Me, Myself & Bob brings delight to audiences

Hobie Brown - Associate Editor

Hobie Brown – Associate Editor

Hobie Brown

It took one man with one dream to captivate the world with a cucumber. Wait, a cucumber?

In the mid 1990s, the world was introduced to Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. These two lovable figures would help to lead a cast of other garden-variety characters onto the small screen in “Veggie Tales,” the first computer animation project from Big Idea and computer animator Phil Vischer. Vischer’s long-awaited autobiography on the rise and fall of the Veggie empire has arrived in Me, Myself, and Bob.

The humble beginnings of Vischer and his dream of becoming the next Walt Disney led to the formation and success of Big Idea, a company that only had one project: “Veggie Tales.” As the veggies grew, so did the company, until it found itself at its lowest point at the same time it was releasing its biggest accomplishment: its first full-length feature film.

Though it was intended to reach an audience of little kids, the veggies gained popularity among young adults and college students, eventually becoming the most-watched video on both secular and religious campuses. They had animators leaving jobs at Disney to come work for the Veggies and the positive values they possessed were reaching millions. Unfortunately, adding more staff as well as spending issues within the company, led to the demise of Big Idea when layoffs were levied and a lawsuit with Lyric Entertainment caused Vischer’s company to file bankruptcy.

Having the opportunity to hear Vischer speak at the National Youth Leaders Convention in 2000 was amazing because he shared his most intimate thoughts about growing up in Muscatine, Iowa, and also provided the audience with the enjoyment of the success which Big Idea was having. After reading his book, there were so many things going on during the time I heard Vischer speak, that I had no idea how much inner turmoil he was dealing with.

Vischer also discusses the concepts for Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato. Larry served as the somewhat comic relief, providing musical interludes in “Silly Songs with Larry,” singing songs about his missing hairbrush and how everybody has a water buffalo. Bob was more calm, but for some reason, was always annoyed when the “What We have Learned” song began. Some of the other characters include the French Peas and Archibald Asparagus, who appear to be obvious tributes to Monty Python, which could attribute to the huge following on college campuses.

As a Veggie Tales fan, I have appreciated everything they have brought forth, from “King George and the Ducky” to “Jonah” to songs such as “Song of the Cebu” and “Dance of the Cucumber.” To have the opportunity to read the story about the rise, fall and restarting of Big Idea was one I could not pass up or one that I found hard to put down once I began reading. This book is ideal for any Veggie Tales fan. You will not be disappointed. (You can insert “What we have learned” here…. Sorry, Bob.)