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Trivia / Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie

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  • Adaptation First: It was dubbed in more languages than the series it was based on.
  • Bad Export for You: Not only does the Hungarian DVD release contain almost no bonus features, but some of the dialogue isn't written in the subtitles, which will inevitably be a problem for those who don't know Hungarian.
  • Channel Hop: The film was originally released by Artisan Entertainment through its Family Home Entertainment (F.H.E.) Pictures label under a 15-year distribution arrangement, and the rights subsequently went to Lionsgate when that company bought Artisan over a year later. After the arrangement ended in 2018, Big Idea's parent company Universal Pictures (who inherited the studio via its DreamWorks Animation buyout) took over all distribution to the film. Ironically, Universal distributed the follow-up film The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie prior to the DreamWorks acquisition (the film in question was released four years before DreamWorks bought out Big Idea).
  • Creator Backlash: Phil Vischer has made it clear he doesn't outright hate the movie, but he has been very upfront about how he doesn't feel comfortable looking back at Jonah in a wholly positive light due to the film's production not being a particularly happy time for both Big Idea and himself personally. In contrast, Mike Nawrocki has said in the years since he does still enjoy the film and is ultimately proud of it, even if he acknowledged the impending doom it caused the company.
  • Creator Killer: Phil Vischer explained on his site that this movie was one of the biggest contributing factors into driving Big Idea into its bankruptcy.
  • Dueling Dubs:
    • The movie has a total of three different Russian versions. The first version was a proper dub and was released on VHS and DVD in 2003. The second version, however, was a voiceover that seems to have been made for TV. The third version was another dub commissioned by Universal for Netflix in 2019.
    • Three different Brazilian Portuguese dubs exist as well. The first dub was made in 2005 by Audio News for its theatrical and home video (VHS and DVD) releases, though it's impossible to come across. A second dub done by Herbert Richers reportedly exists that was made for SBT, though it was never broadcasted. Finally, a third dub done by Dubbing Company was commissioned by Universal for Netflix in 2019, just like the Russian example above.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: The Icelandic, Estonian, 1st and 2nd Brazilian Portuguese, Polish, and Croatian dubs as well as the Latvian voiceover are this trope. While the Estonian, Polish, Croatian, and Icelandic dubs as well as the Latvian voiceover have been released on DVD, good luck finding copies of them.
  • Late Export for You: The movie was released in Japan, France, Italy, India, Turkey, the Netherlands, India, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Indonesia (the first 5 were dubbed, while the other 5 were subtitled) on July 1, 2019, 17 years after its original American release.
    • So many other dubs are this trope as well, including the Icelandic dub (released on November 17, 2006), the Czech dub (released on June 23, 2007), and the Croatian dub (released on July 13, 2009).
  • Reality Subtext: There's a bit of Big Idea in Khalil's character arc. He wanted to be "big and famous" like Jonah, but in the end, he just wants to help people. Big Idea's frustration at being a larger production studio probably ended with them being a little sadder but wiser.
  • Sleeper Hit: Movies that were adapted from edutainment shows usually don't fare well in theaters because of their target demographic being under 5, but this film was a surprise exception, as it did well enough in its' theatrical run and surpassed the grosses of most movies of that kind with a $25 million dollar final gross, a record which it kept for 17 years until Dora and the Lost City of Gold surpassed it.
  • Throw It In: The "napkin guy" dialogue from Jonah was ad-libbed. DVD extras show other ones that were suggested including one bizarre one about how Mr. Lunt's aunt was a lobster.
  • Troubled Production: Mostly as a result of taking too much without seeing. The movie originally wasn't supposed to be a movie, just a higher budget 45-minute episode (instead of the usual 30 minutes), but the staff had too much trouble keeping it that short and eventually decided to turn it into a full-fledged movie, with much of the staff in hindsight realizing that was too big a leap for much of them to handle. The project soon turned into a mess of too many new hires with misplaced management, constant budget overruns, long working hours, and the end result was a numerous amount of layoffs. For more info, much of the story was covered in this series of blog posts by Phil Vischer himself.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Jonah was originally pitched as an adaptation of the story of Noah, but "the idea of fur scared us."
    • Other candidates to play Jonah were Bob, Larry, Junior, and Jimmy Gourd, but neither of them were uptight enough to fit the role.
    • Khalil was originally going to be a worm just like the one from the biblical account that eats Jonah's shade. He was changed to a caterpillar due to a piece of concept art which had him saying the same line used in the film of him explaining that he's actually half-caterpillar. Additionally, once he became a caterpillar there was a time where he was to have two sets of arms instead of one.
    • The whale was originally designed to look more intimidating, but concerns that it would terrify kids lead to it being redrawn. Among the other designs were ones based on humpback whales, trout, and one that looked uncannily like Archibald, monocle and all.
    • Archibald's persona who shows up in the bridging material was originally to be named Tweezerman. His name was changed to Twippo when it was discovered that the aforementioned name was trademarked by a company that sold tweezers.
    • Besides playing the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything; Pa Grape, Larry and Mr. Lunt were also originally to appear in Nineveh with Pa as the king and the latter two as his guards. This was changed after the storyreel when it was realized that having the trio play dual roles within the same story made no sense. The end result was the king being played by the gourd from Larry's High Silk Hat and the trio reappearing in the Nineveh scenes as the contest winners (which had to be added due to it not being part of the original version).
      • Similarly, the French Peas were originally to play the guards standing outside the gates of Nineveh as another instance of them paying homage to their inspiration of the guards from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. However, they were replaced by a pair of peas with Cockney accents (also played by Phil & Mike) due to them already appearing in the Joppa scenes as fish vendors.
    • At one time, "Compassion" was actually going to fade onto the menu Junior was reading instead of already appearing but the idea was scrapped for going too far.