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jonah - A VeggieTales Movie (2002)

The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything (2008)

Yep! Phil and his team at Big Idea made a movie!  Co-written and co-directed by Phil and Mike, Jonah was produced entirely in-house at Big Idea with a staff that swelled to more than 200. Unfortunately, Jonah was released simultaneous to the lawsuit between Big Idea and a former distributor. The loss of the lawsuit and the expense of Jonah pushed Big Idea into bankruptcy.

Fun fact: Jonah was the highest grossing Christian film of all time... until Mel Gibson made an R-rated movie about Jesus in Aramaic two years later.

"Cheerfully didactic!"

- New York Times

As Jonah was nearing release, Big Idea execs realized they needed another script quick to keep the team active post-Jonah. Phil's assistant cleared 21 days off his calendar and he wrote a screenplay.
It never got made at Big Idea, but five years later Universal Studios got a copy of Phil's Pirate screenplay and decided to have it produced in Canada for a 2008 release. Mike, who was still employed by the new owners, directed.

Fun fact: In researching other "zero to hero" movies, Phil realized two of his favorites - Galaxy Quest and The Three Amigos - were beat-for-beat identical films.  Phil used the beats from those two films to quickly write the Pirate version. (This is what you do when you have 21 days to write a movie.)


Both movies are available wherever movies are rented or sold. (Amazon, iTunes, etc.)

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