Big Idea was founded by Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki in 1989 as GRAFx Studios. The companies' original motivations was to create graphics for commercials. That same year was when Phil created the short Mr. Cuke's Screen Test.
The short inspired them to create VeggieTales, and they released Where's God When I'm S-Scared?
According to Phil Vischer, the company was originally located at a screw factory. They then moved to Chicago suburbs in 1997 with the purchase of the DuPage Theater in Lombard, Illinois. For the production of Jonah, the company expanded to the rental offices at Yorktown Center.
After Jonah's release, Big Idea filed for bankruptcy. Phil Vischer sold the company to Classic Media and then left the company to work on Jellyfish Labs. Big Idea then moved from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee.