I’m so excited about today’s post! It features an interview with Mike Nawrocki, co-creator of Veggie Tales and voice of Larry the Cucumber! How fun is that?!
Veggie Tales generously, graciously and lovingly sponsored me to the Relevant Conference (which was amazing, by the way and I can’t wait to tell you about it!) last weekend. As part of our partnership, I am going to be posting about their new movie, The Little Drummer Boy (and giving one away soon!). But I really wanted to know the story behind the movie, their collaboration with World Vision and of course, how Veggie Tales feels about impressing kids with God’s Word! So, what better way than to talk to the Head Veggie himself?!
Me: Tell me about The Little Drummer Boy. Why did you guys decide to do a fictional account of the Christmas Story? (Umm, I mean, besides the fact, that you’re telling it with veggies and all that…)
Mike: The biggest challenge we’ve faced with New Testament stories involving the life of Christ actually does “stem” from the fact that we have an all-vegetable cast. From the beginning of the series we decided that we would not portray Jesus as a vegetable. We felt this, despite our irreverence in other matters, would be crossing the line. The Little Drummer Boy gave us a wonderful opportunity for us to tell the story of the first Christmas with its message of love, hope and forgiveness in a way that really worked for VeggieTales. We see through the eyes of Aaron, the fictional Little Drummer Boy, how healing and forgiveness can be found because of God’s gift to us.
You went on a trip with World Vision last summer…where to? What was it like? Did the kids know you as Larry?
It was an amazing experience! The people of Tanzania were so welcoming and gracious. I saw both tremendous need and abundance – in the physical and the spiritual. God is working in amazing ways through World Vision and their staff. It was an honor to get a glimpse of their work. As far as Larry goes, I traveled largely incognito – most kids did not know of the singing cucumber before our visit, but we we’re able to break open the veggie goodie bag for them while we were there!
How does The Little Drummer Boy tie in with what you saw with World Vision? What are you doing together?
The Little Drummer Boy gives a very simple and meaningful gift at Christmas. World Vision, through their gift catalog, provides an opportunity to give simple, yet very meaningful gifts to kids and families in great need. Gifts like goats and chickens that can help feed entire families.
What would you like kids and families response to be after watching The Little Drummer Boy?
To recognize how much God loves us – and that we can forgive because of his gift of forgiveness to us. ”Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32
Anything special we need to watch for in The Little Drummer Boy? Something to make us feel like we have the inside scoop from you?
I have always wanted to animate the “8 Polish Dishes of Christmas” and I’m so excited that we were filly able to do that with this episode. It’s been a favorite of mine since we put out the “A Very Veggie Christmas” audio project back in the 90′s. My background is Polish and I grew up with all the foods that Oscar the Polish Caterer brings to the party. It’s our silly song for the episode and I think it turned out great. It will make you hungry!
The purpose of my blog is to help parents use every resource available to impress God’s Word on their kids’ hearts. What’s one way you were impressed with God’s Word as a child?
As a kid, God’s Word was impressed on my heart most when I saw it acted out. I remember having “new parents” after my mom and dad came to know Christ. I knew it was real because of the difference it made in their lives and how they treated my brothers and I. So then when I heard Billy Graham quote Revelation 3:20, “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.” I wanted to open the door!
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How much did you love that?! How cool is it that Mike remembers when his parents came to Christ? He said they were “new parents” because of their relationship with Jesus. Our children will remember and desire to be like us when we act out our faith in the Lord! I hope these (almost) 31 days have encouraged you to act out your faith and to love Jesus together with your children.
Thank you again, Mike and Veggie Tales!
My trip with World Vision to the Dominican Republic
photo source: Veggie Tales Facebook Page
***Impress Your Kids has some new digs at ohAmanda.com! Come visit us there for all the Impress Your Kids archives and all our new posts–including our Easter newsblast with fabulous tips for celebrating a meaningful Easter with your kids!***