By Joan C. McKinney, director, Office of University Communications
CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — Phil Vischer, co-creator of VeggieTales and founder of Big Idea Productions, will speak at Campbellsville University two times on Wednesday, Oct. 18, and his addresses are open to the public free of charge. Everyone is invited to both sessions.
Vischer will share his testimony at chapel at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18 in Ransdell Chapel at 401 N. Hoskins Ave., Campbellsville, Ky. 42718. Later, from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m., Vischer will speak to the public, also in the chapel.
“Phil Vischer has worked in the film industry and is a pioneer of Christian animation. He has touched so many young hearts with his VeggieTale characters. We are pleased to have Mr. Vischer here at Campbellsville University sharing his faith and creative experience in the industry,” William Morse, associate professor of art at Campbellsville University, said.
Vischer made his first animated film when he was nine years old and by age 14 was convinced he would be a filmmaker when he grew up.
After a brief stint in Bible College, Vischer struck out on his own, looking for a way to integrate his faith with his filmmaking. This quest led him to a tomato and a cucumber.
The year was 1991, and Vischer was a newly married 25-year-old with no financial backing and no idea how his vegetables would ever see the light of day.
With the help of his wife, Lisa, his college buddy Mike Nawrocki, two art school grads and his church’s music director, Kurt Heinecke, Phil landed VeggieTales videos in a third of American households with young children.
Today, more than 65 million of his groundbreaking children’s series VeggieTales videos have been purchased, and Vischer’s faith-filled stories can be found in one-third of all American homes with young children.
VeggieTales has been featured in major magazines and newspapers and even spoofed by Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.
Although his original company, Big Idea Productions, collapsed in bankruptcy in 2003, he continues some involvement with VeggieTales, while actively developing new ways to integrate faith and storytelling through his new company, Jellyfish Labs, including the new DVD series, “What’s in the Bible?” which is a 13-part DVD series walking families all the way through from Genesis to Revelation, explaining the origins, meaning, and some of the “trickier bits” of the world’s most influential book.
Vischer captured the breathtaking rise and heartbreaking fall of Big Idea Productions in the book “Me, Myself & Bob,” published by Thomas Nelson.
With the bankruptcy of Big Idea Productions, Vischer lost his company, his characters and his dream. He didn’t lose his relationship with God, and he now has a ministry to anyone who has lost a dream.
Vischer is also a frequent radio guest on Family Life Radio, Focus on the Family, Moody Radio and others.
Vischer lives with his wife Lisa (aka Junior Asparagus) and their three children in West Chicago, Ill.