Monkey Business

Monkey - Wonderblimp of Knowledge

Last year I designed a monkey puppet to join the cast of characters on, a multimedia website venture from Focus on the Family and VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. There’s lots of terrific educational video content on the site and several of the characters have also crossed over into the DVD series What’s In The Bible?

The new JellyTelly site is now live and, for the moment at least, free to watch. It’s a beta site and the creators are considering some sort of subscription model for future content but at the moment the site’s primary source of revenue is donations.

The monkey character is part of a new segment called “Clive and Ian’s Wonderblimp of Knowledge”. Unfortunately I’m not able to embed a clip but you can watch the Wonderblimp segments on this page of

Monkey Puppet is a fun website project from Phil Vischer, creator of VeggieTales. He’s partnered with Focus on the Family to create online daily episodes combining animation, puppetry, and live action to present Biblical concepts to kids in fun and entertaining ways. Sort of like a Christian Sesame Street. It’s really fun stuff!

Much of the site’s content is populated by puppet characters. Recently Phil hired me to create a new monkey puppet for a bit he was working up for the show. He sent me some rough thumbnail doodles and photos of the two puppet characters the monkey would be interacting with. My job was to work up a final design for the puppet, one that would look good next to the other two puppets and feel like it came from the same “puppet world” that they inhabit.

I started with a round of rough thumbnails, playing with various shapes and proportions without deviating too far from the rough design I was given:

Phil picked a design he liked and I sent him some possible color choices. After a few emails back and forth I worked up this final turnaroud for the puppeteer:

Phil recently sent me a photo of the final puppet, and with his permission I’m posting it here:

I don’t know when the episode will go live. When it does it will likely only be available to Jelly Telly subscribers. But if I can get permission I’ll post a screen shot or two.

New DVDs from “VeggieTales” Creator Now On Sale

As I’ve mentioned before on this blog, I’ve had the privilege of doing a little animation for a new series from the Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, called What’s In The Bible?

Partnering with Tyndale House Publishers, Vischer’s plan is to build a library of DVDs that use puppets, animation, and live-action to take you through the Bible from cover to cover, using humor and music to educate people about what the Bible is all about.

Volumes 1 and 2 are now in stores. For now it is only available through Christian retailers, so check your local Christian bookstore or order online from

Here’s a short promo video for the series:

I did some animation work for three segments on Volume 2, including the puppet choir shown in ths video.

More info at the official site. You can also follow What’s In The Bible? on Facebook and Twitter.

“VeggieTales” Creator To Launch New Series

VeggieTales is the best selling direct-to-video series of all time. Phil Vischer, the guy who created VeggieTales, has partnered with Focus on the Family to create a new DVD project rolling out in March called What’s In The Bible? The official website has just launched, including a video teaser.

What’s In The Bible? is a multi-part series that will walk through the Bible from cover to cover using a combination of puppets, animation, and live action to answer such questions as “Who wrote this book?”, “How did we get it?”, “Why do we think we can trust it?”, and “What difference does it make in my life?”   The first two volumes, “In the Beginning” and “Let My People Go”, will be available March 1. Look for them in your local Christian bookstore. I imagine you’ll also be able to order them online.

I had the privilege of doing a bit of animation for the series. Hopefully I’ll be able to post some of that work here in the future. I can’t reveal much about it yet but the segments I worked on were very entertaining and smartly written, presenting substantive content in amusing ways. It was a lot of fun to work on and I’m really excited about the potential of this project.

For the latest info visit the official website. You can also follow What’s In The Bible? on Twitter and Facebook.

EDIT: Here’s a short video introducing the series…

This Just Ain’t Right


Warning: This post is way off-topic. Please indulge me.

I just finished listening to today’s Focus on the Family radio broadcast. The broadcast is an interview with a man named Bill Kennedy who is currently serving a twenty-year prison sentence for white collar crimes. The problem is, a few years ago new proof surfaced to prove his innocence and so far the government hasn’t done anything about it. He’s already been in prison for 14 years, and during that time his children got married and three grandchildren were born. All of which he has missed out on because he is unjustly behind bars.

I’m not a conspiracy kook or a sucker who believes every sob story he hears. But the Bill Kennedy story appears to be very credible and, as a result, very tragic. Focus on the Family is trying to build public support to get some action and have Bill Kennedy freed. You can find out more by listening to today’s radio broadcast, or by visiting If you decide you want to do something about it, here’s a list of phone numbers (PDF) you can call. In a friendly voice, politely ask that the government do something to free Bill Kennedy.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled art blog.