Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

 
(i)

 

Entertaining, humorous take on biblical story.
  • Review Date: May 19, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 83 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Jonah is designed to promote values rather than provide information. The terms "prophet," "compassion," and "mercy" are clearly defined. Some geographical locations are shown, specifically Biblical cities in Israel. The visuals include animated characterizations of Middle Eastern terrain, ancient dress, architecture, and music. 

 

Positive messages

Primarily advances the virtues of compassion (when you see someone in need and you want to help) and mercy (when you give someone a second chance even if they don’t deserve it). These two concepts are introduced and cleverly repeated in multiple situations with a variety of characters. Along the way other positive-values messages are delivered: do not fight, do not cheat, do what’s right, don’t provoke, and many more.

 

Positive role models

Leading characters are intelligent, resourceful, courageous, and forgiving. Jonah, the prophet-hero, makes a mistake, realizes it, and seeks forgiveness. Even the meanest people learn the lessons that are being taught and "accept God’s message." An early scene contains some very poor driving skills and irresponsible behavior: looking at a map and being distracted by passengers.

 

Violence & scariness

Cartoon action and suspense throughout. The movie opens with a wild ride in which a van and its passengers careen down a hillside, crash through barriers, nearly run over a porcupine family, and hover on the edge of a cliff. No one is injured. Jonah and his shipmates are caught in a violent storm, but as the ship tosses and turns, all on board play Go Fish and don’t appear panicky. Finally, the mythic whale swallows Jonah (among others), and the prophet does fear for his life.

 

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

VeggieTales is a thriving franchise with toys, DVDs, merchandise, etc.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this full-length movie is a faith-based morality tale like all of the films and products in the Veggie Tales franchise. The moments of peril, such as a raging storm at sea, a van careening out of control on a country road, and Jonah and friend being swallowed by a whale (and worrying about dying), are handled with such a light touch that they are unlikely to scare most children. Jonah may be tossed into the water, but he is wearing a very reassuring ducky lifesaver ring, and the credits explain that no vegetables were hurt in the making of the movie. Jonah’s story references only the Old Testament, except for the presence of a gospel choir and visual images of the cross in one sequence.

What's the story?

In the first Veggie Tales theatrical release, Bob the Tomato and his friend are driving three veggie children to a concert when they meet up with perennial veggie favorites, the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. The Pirates tell the story of Jonah, a messenger who enjoyed delivering messages from God until God asked him to deliver one to a place he didn't want to go to. So, he ended up swallowed by a whale. Fortunately, God believes in second chances, so Jonah ends up just fine and a little wiser, too.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

The Veggie Tales series features computer-animated vegetables and gentle morals that create opportunities for families to talk to kids about the issues that matter most. Though Christian in origin, the values they communicate are universal. The references to God are explicit but nondenominational.

Jonah may be a little long for the youngest fans of the videos, but kids five and up will be delighted with the fast, funny, and touching story. Parents even may find that it goes by quickly, because it has some of the funniest jokes of any movie this year, including those intended for adults.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about their own spiritual views -- and ask children about theirs.

  • Jonah has references to God and the Bible, but do you think the values in the movie are universal? 

  • When we must be obedient and when should we think for ourselves?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:October 4, 2002
DVD release date:March 4, 2003
Cast:Lisa Vischer, Mike Nawrocki, Tim Hodge
Directors:Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Studio:Big Idea
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Ocean creatures, Pirates
Run time:83 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Adult Written byAshnak April 9, 2008
 

Great Cartoon Movie about Jonah

This is a very funny and entertaining story about the biblical prophet.
Kid, 12 years old April 9, 2008
Adult Written bystan April 9, 2008
 

Must see movie for kids

This is a must see movie for kids.... I feel it makes religion fun for kids. My family enjoyed this movie. My kids were telling there friends about it. Go see the movie!

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