[Screen It]


(2002) (voices of Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki) (G)

Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Tense Scenes
None None Moderate *Moderate Minor
Minor None Moderate None None
Smoking Tense Family
Topics To
Talk About
None None None Mild Mild

Children's Animated: The tale of Jonah and the whale as played and told by a bunch of talking vegetables.
Bob the Tomato (voice of PHIL VISCHER) and Dad Asparagus (voice of DAN ANDERSON) are transporting various VeggieTales kids, including Junior Asparagus (voice of LISAVISCHER) and Laura Carrot (voice of KRISTIN BLEGEN), to a concert by their favorite artist, Twippo (voice of PHIL VISCHER). Laura's flaunting of holding the only backstage pass, accompanied by an encounter with a protective porcupine, however, results in their van breaking down.

Stopping at a nearby seafood restaurant run by several French peas, the group meets Larry (voice of MIKE NAWROCKI), Lunt (voice of PHIL VISCHER) and Pa (voice of PHIL VISCHER) - a.k.a. The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. Having heard Junior complaining about Laura, they decide to tell a tale of compassion and mercy to him and the others.

We then travel back in time to Joppa where the Hebrew prophet, Jonah (voice of PHIL VISCHER), is well-known for delivering the message of God, on the back of Reginald the camel, to the people of Israel. Yet, when he's told to go to Nineveh - a city where cheating, lying and being slapped with fish are common - he defies God since he dislikes those people.

He then decides to travel as far away as possible to avoid going there, and gets a ride from those same pirates They've yet to go anywhere on their ship, but agree to do so since they have no money and Jonah's willing to pay. Onboard, Jonah meets Khalil (voice of TIM HODGE), a half-worm, half-caterpillar who's a born salesman and excited over being paired with the reluctant and cautious Jonah.

Jonah learns that disobeying God's command isn't a good idea when the ship encounters rough weather and the prophet ends up in the ocean where he's swallowed by a whale. Khalil eventually joins him, but Jonah fears he's going to die in the belly of the beast. A holy intervention, however, eventually sends Jonah on his way. From that point on, he sets out for Nineveh where he must deliver the message.

Considering that it's a computer-animated film aimed squarely at them, it's a good bet many younger kids will want to see it (especially if they're fans of the other VeggieTales straight-to-video releases).
For not containing material that would warrant a higher rating.
It's debatable whether kids view animated characters - particularly nonhuman ones - as role models, but here's a quick look at the major characteristics of the main characters.
  • JONAH is a Hebrew prophet who gets on God's wrong side when he disobeys God's command to go to Nineveh to deliver a message. He does so because he doesn't like those people and wishes for their destruction.
  • KHALIL plays the optimistic half-worm, half-caterpillar salesman who accompanies Jonah on his mission.
  • LARRY, LUNT AND PA are three pirates who are known for doing nothing, but who end up helping Jonah on his mission.
  • BOB is an adult tomato who's driving the others to a concert and is upset with Dad Asparagus for not helping with the directions.
  • Dad Asparagus is the adult asparagus who doesn't help Bob with the directions or driving.
  • JUNIOR ASPARAGUS is his son who doesn't like Laura's attitude about her backstage pass and is happy when she loses it.
  • LAURA CARROT plays the young vegetable who flaunts having a backstage pass to a concert.


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.

    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).

    Here's a quick look at the content found in this G-rated kids film. Several scenes/sequences could be disturbing and/or suspenseful to younger kids, but that all depends on the viewers' ages, level of maturity and tolerance for such material.

    Violence consists of various instances of slapstick style material, characters slapping each other with fishes, a porcupine firing some quills and the imagination-fueled, cartoon-like destruction of a city via a lighting bolt. Various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes, a few imitative phrases are uttered and the film has a strong Christian message for those who will or won't like that.

    If you're still concerned about the film and its appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home who may be interested in seeing it, we suggest that you take a closer look at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.

    For those concerned with bright flashes of light, some of that occurs during a thunderstorm at sea scene.

