Big Idea Entertainment
Founded in 1989 as "GRAFx Studios" by Phil Vischer, Big Idea Entertainment, LLC (officially established as "Big Idea Productions" in 1993) is an American animation production company best known for its Christian computer-animated series VeggieTales. In 2003, the company was acquired by Classic Media due to bankruptcy. In 2012, Classic Media was acquired by DreamWorks Animation, which in turn was bought out by NBCUniversal in 2016 for $3 billion. Their VHS and DVDs were released by Word Entertainment, Lyrick Studios, HiT Entertainment, Warner Home Video, Sony Wonder, and now Universal Pictures Home Entertainment. In 2018, at the Christian Worldview Film Festival, Mike Nawrocki confirmed that VeggieTales was no longer in production and that he wasn't working on any new content for the series. In April 2019, however, it was announced that the Trinity Broadcasting Network would be airing new episodes of VeggieTales under the name The VeggieTales Show on their network. The first episode to be released was The Best Christmas Gift, which premiered on iTunes and DVD in October 2019, and on TBN on Christmas 2019.
1st Logo (December 21, 1993-August 3, 1997)
Logo: Simply the text "Big Idea Productions" on a white background with "presents" under it. Both are in the Palladium Thin font.
- This logo was used as an in-credit logo on the first VeggieTales video Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, but the color was inverted.
- A closing variant is at the end of God Wants Me to Forgive Them?!?!, without "presents" but with copyright info. The color is also inverted.
- Spanish and Chinese variants exist.
Music/Sounds: None or the dialogue of Bob and Larry, as part of the VeggieTales intro.
Availability: Seen in the intro on all VeggieTales videos from 1993 to 1997. The first tape to have this was the 1993 VHS of Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, and the last tape was the original VHS of Josh & The Big Wall! from 1997. The Spanish variants can be seen on the beginning of the Spanish dub of the aforementioned show, and the VeggieTales episode ¿¡¿Quiere Dios Que los Perdone?!? (God Wants Me To Forgive Them!?!). The Chinese variant can be found on the Chinese dub of the aforementioned show.
2nd logo (January 3, 1995-October 19, 1996)
Logo: On a white background, we see a still of the VeggieTales characters Larry and Bob (a cucumber and tomato, respectively) smiling at the viewer. Between them is "BIG" and "IDEA" in a warped Palatino font. Underneath the logo is a copyright notice.
Variant: On The Toy That Saved Christmas, the logo is slightly smaller.
Music/Sounds Variant: On Rack, Shack, and Benny (1995 VHS), we hear Bob saying "I'd like to get out now!"
Availability: Rare. It can be seen at the end of VeggieTales: Are You My Neighbor (1995 release). This variant is reused in all known prints of The Toy That Saved Christmas. This one is also on the back cover of all VeggieTales tapes from 1995-1997, and 1998-2000 Lyrick Studios & Everland Entertainment VHS copies of Where's God When I'm S-Scared? and Are You My Neighbor?, plus on the sticker label of all Lyrick Studios releases of VeggieTales tapes and some Lyrick Studios tapes with an ink label similar to the ones on the Word Entertainment VeggieTales releases from 2000 and later.
Legacy: The incorporation of Bob, Larry, and the warped text is a much-needed dose of personality; and also marks the establishment of a surprisingly long-enduring logo concept.
3rd Logo (January 13, 1997-October 29, 2005)
Logo: Against a white background, we fade into Larry and Bob in-between the "BIG IDEA" phrase as before; except the "BIG IDEA" text is in a smaller size and is more generic in appearance. Larry is also busy looking towards the text, with his back towards the viewer as a result. Suddenly, the "BIG IDEA" text pops up and turns into the same warped font as before, with the text in a slightly thicker font and with the size of some of the letters being slightly different than the last logo. The "A", however, is not its actual size. This startles Bob and Larry, who then look at each other. Bob motions towards Larry to look at the screen; followed by both characters facing the viewer and grinning as they do in the previous logo. The "A" then slightly grows into its actual size. Copyright information appears below. The end result looks like a refined version of the previous logo.
Trivia: This logo is referred to by Vischer and Nawrocki as the "A Pop" on VeggieTales audio commentaries. Work on the logo was done on Silicon Graphics desktop workstations. It was animated in SoftImage on a renderfarm server known as "Lumpy."
- In some cases, a still shot of the logo is already formed, but no copyright stamp is present. A variation of this has "P R E S E N T S" underneath. This was only seen on the 1999 Word Entertainment VHS release of Very Silly Songs!.
