VeggieTales is a children's animated series created by Big Idea featuring anthropomorphic vegetables in stories conveying moral themes based on Christianity.
Phil originally started out in 1990 when he wanted to use candy bars as a basis. However, his wife obejected the idea as she thought it was a bad influnce on kids. So he drew a cucumber and thought that was the best choice, vegetables. He chose these objects as he said they were easy to animate as compared to characters with limbs, clothes, or hair because of the limitations on 3D graphics during the early 90s.
Phil then joined with Mike Nawrocki, who they both did puppet shows in Bible college. Phil did one on "The Princess and the Pea," but telling it from the Pea's perspective, but never made it as a puppet show. Ultimately, the sketches Phil drew became the basis for VeggieTales.
The name itself came from Mike Nawrocki, as he felt it was a good title as it was about vegetables telling stories.
While Toy Story is considered the first animation film to use computer imagery for film, VeggieTales is the first video series using that type of animation prior to the film's release.
The series started with only either one or two episode(s) per year, until the company grew and produced three videos per year as of 2014. In 2016, no new episodes of the series were produced, likely due to Big Idea being too busy making and focusing on the Netflix series.
According to Phil in a recent podcast, Netflix will release 11 minute shorts exclusively along with new redesigns of the original cast. Not much is said about them, though Phil says that they have colored iris', similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, and their mouths are more dynamic. He also says that Archibald's hair looks swirly.
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