  • None.
  • None.
  • It's possible that those who don't believe or follow Judeo-Christian tenets might not like or agree with the film's obvious religious message.
  • Laura flaunts/brags that she's the only one with a backstage pass to see Twippo. Junior later has a "she deserves it" attitude toward her after that behavior and then her losing that pass.
  • Jonah states he doesn't like the Ninevehites, disobeys God's command to go there with His message, and then wishes for their destruction after delivering that message.
  • Jonah tells the locals a white lie that there is no message from God when there is one and they ask him about it.
  • We hear that one of the Pirates may have stolen some junk food (that he had hidden beneath his hat).
  • Younger kids may find the following as unsettling or suspenseful, but many older kids probably won't.
  • Bob's van goes out of control down the road at night when Dad Asparagus accidentally rips the steering wheel off the steering column. We then see a mother porcupine and her two youngsters crossing the road (and kids will worry that they'll be hit - but they aren't). The van then careens down a hill (with the occupants looking scared) where it runs into and then stretches out a clothesline. The individual lines then break and the van again heads down the hill toward a lake where it slams into a tree stump (the airbags deploy in front of Bob and Dad Asparagus, but no one is hurt).
  • Jonah, Khalil and the Pirates go through a rough storm at sea with big waves, lots of lightning and some suspenseful music.
  • As Jonah floats in the water by himself, some "Jaws" like music begins to play and he nervously states that something bumped him from below. The Pirates then try to throw a life preserver on a line out to him while we see the shadow of an enormous figure passing beneath the water. A large mouth then comes out of the water around Jonah and he's swallowed (along with the life preserver) by a whale. It then yanks the pirate ship through the water. The whale then also swallows a fired bowling ball in which Khalil is riding.
  • While inside the whale's cavernous belly, Jonah then states that he's going to die there (kids might worry about that - but everything turns out okay).
  • After some guards arrest them, we see that Jonah (with Khalil behind him) and the three Pirates are separately tied up. Large fish are propped up above them, and the King orders that they see what will happen to them ("The Slap of No Return" -- such a fish is cut and swings down where it smashes into a pumpkin). The rope holding the fish above Jonah is nearly cut, but that never happens.
  • A few characters hold spears (with fish on the end rather than blades).
  • Canon: Used to fire various pieces of sports equipment at a whale.
  • Phrases: "You lousy leaf eater," "Fish slappers," "Mr. grumpy pants" and "You are pathetic."
  • Various characters are seen in several scenes slapping/hitting each other with fishes.
  • None.
  • A moderate amount of suspenseful music plays in the film.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • None.
  • The film's religious message and unique retelling of the story of Jonah and the whale.
  • The film's message of compassion, mercy and giving others a second chance (even if they don't seem to deserve them).
  • Bragging about something you have that others don't.
  • Dad Asparagus accidentally rips the steering wheel off the steering column with his guitar, causing a van to go out of control. A mother porcupine - to protect her young - then shoots quills into the tires, blowing them out. The van then careens down a hill where it eventually slams into a tree stump (the airbags deploy in front of Bob and Dad Asparagus, but no one is hurt).
  • The mother porcupine then fires one quill into Bob's backside.
  • Some slapstick style material includes the following: While playing the guitar, Dad Asparagus accidentally whacks Bob on the head with it several times; some of the characters accidentally smash into each other while coming out of a revolving door; Johan runs headfirst into a sign that then swings back and smacks him in the face; the pirates accidentally bump their ship into smaller ones as they leave port; a whale spits out Jonah and Khalil who land on a sandy beach quite hard (but are okay); and a fleeing man accidentally smacks into a canyon wall.
  • Two peas smack each other with fish.
  • In Johan's view of Nineveh, we see various characters slapping each other with fishes. He then imagines God zapping the city with a huge lightning bolt that vaporizes the place, and then a second bolt takes out the lone survivor (no graphic details and played for comedy).
  • An outboard motor on the pirate's ship goes out of control on the deck and eventually smashes through the side.
  • We see various characters in Nineveh hitting each other with fish, and we see Jonah's point of view as such a fish comes at his face and apparently knocks him unconscious.

  • Reviewed October 14, 2002 / Posted October 18, 2002

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