- The logo's animation may start when Larry and Bob look at each other. Also, a larger and bolder 1998 copyright stamp appears below the finished logo. This variant of the 1997 version can be found on the 1998 reissues of Where's God When I'm S-Scared?, God Wants Me to Forgive Them?!, Are You My Neighbor?, Rack, Shack, & Benny, Dave and the Giant Pickle, and Very Silly Songs!, as well as the 2001 Word Entertainment VHS release of The Toy That Saved Christmas.
- Another variant of the 1997 version starts at the beginning of the logo, while retaining the large 1998 copyright stamp. This variant of the 1997 version can be found on the 1998 reissues of Larryboy! And the Fib from Outer Space and Josh and the Big Wall.
- In the logo's later years, it was further from the screen. The registered trademark ® symbol also appears to the right of the logo.
Technique: The characters' animations, and the letters popping up. Simple but effective CG animation.
Music/Sounds: Just a suction sound when the "A" pops up. None for the still versions. Sometimes, it's the closing theme of the show. Most episodes have a specific sound play when the "A" moves, like:
- Rack, Shack and Benny (2002 DVD): The whooshing of the spoon being flipped out of the sink.
- Dave and the Giant Pickle (2004 DVD): The sound of the pebble hitting Goliath's head.
- Larry-Boy! ...And the Fib from Outer Space!: A plunger's suction.
- Duke and the Great Pie War: A poodle bark.
- Lord of the Beans: "Bacon! It's a longshot."
- Lyle the Kindly Viking: Lyle saying "Yeah!"
- King George and the Ducky: The squeaking of a rubber ducky.
- An Easter Carol: One of Mr. Nezzer's mechanical chickens squawking.
For a full list of sound effect variants, see this link.
Availability: Rare these days, but can still be seen on VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins! shows of the time. The last show to use this was LarryBoy: The Cartoon Adventures. The last appearance of the "A Pop" overall was on a teaser to Gideon: Tuba Warrior, which was released on November 4th, 2006, though there are speculations that the "A Pop" is still intact on a screener DVD of Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler.
4th Logo (1998-2006)
Logo: It's the same as the second logo, but Bob and Larry have been cleaned up a bit to look more as they do in the third logo. Their position and size has also been changed so that they are more pronounced against the "BIG IDEA" text, and they don't cast a shadow like they do in the other logos. The word "p r e s e n t s" is below the logo.
- Some releases use "p r e s e n t s" in a font that resembles Aharoni, while others use "P R E S E N T S" in Century Gothic. Sometimes "p r e s e n t s" is not below the logo.
- One variant featured the logo without "p r e s e n t s" underneath, and a copyright information of 2001 in Roman numerals in a thin font appears to the lower center right of the logo.
Technique: None. Only the copyright information ((C) MMI) appearing for the second variant.
Music/Sounds: None or the VeggieTales intro theme.
Availability: Seen in the intro on all VeggieTales videos from 1998-2006. It can be seen as a simple home video still logo on some tapes. The version without "presents" was seen on Larry-Boy & The Rumor Weed. This is also on the back of the cover of VeggieTales tapes from 1998 to 2000. The second variant was only seen at the end on the rare VBS tapes to promote Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie.
5th Logo (1999-March 3, 2015, December 2015, October 22, 2019-)
Logo: On a white background, we see Larry and Bob preparing to give their trademark smiles, but the "BIG IDEA" text (now in a thicker and more consistently-sized font) is flipped backwards. Bob takes notice of this, and looks at the logo with Larry. Then, Larry bumps the I, causing the "BIG IDEA" text to shake a little and rotate towards its usual position. As this happens, Bob is forced to move backwards as the text swings towards him. Bob then jumps into the D to get back to his position, only to get stuck. As Bob squeezes through to free himself, Larry tries to move out of the way; only for Bob to bounce into him anyway after freeing himself. Larry helps Bob into his normal position, and the two grin at each other before giving their trademark smiles. Starting in 2007, a byline for the respective company appears below.
- 2007-2009: "An Entertainment Rights group company"
- When this logo debuted, and then starting with Minnesota Cuke and the Search for Noah's Umbrella, the byline is missing.
- On some occasions, the logo is still.
- On TV, the logo is already formed, with Bob and Larry grinning.
- In the trailer and at the end of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie, a still version with a black background and white text is used.
