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This is Tim Hodge, David Pitts, and Brian Roberts doing a commentary for Gideon: Tuba Warrior.


Man 1: Okay guys, what was the first we're gonna talk about? I can't remember...

Man 2: We're gonna introduce ourselves.

Man 1: Oh, gosh!

Man 2: Hi, this is Tim Hodge. I directed half of this show-

Man 3: Two-thirds.

Hodge: Two-thirds of this show, and I'm sitting here with...

Man 2: I'm David Pitts, and I produced the show.

Man 3: And I'm Brian Roberts, and I directed the remaining third.

Hodge: And we'll divide up the parts later and tell you who did what.

Roberts: Roughly.

Hodge: Yeah, and this is the part of the show, of the commentary that is where we sit around and wish we could redo this animation.

Pitts: Well, it is getting a little bit old, but, you know, it's-

Hodge: But we always talk about it.

Pitts: it's classic, and, you know.

Roberts: They did redo it once, but I think we already talked about it before, haven't we?

Pitts: We-we probably would eventually redo it, but I do asked that in every show, and we haven't done it.

Roberts: Bob's hair is different now. Looks more like Kermit hair.

Pitts: It's because we put all our efforts into the rest of the show, to make it as good as possible.

Hodge: (quietly) Man! (normal) But anyway, we decided to do the story of Gideon, as you're about to find out, and our development process, is long and arguest, trying to figure out what's the best show to do each time.

Pitts: Yeah.

Hodge: But Gideon came up because we wanted to do another Bible story because we tried to keep those, intersperse with all our stories, and uhm...

Pitts: Well, we had a list, had a list of stories that we're gonna work on, and, and, and, you know, we just look through them, and this particular story of Gideon. Well, I know Tim, you may wanna say something about it-

Hodge: Yes!

Pitts: Because I know it's one of your favorite stories growing up as a kid.

Hodge: Yeah, I-we had a, a, 33 and a third RPM record album, with about 10 bible stories on it, and Gideon was one of my favorites on there, and I always- in fact, when I was in high school, even started doing a comic book version of Gideon. I never finished it, though. I think I still have the artwork, though.

Pitts: Well, there's something really, it was, it was one of my favorites. Well, it wasn't my favorite necessarily, but it was one of my favorites growing up as well, and there's something really appealing about a story of a guy, who kinda sees himself, sorta insignificance, but you know, God uses him, and doing mighty things.

(After Bobs says "Welcome to VeggieTales!)

Roberts: This is my directorial debut, here.

Hodge: That's right!

Roberts: I directed the countertop on the show, as well as the story of George Mueller.

Hodge: Yeah, this is one of the rare countertops where you can actually read the letter too, from the camera. Usually, it's just a piece of paper, and we never see the other side of it.

Roberts: Yeah, we started putting the textures on the letters, usually.

Pitts: Yeah, and you might wonder "why we have the Pirates in this one?" Well, we were developing this show, knowing that we're about to do a Pirates movie, a feature, and so, you know, it seemed a good opportunity to reintroduce these guys. They're gonna be, this show be coming out at least a year before the movie was released, so, seem like a good time to start talking about the movie, and they're so much fun on them, anyway.

Hodge: Yeah, we had to dig their costumes out of mothballs, uh, figuratively speaking, but we had to dig up the digital database, and we have to- we remodel some of them-

Roberts: We-we remodeled all of them, actually.

Hodge: To look exactly like they did in-

Roberts: Well, hopefully, I mean, they got like 85 percent there, but they uh, I think they look great. The modellers did a great recreating the stuff, and I think Lunt, particularly, looks just spot on.

Hodge: Oh yeah, uh, the look of his tooth, gave us a little, uh, fits, but it came off really nice. I really like Pa's mustache in this, I think it even turned out better than the Jonah version.

