Recently, Phil Vischer and Tyndale House Publishers announced a joint venture to publish a 13 DVD series for children entitled, “What’s in the Bible?” I just finished viewing two sample DVDs of the material, the first giving an explanation and sneak preview of it, and the second giving a taste of the new characters in action. The first DVD featured Phil Vischer reviewing a brief history of his original vision for Veggie tales and how that vision had been derailed by HR meetings and product decisions, not to mention a lawsuit which caused the business to be sold to a corporation in New York. This series represents a return to his original mission to get kids into the Bible and help them develop a love for it.
Enter the second DVD. As I sat back to watch it load the welcome screen came on, with the character Buck Denver (a traditional puppet in the garb of a newsanchor, pictured above) to the right of the menu. I waited. Buck talked. He tried to get me to click on the screen. I smiled and waited some more. He prodded me, coaxed me, and even gave up finally to get a cheeseburger or some such. I laughed hysterically, clapping my hands at the cleverness of his monologue. It felt like he was really there reacting to my lack of response. And that was just the welcome screen. Already, I was hooked.
Then I clicked on start and the sample chapters played. I was impressed with the intent of helping kids who ask big questions, such as what is the Bible? Who wrote it? Can we trust it? Why does it matter? And so many more.
I have high hopes for this series and will definitely purchase the first couple when they become available in the Spring. At a cool $14.99 per DVD, the price is reasonable.
I am interested to learn how kids will respond to the use of traditional puppets on video, rather than some other form of characters (i.e. digital, animated, 3D, etc). Personally, I thought most of the characters which were revealed were quite funny. The dialogue was age-appropriate, although some of the jokes might go over the heads of younger children. The cultural references were relevant, although they will become dated over the years. American Idol is one such example. I will be trying the sample out with my kids to guage their reaction. That should settle matters regarding my concerns.
Look for this series to come to a Christian book store near you in the Spring of 2010. For more information, you can go to the Tyndale website for product information on the first DVD.
This sample was provided to me by Tyndale House Publishers to review on this blog.