Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie
Jonah- A VeggieTales Movie

Directed by

Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki

Produced by

Written by

Phil Vischer
Mike Nawrocki


Big Idea Productions
FHE Pictures

Release Dates

October 4, 2002(Theatrical)
March 4, 2003(DVD)

Running Time

83 min

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Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is a computer-animated film based on VeggieTales, produced by Big Idea Productions and FHE Pictures. Released in 2002, it was the first feature-length film in the VeggieTales series.

The themes of the movie are compassion and mercy. The movie weaves two stories together to illustrate these themes. The first takes place in the current day and concerns a mishap that occurs on the way to a concert. The second, set in ancient Israel, is based directly on the Biblical story of Jonah. Through both stories viewers learn that they must be compassionate and merciful and that all people deserve a second chance.

This movie features the popular "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" in both segments. They were first seen in the Silly Song of the same name in Very Silly Songs! and later hosted The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown.



The movie opens on a Volkswagen Bus where Bob the Tomato is driving some of the Veggie children to see the popular singer "Twippo" in concert. Junior Asparagus, Laura Carrot, Percy Pea, and Annie are happily singing while Dad Asparagus plays the guitar and the harmonica. Dad is supposed to be helping Bob navigate, however, and instead keeps hitting him with the guitar. Meanwhile, Laura is taunting the other children because she won a backstage pass in a contest and will get to meet Twippo after the concert.

Bob loses control of the vehicle when the guitar gets caught in the steering wheel, and Laura loses her ticket out the window. They narrowly avoid hitting a family of porcupines who take out the front wheels of the van with their quills. The vehicle goes careening down a hill and stops just short of a river.

Unable to proceed, they take refuge in a nearby fancy French/seafood restaurant. But conflict is tearing the little group apart: Bob blames Dad Asparagus for crashing the car, and Junior blames Laura, repeatedly telling her that she's getting what she deserves. Junior, sitting at a table alone is met by the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. The Pirates say he was tough on his friend and encourage him to show some compassion. To illustrate, they begin to tell a story (which they claim to have experienced, despite it clearly being set in ancient times).

Jonah is a prophet who receives messages from the Lord and delivers them to the Israelites. He is popular among the people and rather enjoys his role. One day, God asks him to deliver a message to Nineveh, a rough and dangerous city in Assyria where people slap each other with fishes. The Israelites fear and hate the Ninevites; Jonah too hates Nineveh and does not want to go there. He questions God's will even though it is clear the God intends to show mercy to the Ninevites.

Jonah panics and decides he wants to go as far from Nineveh as possible. He tries to get a ticket on a cruise going to Tarshish, "the other end of the world", but voyages that far are rare and he can't get a ticket. When he spies the Pirates' ship docked in the harbor, he asks them to take him there. They resist on account of the fact that they don't do anything (and therefore don't know how to sail), but Jonah is able to persuade them, with the simple statement, "Money is no object".

On the pirate ship Jonah is wracked with guilt and goes below deck to sleep. There he meets Khalil the Caterpillar, a traveling rug salesman. Khalil recognizes Jonah and goes on at length about how great and famous and wonderful Jonah is. He mentions Nineveh in the course of his rant, and Jonah, feeling even more guilty, now falls into fitfull sleep.

Jonah wakes from a dream to find the ship beset by a great storm. Captain Pa concludes that the storm has been sent because God is angry at someone on the ship. They all play Go Fish to determine who it is: the loser will be thrown from the ship. The game concludes and Jonah is lost the game. He admits his fault, confesses that he is running from God, and is forced to walk the plank. With Jonah off the ship, the skies clear immediately.

The Pirates attempt to reel him back in with a life belt, but a whale swallows Jonah. It also swallows the life belt which, attached to the ship, imperils everyone on board. They fire the cannon at the whale but are forced to use a bowling ball as ammo. Unfortunately for Khalil, he was relaxing in the ball. The whale surfaces and swallows the ball, simultaneously releasing the life belt. The ship is spared.

Inside the belly of the fish, Jonah is visited by a host of God's messengers. They break into a rousing gospel number about how God is a compassionate and merciful god, a God of second chances. They explain that if Jonah repents then God will grant him a second chance too. Jonah vows to go to Nineveh if God shows him mercy, and he and Khalil are spit up onto the shore.

Jonah proceeds straight to Nineveh as promised. He is refused entrance to the city and in relief turns to go. But before he can get away, the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything appear. They have won the Mr. Twisty's Twisted Cheese Curls Sweepstakes that includes a tour of the factory in Nineveh. They sneak Jonah into the city disguised as "cheese goblins".