Roberts: Yeah, they rigged that so that the mustaches moved automatically with the mouths, and we haven't done that in a while, and it was good to get that ability back. It's very nice. Remember the first time we move Pa's mustache, it was by hand, and it was back in "The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown"-

Hodge: Oh my goodness.

Roberts: -and the animator had to animated that separately, and some people did it well, and some didn't. (chuckles)

Hodge: My goodness, that's like the old days where we had to draw it.

Roberts: Right. (chuckles a bit) God forbid.

(pauses for about 2 seconds)

I like this, it's so funny.

Pitts: Yeah, it's funny seeing them. I mean, after all, they're the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything, so it's funny to seem them, you know, trying to do something-

Roberts: (imitating Pa) Taking some initiative.

Hodge: Nice bifocals, huh?

Pitts: Yeah...

Roberts: They're very nice. Nice reflection.

Pitts: They really turned out nice.

Roberts: We have talented artists working on our show, and technicians.

(pauses for about 2 seconds)

Hodge: One of these shows, we gotta open up one of those canisters and see what's inside.

Roberts: Sugar and flour.

Hodge: Well, it's awfully old. It's been sitting in there for 12 or 13 years.

(other two laugh)

Roberts: Moths...

Pitts: And bugs if we open it up?

Roberts: That might be unpleasant.

Hodge: I bet it's just a prop, or that's where they keep extra microphones and cables.

(Lunt saying "Has she tried throwing a scrap booking party?)

My cousin does scrap booking parties. Pitts: Are they, are they fun?

Hodge: I've never been, she's in Canada.

Roberts: Mhmm...

Pitts: It'll be a long way to go for a visit.

Hodge: I visited her, but not during a scrap booking party.

Roberts: So, it was kinda challenging, laying out these sections with the camera, because, we had, there was even one spot where we've got, seven characters on the countertop.

Hodge: Oh yeah.

Roberts: It was, really unusual. (chuckles)

Hodge: Yeah, these are usually very, very, easiest shots to compose.

Roberts: (simultaneously): It's just Bob and Larry.

Hodge: Yeah.

Roberts: And we re-lit the countertop this time, too 'cause we've been struggling with, getting it to look just right. And, so this time we said "Okay, we gonna get it right this time, and that's what is gonna look like forever." So hopefully on the next show-

Hodge: Famous last words.

(Pitts laughs)

Roberts: Hopefully on the next show we won't have to relight the countertop, again.

Pitts: I've been wanting to do that for years.

Roberts: Are you happy with it how it turned out? Pitts: Yeah, it looks really nice. You know, it's funny how the animators did talk about that they never actually seen the front edge of the countertop. And-

Roberts: Right, because we actually seen-

(both of them chuckling)

Hodge: And then I told them that, a long time ago we actually had a sink on the countertop, and they were astonished.

Roberts: There's sin- and cabinetry.

Pitts: Cabinetry.

Hodge: Hmm-hmm.

Roberts: But that's not there anymore.

(Bob says something about George Mueller)

Pitts: (quietly) Yeah...

Hodge: George Mueller, your other directorial debut.

Roberts: (French) Debut?

Hodge: (French) Debut.

Roberts: Yes! Here we go, this is very exciting! This segment came about, because you guys had written "Gideon" and it, you know, was the length that needed to be, and it ended up not being quite long enough for the whole show. And we needed another segment that supported the theme, and Mike had always, Mike really likes- Mike Nawrocki, that is, Larry the Cucumber, one of our writers and directors, uhmm, really like chruch history and heroes of the faith. We kinda touched on that with Luifi and his fanciful flannelgraph-

Hodge: Yeah, when we did St. Patrick.

Roberts: And this could've almost just as easily been a Luifi'sfanciful flannelgraph except we don't do those anymore. So we did a-

Hodge: I like the daily headlines, by the way. Continue.

Roberts: (chuckles) Yeah, if you still frame there, there's some funny things. Uhh, so Mike went off and wrote this little script that was meant intended to be very simple, uh, and very sweet, and to reenforce the theme of-

Hodge: And True!

