The first full-length VeggieTales film, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie was released in 2002 by Big Idea and FHE Pictures.The film opens with Bob, Junior, Dad Asparagus, Annie, Laura and Percy all trying to find their way to a Twippo concert. However, they take a wrong turn, lose two tires on their van, and end up at a strange seafood restaurant, where they meet a trio of pirates who call themselves "The pirates who don't do anything!" The trio of pirates, noticing the tensions among the group, decide to tell them a little story about a man named Jonah.As in the story in The Bible, the story of Jonah goes thusly: Jonah was a prophet of God, sent to spread His messages. However, when God tells Jonah to go to the Ninevites to warn them to repent of their evil ways, Jonah doesn't want anything to do with them...so he decides to go as far in the other direction as possible.
Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie provides examples of:
Accidental Misnaming: Jonah constantly calls Khalil a wrong name, like "Carlyle". He finally pronounces it correctly when Khalil abandons him.
Animation Bump: Due to the animators having a movie-sized budget, the animation in Jonah is probably the best in the series. Notably, Big Idea was able to get lighting animators who had just finished work on films like Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius and Ice Age. The end result is gorgeous.
The caterpillar/worm that eats the shade plant near the end of the Jonah story becomes Jonah's traveling buddy and a recurring character. His mother was a caterpillar; his father was a worm. But he's okay with that now.
"The Reason You Suck" Speech that he gives Jonah was, in the original, delivered by God Himself. The bug get to deliver God's lines. How's that for an ascended extra?
The reason for Ninevah's fish obsession was because in real life, they did indeed worship a fish god.
As far as VeggieTales casting goes, Archibald usually plays a side character, but in this movie he's the protagonist.
Foreshadowing: In Jonah, the last pair that Khalil has during the game of Go Fish is a whale.
Framing Story: The story of Jonah is told by the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything to kids and their parents at a seafood restaurant waiting for a tow truck.
Freeze-Frame Bonus: In Jonah, the menu items in the seafood restaraunt Bob and the gang stop at goes as follows:
Steak Shrimp Steak Shrimp Scampi on a Skewer Scampi on a Clean Skewer Compassion (Market Price)
Followed by Mercy (Market Price) later in the film.
GASP!: Jonah, Khalil, and the Pirates all take turns at dramatic gasping when they see just what "The Slap of No Return" is, before all doing a simultaneous gasp.
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Parodied: In-universe, as the commentary for Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (from Larry and Mr. Lunt, self-proclaimed actual producers of the film) points out, the first VeggieTales movie (not Jonah), "Socks with Stripes," according to Mr. Lunt, proved a flop in the US, but highly regarded in France.
Heroic BSOD: Jonah when God refuses to destroy Ninevah, with a healthy dollop of Wangst.
Ignore By Singing: After stowing away with the pirates, Jonah has a dream where God asks him where he's running to. Jonah tries his hardest to ignore God by the excuse that he can't hear him, including singing loudly.
Khalil:You see the whale as half-empty. I see the whale as half-full!
Jonah: I have no idea what that means.
Khalil: Neither do I.
Medium Shift Gag: The Pirates description of Ninevah causes the film to shift briefly to traditional cel animation.
Money, Dear Boy: All the Pirates' objections to ferrying Jonah are completely canceled once Jonah tells he's willing to pay as much as they want.
Mood Whiplash: As soon as Jonah is thrown overboard, the storm dissipates in seconds.
Musical World Hypothesis: Played with, as Jonah's musical number inside the whale apparently is supposed to actually be happening, as there is a cut to confused fishermen up on the surface who can vaguely hear the noise coming from underwater.
Never Say "Die": Averted. While the execution method itself is referred to as "The Slap of No Return", Mr. Lunt directly yells out, "We are going to die!"
The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: The Trope Namers themselves star, and the trope itself is deconstructed, as the opening of Jonah has their slacking result in them being completely broke, only to later actually "do something" and get in fantastic adventures.
One of the extras is a tour of Big Idea Studios, where at one point the viewer sees a staff member working at his computer on the unreleased DVD... which you watch on your DVD. Phil Vischer directly Lampshades this.
The Credits Song. "This is the song that runs under the credits. These are the credits, so this is where it goes. Has nothing to do with the movie so we'll say 'Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey! Hey!...'"
Shown Their Work: The producers tell the entire story, going beyond what most retellings of Jonah do. Several events left out of most adaptations that are re-included are the sailors initially attempting to row back to land rather throw Jonah aboard, and Jonah not understanding that God intends to forgive the Ninevites.
Sudden Musical Ending: Larry is disappointed the Pirates don't end their Jonah tale with one. He's pleased when Twippo suggests it.
Tempting Fate: When Jonah announces his intent to sail to Tarshish instead, Angus answers, "Even if you had the money, nobody has the time to sail all the way to Tarshish!" Immediately, they both overhear some pirates singing about how they don't do anything...
This Cannot Be!: Invoked verbatim by Jonah on learning God wanted him to offer mercy to Ninevah.