HotBVol2 RackShack&Bennytitle

This is Phil Vischer and Mike Nawrocki talking about the fourth VeggieTales episode.


(starts after six seconds)

Man 1: Okay, welcome to uh, "Rack, Shack & Benny"...

Man 2: Commentary.

Man 1: This is Phil.

Man 2: This is Mike.

Vischer: We're coming to you live from uh, Lombard, Illinois.

Nawrocki: And this is the newly recorded voice for Larry, and Bob. In the original open, Larry had his lower, dopey voice.

Vischer: Right, he started-

Nawrocki: (imitating Larry's original voice) I'm Larry the Cucumber.

Vischer: - He started out dopey, and then he gained IQ, as we were making additional shows. So this is "Rack, Shack, & Benny". Uhm, this is fourth VeggieTales film that we made. Uh, we think it was in, the fall of 1995. Uh, although, I'm holding the box and it seems to say "98" or something, or "3". I'm can't- I'm not very good at reading Roman numerals. But we're pretty sure-

Nawrocki: (interrupts) Maybe the audience would know how to read Roman numerals. What is it, is it "MCMXCIII", so whatever that means.

Vischer: Yeah, so, is that '93? If it is, it's not right.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Viscer: If it's '98, it's not right either. I don't think that's '98, because there would be a "V" in there.

Nawrocki: There's a "C" when you like add "III", and then you add like a "I" and you subtract to-

Vischer: (interrupts) I can't ever remember. Now this theme song, you'll notice, if you have a really old copy, there's scenes in the theme song that aren't in your original version. Uhm, because someone, I don't know who, went back and added newer scenes. So there's scenes from films here that obviously weren't done, when the show was done. Pretty astonishing, really.

Nawerocki: But the animation is much better. (chuckles)

Vischer: The animation on the new scenes is better than the animation on the old scenes. Uh, for context, let's see we made "Rack, Shack, & Benny" in '95. There were... no more than 10 people at Big Idea, overall. Total in the company, of which 9 probably worked on the show and 1 answered the phone.

Nawrocki: (chuckles a bit) We're in the screw factory at the time...

Vischer: Yes, this was when we were working out the front offices of a screw factory on the Northside of Chicago on Ravenswood. If you're ever in the neighborhood of Ravenswood and uhm...

Both: Foster!

Vischer: Foster Avenue, on the Northside of Chicago, you can swing by a small screw factory and that's where this show was made.

Nawrocki: And if you smell the smell of cutting oil in the air. Yeah, that's what we smell like coming home from work every day.

Vischer: It was stinky. We worked at the only animation studio in the world where you came home smelly.

Nawrocki: (chuckles a bit) We send out Fed-Ex packages that, when people would open them, they would comment that they stunk.

Vischer: That's right. They would catch a little bit of machine oil freshness inside the Fed-Ex envelope, and then around the world, they opened it and they go "Oh, what an unpleasant odor."

Nawrocki: "But we like these guys."

Vischer: "Thank you...people of Big Idea". Ah, as you'll notice, Bob and Larry are doing something, here. It's like commenting on a soap opera that someone is putting on. We’re talking about VeggieBeat Magazine, that was, we were trying to be, uh, hip and... and relevant.

Nawrocki: I remember when we first, the first animations that came through this, the flowers weren’t sticking to the oven mitt, the... the projection map or whatever it was wasn’t sticking to the glove, so the flowers were flying all over the glove.

Vischer: (chuckles) Yeah, we have all sorts of fun making these. There’s Bob, looking earnest.

Nawrocki: M-hm.

Vischer: He did that a lot. You’ll notice, if you watch these old shows, like this one, uh, Bob is shinier than in the new shows. And actually, he was shiny like this- oh, that’s funny. Larry can’t see where he is. That’s always good for a laugh.

Nawrocki: (chuckles a bit) Watch out for the sink!

Vischer: Oh, no. Oh, oh no.

Nawrocki: Ooh, that’s gotta hurt.

Vischer: Oh. They put, they had like an airbag in the sink so he wasn’t hurt.

Nawrocki: They took it away in that shot, though.

Both: Yeah.

Vischer: We’re clever that way. So like I was saying, Bob was shiny up until I believe “Josh and The Big Wall”, and that was at the point where he got recolored.

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: He hired a new makeup artist. Oh look, we’re starting the story now!

Nawrocki: This shot probably took a week to render.

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: This shot was a nightmare!

Nawrocki: Look at that! I mean, look at it now, it’s just kinda so simple.

Vischer: We only had, I think we had, uh, three or four systems back then, computers. So we had to animate and render the entire show on three or four, and they were, you know, a quarter of the speed of they are now. That is… (small pause) He’s George! That’s actually a character, a whole bunch of new characters were created for this one, that being one of them. Wow, what a well-detailed set that is!

Nawrocki: (chuckles) Look at that calendar! I want that calendar.

Vischer: (chuckles) In fact, the whole environment, it just, it evokes, uh, "Shrek" or some of the finer work coming out of Hollywood today. Uh, George, this is what you can do with, uh, nine people working on a film for about four or five months.

Nawrocki: In 1995.

Vischer: In 1995 dollars.

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: It’d be worth like a million dollars today. No, I think it goes the other way. It’d be worth about a buck, ninety five.

