Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie | Chicago Reader

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Launched in 1993 from a spare bedroom in Lombard, the “VeggieTales” children's videos have become a phenomenon in Christian entertainment, selling more than 20 million copies and winning a loyal adult following with their sharp humor and state-of-the-art computer animation. This feature-length musical adaptation of the Book of Jonah marks the plunge of creators Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki into theatrical distribution, and though it's aimed at preschoolers, it's tuneful and funny enough to amuse any adult. The prophet (portrayed by Archibald Asparagus) balks when he's ordered to deliver a warning to the sinful Ninevites; he boards a ship headed in the opposite direction, but when it's overcome by a wrathful storm, the crew tosses him into the sea and he's swallowed by a whale, whose belly comes equipped with a righteous gospel choir. Though the story is explicitly Judeo-Christian (and its telling frequently didactic), its point is that God's mercy isn't reserved for any one people—a lesson even secularized parents could make use of right about now. 83 min.

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