Once in the city though, they are all arrested for the theft of Cheese Twists. Their punishment is to be the "Slap of No Return", demonstrated to be a lethal blow. But before their deaths they are granted an audience with King Twistomer who turns out to be the source of the likeness on the bags of Cheese Twists. Apparently Ninevites take their snacks very seriously and put a pumpkin and swosh and splattered. When King Twistomer hears that Jonah has survived in the belly of the whale, he listens to his message. Jonah delivers the message given to him by God. He tells them they must repent, amend their ways, and stop slapping people with fish. King Twistomer and the Ninevites put up no resistance and quickly repent.

Jonah still doesn't get it though, and from a distance waits for God's wrath to destroy Nineveh. But the fire and brimstone never come. Khalil gets angry and tries to explain that God is compassionate and merciful, that he has granted the Ninevites a second chance, and that so too should Jonah. But Jonah, feeling pathetic and self-important, can't accept that. The story ends with Jonah abandoned on a cliff overlooking the city.

Back in the present day, the Veggies understand the point of the story. Bob forgives Dad Asparagus and agrees to give him a second chance; Junior gives his Twippo ticket to Laura. Twippo, who looks and sounds remarkably like Jonah, appears in the restaurant unexpectedly and the movie ends with a grand musical number.

However, after Twippo's song ends and before the credits begin, a tow truck driver, who looks and sounds remarkably like Khalil, walks into the restaurant. Twippo asks him, "Have we met?", referencing that Twippo is Jonah and the tow truck driver is Khalil.


Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie weaves two stories together. The first takes place in the current day and the second in Ancient Israel and Assyria. The characters that appear in each setting are listed here:

Current Day

  • Bob the Tomato as himself
  • Dad Aspargus as himself
  • Junior Asparagus as himself
  • Laura Carrot as herself
  • Percy Pea as himself
  • Annie the Celery as herself
  • Phillipe and Jean Claude as restaurateurs/themselves
  • Larry the Cucumber as Pirate Larry/himself
  • Mr. Lunt as Pirate Lunt/himself
  • Pa Grape as Captain Pa/himself
  • Archibald Asparagus as Twippo
  • Khalil the caterpillar as the tow truck serviceman/himself

Ancient Times

  • Archibald Asparagus as Jonah
  • Larry the Cucumber as Pirate Larry
  • Mr. Lunt as Pirate Lunt
  • Pa Grape as Captain Pa
  • Mr. Nezzer as an Israeli merchant
  • Jimmy Gourd as an Israeli mailman
  • Jerry Gourd as an Israeli milkman
  • Scooter Carrot as Angus, seller of cruise tickets
  • Mabel and Penelope as Israelites
  • Various other gourds, carrots, and peas as Israelites
  • Cockney Peas as the Ninevite Guards
  • Carrots as Ninevites
  • Khalil the Caterpillar as himself
  • Reginald, Jonah's camel as himself
  • King Twistomer as himself

Production and marketingEdit


  • Billy Joe McGuffrey, sung by Dad Asparagus and the Veggie children
  • Drive into the River, Bob, sung by the Veggie children
  • Steak and Shrimp, sung by Phillipe and Jean Claude
  • The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, sung by Pirates Larry, Lunt, and Pa
  • Message From the Lord, sung by Jonah and the Israelites
  • It Can Not Be, sung by Jonah
  • Ding Dong, sung by Pirate Larry and Pirate Lunt
  • Second Chances, sung by the Heavenly Gospel Choir
  • Jonah Was a Prophet, sung by Twippo and the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything
  • In the Belly of the Whale, sung by Newsboys under the closing credits
  • The Credits Song, sung by Larry, Mr. Lunt, and Pa Grape under the closing credits


In 1999, Phil Vischer proposed a film adaptation of the VeggieTales based off the story of Jonah. The film's script and songs were completed later that same year. On February 16, 2001, Big Idea announced that the film will be released sometime in 2002, and second teaser trailer was released in March 15, 2002. The film was the first to be animated entirely in Autodesk Maya. Before the film's release, Vischer predicted that the film would break even if it grossed $25 million.

It was released on VHS and DVD in March 4, 2003 by Lionsgate and re-released on January 29, 2008 by Word Entertainment. It was released on Blu-ray in March 8, 2011.


Theatrical Trailers Edit

  • Teaser Trailer #1 (February 16, 2001)
  • Teaser Trailer #2 (March 15, 2002)
  • Rare Teaser (March 2002)
  • Theatrical Trailer (May 24, 2002)