Veggies In The Unemployment Line


Sad news. It appears that VeggieTales may soon be no more.

Big Idea, the studio that fifteen years ago gave us Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato, has recently laid off most of its staff and announced that the company’s owners are facing bankruptcy. Details are posted at Phil Vischer’s blog.

This isn’t the first time Bob and Larry have seen hard times. Phil Vischer founded the company in 1993 and VeggieTales became an overnight sensation in the Christian retail world. The company grew fast and furious but eventually overextended itself. Vischer was forced to lay off staff and in 2003 filed for bankruptcy. He’s written an excellent book about his rise and fall entitled Me, Myself, and Bob ( link) in which he takes full responsibility for his mistakes and shares some valuable lessons that he learned. Terrific reading for anyone interested in Christian entertainment. For the abridged version, read Vischer’s 11-part blog post about his experiences entitled “What Happened To Big Idea?”.

After Vischer’s bankruptcy Big Idea was auctioned off to Classic media who eventually sold it to Entertainment Rights. Due to a number of factors (including a steady decline overall in the children’s video market) Entertainment Rights is now deeply in the red. Hence the massive layoffs. Like I said, Bob and Larry have been through tough times before but this appears to be the worst they’ve ever faced.

I know several Big Idea employees personally and worked with a few of them on the TV series 3-2-1 Penguins! (which was also a Big Idea property). They are all quality people, total professionals who were absolutely terrific to work with. My heart goes out to them and their families as they search for new employment in a less-than-stellar economy. If you think of it, remember them in your prayers.

And if you are looking to hire any animation artists/writers/directors let me know. I’ll be happy to give you some terrific referrals.