Roberts: -trusting God. Well, and it's a true story of this guy, George Mueller.

(silent for a second)

Hodge: Who was, uhm, lived in, was it 18 century England?

Roberts: That's correct.

Hodge: Or 19 century?

Roberts: Late 18 century England.

Hodge: Okay.

Roberts: And he started orphans, orphanages.

(started laughing all three)

Pitts: He started orphans? (unintellable dialouge from Roberts)

Pitts: That's a totally different story, I think. One that we couldn't do.

(laughter tones down)

Roberts: He believed God wanted to create lots of orphans. Uhh, so he started these orphanges, and basically never decided that, as to prove God's extestist in a scientfic way, he was going to, to support these orphanages, and support these children by praying for everything that they needed. And, and never asking for donations, they would aceept help when given. But never go out, you know, and fundraise, or ask for money when they needed it. And so, we've shown just one example of that, which is documented in his prayer journal that he kept during his life where he would write down everything he prayed for and everytime it was answered, where he prayed for breakfast, and the next morning, a baker and a milkman showed up with breakfast for the kids.

Hodge: Yeah, it happened almost exactly as we're presnting it, except...

Roberts: With the exception of the newspaper reporter. We kinda added Simon-

Hodge: (interrupts) And the characters were real people, not vegetables.

Roberts: Not- Well, that's not proven.

(Hodge laughs)

Pitts: And, and they didn't actually sing "His Eyes on a Sparrow"?

Roberts: Because that hadn't been written yet.

Pitts: Right...

Roberts: But it's a great Him, so-

Pitts: It is, and it seemed appropriate.

Robers: It is appropriate. So uh, we added Simon, or Mike added Simon the reporter as kind of a window for the audiance into this world. 'Cause its, when you're kind of, when you're stepping into a new world or a new situtation, if people just go about their normal daily lives, you can't really, figure out what's going on unless you have a character and they're asking "Well, why are you doing this, why are doing that, what's going on, here?" So that's why added the Simon character.

Hodge: Yeah, and it speed things up, quite a bit too.

Roberts: Right.

Pitts: I'll say anything about these little photos on the wall.

Hodge: Yeah, the little paintings, uhmm, who did those? 'Cause I know they're all photos of the orphans up there, right?

Roberts: Uh, Joe Spadaford did those and they're pretty just much like renders of the-

Hodge: (interrupts) Oh, really?

Roberts: - or they're the concept art that we did created-

Hodge: (interrupts) Oh, that's handy.

Roberts: -and then just painted with backgrounds in. But then like landscape back there on the left, that goes back to like "Star of Christmas", I think?

Hodge: Did Joe do that?

Roberts: Michael Spooner might've done that.

Hodge: Oh my goodness. Oh, on the corner-

Roberts: (interrupts) And there's a little cameo of like a grandmother character.

Hodge: Yeah, but that's from Minnsota Cuke that's in the barber shop, that's the barbers'-

Roberts: (interrupts) Aunt, grandmother, or...

Hodge: Mom.

Roberts: Mom.

Hodge: Mommaloni.

Roberts: Right. So we've reused little textures like that all over the place.

Hodge: Now what's the painting above the piano? Roberts: That's a still life I think Joe created new for this. I don't think we see this before. Hodge: Now... is that the same piano from "Going Up!"? Pitts: (intelligible dialogue simultaneously with Hodge) Roberts: No, that's the same piano from... Minnesota Cuke. Hodge: Oh! Wait, we have a piano from Minnesota Cuke? Roberts: I'm sorry, (almost chuckles) Minnesota Cuke, from Sheerulck Holmes. Hodge: Oh, okay!

(Simon leaving the orphanage)

Roberts: Ah, so right there on that little exchange, we had actually taken out a little bit.

Hodge: That's right! We edited-

Roberts: -Uhm, where we cutted out during the story stage, where...Simon offered to run an ad in his newspaper, telling people that George Mueller's orphanage needed help.