- Another still version appeared on a white background, with "p r e s e n t s" below the logo in a Century Gothic font. This version is used at the beginning of VeggieTales videos from 2006-2008.
- The logo also looked different when it debuted from 1999 to 2001. In this variant, the "D" is slightly wider, Larry and Bob look more straightforward, and the logotype looks less bold.
- A special still version was used in 2003 to celebrate the company's 10th anniversary. In this still version, the logo is on a funky gold emblem. The logo is in the middle, and the text "10TH ANNIVERSARY" is at the top and is curved. At the bottom of the emblem is a gold banner that is curved down, which has the text "1 9 9 3 - 2 0 0 3" on it. This was used on previews for VeggieTales releases in 2003.
- Yet another special still version was used in 2008, this time to celebrate the company's 15th anniversary. The logo is on a shiny silver emblem (which looks a little more simple than the 2003 version), and the logo is in the middle. Bob and Larry look much cleaner in this version. The text "15 YEARS" is at the top and is curved up, like the 2003 version. At the bottom, the text "1993-2008" (a dot is used instead of the "-") is shown (however, it is on the actual emblem instead of on a banner and is curved up). Like the 2003 version, this was also used on previews for VeggieTales releases in 2008.
- On a 2015 airing of The Toy That Saved Christmas on Telexitos, the logo cuts in abruptly after the credits with no fade, and the credits song plays over the logo with no sound effects whatsoever. It's also sped up slightly.
- The logo was reanimated in 2020 to match the modified character designs. The logo is mainly the same, but the smiles at the end are more awkward and Bob and Larry don't freeze. Also, when Bob gets stuck in the D, the rest of the letters in "IDEA" move and rotate in reaction to Bob's actions.
Technique: CGI animation. For all the still variants, none (of course). The 2020 variant was animated by 88 Pictures.
Music/Sounds: A 4-note jingle that suddenly goes down pitches and stops. This is followed by sound effects accompanying the actions, then a relaxing 8-note string tune (which is the same music from the start). Sometimes, it's the closing theme of the show. None for the still versions; however, for the 2003 and 2008 still versions, it's the opening theme of the preview.
Availability: Very common. The animated version was first seen on Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie and The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, as well as newer VeggieTales and 3-2-1 Penguins! episodes. The early still version from 2000-2001 is seen on King George & The Ducky, Lyle the Kindly Viking, 3-2-1 Penguins: Trouble on Planet Wait-Your-Turn!, and other VeggieTales videos of the time. However, the logo itself actually debuted as a print logo in 1999, as seen on the back of the VHS cover of the Lyrick Studios copy of Madame Blueberry and a preview for Larry-Boy & The Rumor Weed. It also appeared on a 2015 rebroadcast of The Toy that Saved Christmas on Telexitos, plastering the 2nd logo and broadcasts of VeggieTales on the Smile of a Child block of the Trinity Broadcasting Network. The logo returned on The VeggieTales Show.
Legacy: Same as the 3rd logo. The 2020 reanimation in particular is a fabulous update, thanks to the enhanced animation quality and added quirks given to the characters and letters.
6th Logo (November 26, 2014-September 15, 2017)
Logo: We see the Big Idea text in its typical style as well as a byline reading "© [YEAR] Big Idea Entertainment, LLC. All Rights Reserved." Bob and Larry (in their VeggieTales in the House designs) drop down from the top of the screen to their usual positions and smile with wide open grins.
Variant: From 2015-2017, the copyright info now reads "© [YEAR] DreamWorks Animation Television, Inc. All rights reserved."
Technique: CGI animation.
Music/Sounds: The end theme of the show.
Availability: It appears on VeggieTales in the House episodes on Netflix. Last used on VeggieTales in the City, which released its final season on September 15, 2017. Despite the character redesigns, the VeggieTales episode Noah's Ark used the previous logo.
Legacy: This logo is not nearly as well liked as the previous ones due to using the much-hated character redesigns, which would be reverted back with The VeggieTales Show in 2019. The logo is also much less inspired than the third and fifth logos, despite having better animation.
Here is some information about the copyright stamps for Big Idea:
- 1994: Copyright MCMLXXXXIV Big Idea Productions, Inc.
- 1995-2006: © [YEAR] Big Idea Productions, Inc.
- 2006-2010; © [YEAR] Big Idea, Inc. All rights reserved.
- 2010-2015; 2017-: © [YEAR] Big Idea Entertainment, LLC. All rights reserved.
As of 2015, copyright info is for DreamWorks Animation Television.