ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002), G
Analysis Date: October 6, 2002
CAP Score: 96
CAP Influence Density: 0.06

MinMax: -13

TITLE (YEAR) CAP Mini-thermometers

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

JONAH: A VEGGIETALES MOVIE (G) -- ...true to the Scriptures at a child's level.

Production: Big Idea Productions, Inc.
Distribution: Artisan Entertainment
Director(s): Mike Nawrocki, Phil Vischer
Producer(s): Terry Botwick, Ameake Owens, Dan Philips, Phil Vischer
Written by/Screenplay: Phil Vischer, Mike Nawrocki
Music: Kurt Heinecke, David Mullen, Phil Vischer, David Mullen, Mike Nawrocki
Film Editing: John Wahba
Art Direction: Joseph Sapulich

Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is the timeless tale of the prophet Jonah disobeying God when God told Jonah to go to Nineveh to deliver a message. And the movie is true to the Scriptures at a child's level.

Jonah (Phil Vischer) received word from God that he is to go to Nineveh to deliver a message that the people of Nineveh must stop their evil ways else Nineveh will be destroyed. Jonah does not like the violent people there. He defies God and instead sails to Tarshish by way of Joppa. But he doesn't make it there. On the way, God raises a storm which threatens the ship on which Jonah is traveling. Jonah realizes all on the ship are in peril unless he gets off. That he does. And is swallowed by a huge whale. For three days and nights. The rest of the story is for you to discover.

The theme of the movie is compassion and mercy: compassion being wanting to help people who need help; mercy being helping them even if you think they don't deserve it. Isn't that quite like Jesus? Several good examples of compassion and mercy are provided at a level likely understood by anyone who can navigate his/her own box of popcorn.

There are very few issues that may need mom/dad's wisdom to explain to the very young. All five of them are listed in the Findings/Scoring section of this report. But one issue I would like to focus on as the "sermon" for this Summary/Commentary of Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is lying. Jonah lied boldly to the townspeople when they asked him if God had given him a message. He repeatedly denied having been given a message because Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. God is very clear about lying. It doesn't matter whether the one who lies is a great man or not. Jonah lied. It is a sin to lie. God speaks very harshly about liars [Rev. 21:8] and gives no condition or situation in which a lie is acceptable, no matter how small or "needed" it may seem to us. If a lie would wrongfully or unfairly change the otherwise proper course of things, the sin is on the one speaking the lie. Except in cases of denial of one's faith in Christ, if a lie would save someone the sin is on the one to whom the lie would be spoken.

Note that the CAP analysis model treats any animated behavior which can reasonably be duplicated by OR subjected to a human child as a viable influence on the observing child. Also note that there is some animation exaggeration and minimizing of the gravity of Jonah's trek in Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie. Truly accurate portrayal of Jonah's work and God's work through him may be too disturbing for children and/or too alien to their level of experiential maturity.


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rev. 21:8 But the [unforgiven] fearful [cowardly], and unbelieving, and the abominable [vile], and murderers, and whoremongers [sexually immoral], and sorcerers [practitioners of witchcraft, magic, sorcery], and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death. [Remember, this is the fate of they who are NOT forgiven.]

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • jumping into the ocean to die (even if to save others)
  • personified character being sallowed by a whale
  • a wish for death

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • lies
  • many characters slapping each other

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • none noted

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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