Hodge: Yeah.

Roberts: And George Mueller turned him down.

Hodge: Saying "I'm only gonna pray, I'm not gonna ask for help".

Roberts: Right. "I'm not gonna ask for help." But it's like "Well, you're not asking for help; he's offering help! And you're turning down the help he's offering."

Hodge: It seems like "I'm gonna pray for an answer for my prayer. Hey I can help! No, I'm gonna wait for an answer!"

Roberts: "This kids may starve, but I won't accept your help!". So, we took a line out there and actully moved it here where he offers go to. He offers "Maybe I can run out and...", well that was actully 'pose be said the night before, but we moved that here, and then, uhm, 'cause it's, you know, Simon was a character that we were injecting into this world-

Hodge: Yeah, we made him up.

Roberts: We made him up, and then, so then by him interact with George Mueller in that way offering to run an ad and then George Mueller turned it down, we were kinda making up something about George Mueller that wasn't true. So we decided to make Simon more of an obsevar and less of an act of partipant. And it, it just kinda softens the story, and it ultimately brought out the themes of faith that we were trying to illustrate.

Hodge: Now the music here- Oh, love that take, by the way. But the music, this is one of the-

Roberts: (interrupts) Never done that, before.

Hodge: This is one of the very few shows we've done that, uh Kurt Heinecke did- Well, this episode of it. He do, uh..

Roberts and Hodge: Gideon.

Hodge: That he did not do the score for.

Roberts: That milk wasn't suppose to be milk. It was suppose to be dark, or solid white bottles.

Hodge: (interrupts) Yeah, our technicians went over and above and gave us actual liquid in those bottles.

Roberts: (chuckles a bit) Looks nice...

Hodge: Now who is the composer on this again?

Roberts: It was John Keltonic, a guy that Kurt discovered-

Hodge: (interrupts) Yes, because you worked with him, I didn't on this part.

Roberts: Uh, because as David talked about that we're working on this movie and there's lots of stuff going on, and Kurt just doesn't have time to do everything himself, so we outsourced a little bit of music to this new composer, and he did a terrific job. A lot of fun working with him.

Hodge: I still haven't... still framed to this to see what else is written in his journal.

Roberts: Oh, there's a little alien UFO with it, Pa drew, and actually, Paul Dobson-

Pitts: (chuckles)

Roberts: One of the guys in Canada was like "Well, we need something on that other page of the book!", and so he sketched it up real fast, he said "What about this?". It's actully a dolphin in a spaceship.

(Roberts and Hodge chuckling)

Roberts: You can still framed that and maybe-

Hodge: (interrupts) How thematic.

Roberts: Yeah, it's funny. So this is just a real sweet, little simple story that, uh illustrates our central theme of trusting God, and, I love this set. This turned out great.

Pitts: Great segment, and Brian, you did a great job.

Hodge: Congratulations.

Roberts Thank you.

Hodge: My hat is off to you.

(silent for three seconds, then story ends)

Roberts: That was real nice.

Hodge: Now there's some extra dialogue coming up in here, that we added too, because it turned out it felt like we're trying to teach that "If you pray for anything, you'll get it!"

Roberts: Right, and using God as a universal vending machine.

Hodge: Yes, as our genie in a lamp and like "No, no no, that's not true!" So this line about knowing the diff between a need and a want helps tie that up. Like "No, George Mueller had a specific perso- purpose, he had a calling".

Roberts: Right.

Hodge: "He wasn't just...didn't had a wish list..."

Pitts: Right.

Roberts: "So he was blessed by God, but he was blessed by God because he was within His will, not because"-

Pitts: (interrupts) That's right.

Roberts: "God wants to give us lots of stuff."

Fun Facts

  • Kermit is the main character of the Muppets. Roberts joking Bob's hair looked like Kermit is probably referring to his famous green collar.