Trailer for “What’s In The Bible?” Vol. 12

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What’s In The Bible? is the latest DVD series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Volume 12 will be released on DVD August 27. I designed the character of Paul. It’s a really fun, well-made series for kids and grown-ups alike. You can watch sample clips at

Character Designs For “What’s In The Bible?”

As some of you know, one of my clients is VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer. Over the past few months he’s hired me to do little snippets of animation here and there for his new educational series “What’s In The Bible?”. Recently he wrapped up a 9-DVD series on the Old Testament and started work on the New Testament, which is the part of the Bible that covers everything from the life of Jesus onward.

I’m an OK animator but one of my specialties is character design. I was pretty excited (and a little humbled) when Phil asked me to design several of the major characters from the life of Jesus, including the Disciples. Another artist had already designed Jesus so my job was to create characters that looked like they belonged in the same “world” as Jesus, visually and stylistically.

Animation Character Designs of Apostles and Disciples
(Click to enlarge)


I started with the Disciples. Since I wasn’t animating the characters, only designing them, to simplify things I used only three body types – large, medium, and skinny/small. That way the animators only had to build three “puppets” and then just decorate them with different heads and clothing.

I was also asked to design members of the four major Jewish sects that existed in Jesus’ day – the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and Zealots

Animation Character Designs of Pharisees

The Pharisees (pictured above) were the religious conservatives of their day. They took the Scriptures very literally and were extremely strict about following all of the rules. They were also very self-righteous and spent a lot of time following Jesus around trying to trap him or trip him up.

Animation Character Designs of Sadducees

The Sadducees were sort of the religious liberals of their day in that they held to a looser interpretation of Scripture, even going so far as to say there was no life after death. They were very wealthy and seemed more interested in politics than religion. They bent over backward to keep the Roman Empire happy.

Animation Character Designs of Essenes

The Essenes were a bit like monks. They pulled themselves away from normal society and started communes in the caves and hills, where they spent much of their time praying, reading, and making copies of religious texts.

Animation Character Designs of Zealots

The fourth group were the Zealots. They had a fiery religious passion and they hated being ruled by the Romans. They believed God should be their only ruler, and many Zealots had no problem using violence to achieve their goals. Interestingly, one of Jesus’ disciples (Simon) was a Zealot while another (Matthew) was a tax collector who had spent his life working for the Romans, yet both found peace and friendship through following Jesus.

I also designed the apostles Paul and Stephen, but since they don’t show up until the next DVD I’ll have to wait to show them to you.

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Here’s a YouTube trailer for What’s In The Bible? Volume 10, the episode that uses these character designs. It should be available for purchase in February. In the mean time, Phil Vischer is currently offering a free download of the first episode using this link.  If you have kids you might also want to know about, a subscription site (only $5/month) that gives you instant access to over 100 hours of Christian media for children, including every single episode of What’s In The Bible?. Just thought I’d mention that.

EDIT: Volume 10 is now available for order.

Animation for “What’s In The Bible?” Volume 9

DVD Cover

Earlier this year I animated another segment for the DVD series “What’s In The Bible?” (from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer). Volume 9, “God Speaks”, covers the major and minor prophets in the Old Testament. I was asked to animate five brief clips to illustrate the various categories of biblical prophecy (i.e. instruction oracles, indictment oracles, etc.). I had no idea that scholars divided prophecy into categories, which just goes to show what a quality production this series is. It’s great for all ages. Although primarily aimed at kids, even a guy like me who’s been reading the Bible regularly for most of his adult life can still learn a few things from it.

All of the scenes I animated took place in a courtroom. Below are a few screen grabs, followed by a short DVD promo clip that contains a portion of my animation.

Animation still

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You can order DVDs of What’s In The Bible? from their website or on Amazon.

Animation for “What’s In The Bible?” Vol. 8

For the past couple of years VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer has been working on an ambitous new project called What’s In The Bible? It’s a 13-part DVD series that uses puppets, live action, and animation to educate children and adults alike about the contents of the best-selling book of all time. It’s an entertaining blend of Bible stories, theology, church history, and answers to tough questions, with equal parts silliness and reverence.

I’ve had the honor of animating a few short segments for the series, and it’s been a lot of fun. Volume 8: Psalms, Proverbs, and the Writings has just been released. I  animated a short segment on Proverbs to help explain the difference between being smart and being wise. Unfortunately I can’t post the animation here yet, but I do have permission to show a few screen shots:

Here’s a trailer for What’s In The Bible Volume 8. You can order the DVD here.

EDIT: The client has posted a portion of the animation I did for them on YouTube. For your viewing pleasure:

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Animation for “What’s In The Bible?”

Recently Phil Vischer, the guy who created VeggieTales, partnered with Focus on the Family to launch a new DVD series called What’s In The Bible? In it he uses a combination of live action, puppetry, and animation mixed with some humorous-but-reverent writing to educate both kids and adults about the content of the entire Bible, book by book and story by story. It’s an ambitious project but one with a lot of potential. Volumes 1-3 are currently available on DVD. Volume 4 is on its way with several more volumes yet to come.

I was hired to animate three segments for Volume 2 (“Let My People Go!”). The client has graciously given me permission to post one of those clips on my website and blog. It’s a short bit designed to explain one of those big church-y sounding words, “Redemption”. They provided me with some scratch audio and a rough stick-figure animatic. I animated over the top of that using Flash, and then the What’s In The Bible? editorial team laid in the final audio.

Unfortunately I’m not able to embed this particular clip directly into my blog. The closest thing I could rig up is this: if you click on the image below a Quicktime version of the animation should (hopefully) play in a new window. Or, you can go to the “Animation” page of my website to view this as well as other samples of my animation work.

You can order DVDs of What’s In The Bible? or purchase selected clips for download here. Or just check your local Christian bookstore.

VeggieTales Creator Launches New Series (Video Trailer)

A few days ago I blogged about a new series from the Phil Vischer, the creator of VeggieTales, called “What’s In The Bible?”. Here’s a short video introducing the series:

I’ve had the honor of doing some animation work on the series (including the puppet choir shown in the video). Volumes 1 and 2 will go on sale in Christian bookstores on or around March 1.

You can get the latest info, as well as follow “What’s In The Bible?” on Facebook and Twitter, by visiting the official site.