well. A van full of Veggies are eagerly on their way to a concert by Twippo, apparently a hugely popular children's entertainer in this very veggie world. As they harmonize, a distracted driver, Bob the Tomato, accidentally runs off the road.

Stranded at a rural seafood restaurant and awaiting a tow, the Veggies, which include Dad Asparagus and the bickering Junior Asparagus and Laura Carrot, meet a lazy trio of scalawag waiters, the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (and are proud of it). But it seems there was one instance, eons ago, when they did help a fellow named Jonah.

The film now turns back centuries to tell the tale of Jonah and the whale. Described in song as a special kind of mailman, a prophet spreading the word of God, Jonah is happily ensconced in the ancient Near Eastern land of Joppa, as we deduce from the catchy ditty "Message From the Lord", which includes the incredibly prescient verse "Don't do drugs; stay in school."

The principal conflict of the film comes down to the fact that Jonah is very content in his homeland, but when instructed from above to travel to Nineveh, a notoriously vile den of cheats and liars, he wavers. Jonah talks the pirates into setting sail for a far-off destination in the opposite direction. Divine intervention brings on nightmares and a churning storm, sending Jonah (and Khalil, a half-worm/half-caterpillar sidekick he has met on board) into the sea ... and the mouth of a gigantic whale.

Three days and nights of contemplation inside the whale cause Jonah to begin to see things the Lord's way. Eventually, he gets the message across to the Ninevites, even if he has not quite yet grasped the importance of forgiveness and mercy.

Computer animation is vivid and sharp, with rich colors compensating for the limited expressiveness artists faced when dealing with big-eyed vegetables. Particularly nice is the sepialike quality of the scene in which Jonah literally hops onto a map of the Mediterranean/Arabia region, providing young viewers with a handy biblical geography lesson.

"Jonah" is full of fun anachronisms that one now expects from children's animation, and this parable does not take itself so seriously as to have no sense of humor. If anything, the shtick flies fast and furious. The songs (composed by a combination of co-writer/directors Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki, plus Kurt Heinecke and David Mullen) are more than adequate for the youngsters in a homily sort of way, though the finale (led by the children's star, Twippo) underwhelms for all its glitz, with rather weak lyrics.


Artisan Entertainment

FHE Pictures in association with Big Idea Prods.


Screenwriter-directors: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki

Producer: Ameake Owens

Executive producers: Phil Vischer, Terry Botwick, Dan Philips

Music: Kurt Heinecke, Phil Vischer

Songs: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Kurt Heinecke, David Mullen

Art director/concept supervisor: Joe Sapulich

Director of animation: Marc Vulcano

Supervising editor: John Wahba

Voices: Jonah/Twippo/Archibald Asparagus/Bob the Tomato/Mr. Lunt/Pirate Lunt: Phil Vischer

Larry the Cucumber/Pirate Larry: Mike Nawrocki

Khalil: Tim Hodge

Junior Asparagus: Lisa Vischer

Dad Asparagus: Dan Anderson

Laura Carrot: Kristin Blegen

Running time -- 83 minutes

MPAA rating: G

See also

Credited With | External Sites