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Veggie Tales

Big Idea Productions has announced the upcoming date for their latest G-rated theatrical movie “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie” written by Phil Vischer in 2002 before “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” (2003) was released. The films original soundtrack will be in stores on December 4, followed by the film’s release in theatres on January 11, 2008 by Universal Pictures.

The orchestra music for “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything” was recorded entirely in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic. Here’s a look behind the scenes with Big Ideas main music man, Kurt Heinecke (Music Director), a graduate of Luther College (Iowa):

Copyright, Big Ideas Inc.

Kurt Heinecke, Music Director, Big Idea Inc.

OK, let me start by saying this was an incredible trip for all of us, both musically and historically. We spent a week in Prague recording the 65 minutes of score I had written for “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie,” with the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra.

Along for the trip were Mike Nawrocki, director (and voice of Larry the Cucumber,) Paula Marcus, our producer, Mike Casteel, our orchestrator, and myself. Mikes wife and my 15-year old daughter were also able to join us for parts of the trip.

80 musicians in Prague recording studio with the film’s producer, director and music director (center)

Prague is a fantastic city for both music and history. For example, one night we got to hear Mozarts Don Giovanni in the same opera house that he premiered it in! Now I’m not a huge opera fan, but if you’re going to hear opera once in your life, this is the place to do it! Prague was not damaged by the bombing of World War II, so it is the best preserved capitol of central Europe. That was obvious at every turn down narrow cobblestone streets. Even our recording location, a former German cultural center, had a courtyard in which Einstein used to give lectures!

We recorded our score with an 80-piece orchestra, drawing musicians from 6 different full-time orchestras and ensembles. Needless to say, this was an exciting week for a guy who is usually creating his music out of a small, crowded studio! There was not as much of a language barrier as one would guess. First, unlike spoken language, musical notation is the same worldwide, and once Mike, our orchestrator, filled the page with all the markings for dynamics, accents, etc., the orchestra was playing the exact interpretations they saw on the page. Secondly, our conductor, engineer, and translator all had a good grasp of both English and Czech, and were wonderful to work with.

The VeggieTale franchise is quite successful financially. Big Ideas 2002 release of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie reportedly grossed over $25-million theatrically, with an estimated production budget of $15-million. Big Idea reports over 50-million VeggieTales videos sold since 1993. VeggieTales programs are shown weekly on NBC, ION and Telemundo TV networks.

Big Idea is offering group ticket sales for The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything and is asking churches to plan a pirate event for their children’s ministries around the release of the film. Free resources are available at: VeggiePirates.com/church. The film is also scheduled for release in Italy (January 11, 2008), Argentina (January 17), Sweden (February 15), Denmark (March 7), and Mexico (March 21).

Watch our review page for viewer comments.

Official Web site with movie trailer: VeggiePirates.com


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