Nawrocki: A buck, ninety five.

Vischer: Anyway, George! (chuckles a bit) We can’t rewind, I was talking about George.

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: And now we have Mr. Lunt. Um, George was actually inspired by the Coen Brothers film, a character in the Coen Brothers film “The Hudsucker Proxy”. They had a narrator in that film named Moses, old Moses, and even though Moses was black and George is kinda quasi-

Nawrocki: Green.

Vischer: Southern. (chuckles) I don’t know what he is. He was inspired by-

Nawrocki: (interrupting) Oh, that was me.

Vischer: Oh yeah, that was one of Mike’s-

Nawrocki: (imitating the pea) Excuse me, Mr. Lunt, but I’ve got an injury!

Vischer: He still knows how to do it! That was pretty magical. Uh, thank you, Mike, for that.

Nawrocki: Thank you very much.

Vischer: Was that a credited role or an uncredited role?

Nawrocki: That was an uncredited role, yeah.

Vischer: It’s still impressive.

Nawrocki: Thank you very much.

Vischer: Now up to this point, I mean, the films we had done before this were, um, “Where’s God When I’m S-Scared”... Oh, they’re so cute, I love those bunnies. We should probably talk about the bunnies or something.

Nawrocki: Yeah, cause when we get to our next, uh, talkthroughs, we’re not gonna have anything left to say!

Vischer: Yeah, we’re not gonna have anything left to say!

Nawrocki: We’d better talk about the movie.

Vischer: Oh, look! If you notice, their shadows were floating. Cause they weren’t actually touching the ground in that shot. And this factory took, one guy built it. Uh, Chris Olsen built it, and it took him weeks. It was by far the biggest set we created to date. There are all sorts of mistakes in it and you’ll see lots of it.

Nawrocki: Well, in fact, at the end of this song, we didn’t have time to render the whole thing before our deadline and so we ended up rendering on twos. So you notice at the very end of the song, the animation gets really choppy, cause it’s only every other frame.

Vischer: Actually, that shot, right there, is on twos. Oops!

Nawrocki: It’s every other frame! (chuckles)

Vischer: This was the last shot we rendered in the entire film and it so massive, cause it had the whole assembly line running with bunnies, and her flying, and the whole set, and then we tried to pull out through the factory and do it all, and it killed us. And it was the last shot we had to finish, so we ended up having to render it on twos. That is so sad.

Nawrocki: The sad thing is that I could probably do it on my laptop that I want to replace right now. (laughs)

Vischer: I did it on my Palm Pilot while we were talking. (pause) I was never really wild about that bunny package. We didn’t have designers back then.

Nawrocki: Or George for that matter. What’s up with that mustache, George?

Vischer: It was a really nice, well-rounded clay mustache and then someone sat on it.

Nawrocki: It’s like Play-Doh that got stale.

Vischer: Yeah. (pause) ‘Kay, now we introduced Mr. Lunt. We forgot to talk about him, we’ll come back and talk about him in a minute. But no we’re about to introduce Mr. Nezzer, I think. And by the way, if you haven’t caught on, this is a retelling of the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. Still, some people will never quite catch on to that and they just think it’s a really bizarre story where the characters get burned at the end.

Nawrocki: (laughs) Well, Brazil was a big influence in this film too.

Vischer: Brazil? Yeah, um-

Nawrocki: This little Terry Gilliam? Yeah, this monitor reminds me of Brazil.

Vischer: Some of the machines and mechanics were inspired by Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Mr. Nezzer, though, the character itself, the voicing was inspired by the Oogie Boogie Man in Tim Burton’s "The Nightmare Before Christmas". A little known factoid.

Nawrocki: Really, that was before 1995?

Vischer: Yeah.

Nawrocki: Wow.

Vischer: Yeah. It was ‘94, I think. So thank you Terry Gilliam, thank you Tim Burton and thank you, the Coen Brothers.

Nawrocki: Now this chewing technology was new at the time too. (laughs) We thought “Hey, let’s just stick orbs on their cheeks and wiggle ‘em!”

Vischer: Wiggling, shiny balls on their cheeks! Pixar was actually so impressed with this shot that they called us and asked “How did you do those cheeks?” And we said, “We’re sorry, we can’t tell you.”

Nawrocki: Top secret.

Vischer: Top secret. Of course, they stole the idea, I’m sure it came up in Toy Story somewhere. So this was, uh, this was actually the year that Toy Story came out. Uh, and probably came out about the same time. It’s very hard to tell the difference, technically, what uh, nine people can do in a smelly screw plant as opposed to a hundred and eighty people, uh, in a well-funded studio.

Nawrocki: Okay, this is, this takes my vote for the worst animation we’ve ever done. (laughing) She looks like a Macy’s Day balloon hovering over his crib.

Both: (laughing)

Vischer: Well, ya know-

Nawrocki: It’s kinda frightening if you saw that in your crib, wouldn’t you be frightened?

Vischer: Oh look, it’s putting him right to sleep! Junior was so embarrassed to have to wear that baby bonnet. Wouldn’t come out of his dressing room.

Nawrocki: That sucking, that sucking was, uh, influenced by The Simpsons.

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: So thank you Matt Groening for that. You notice the buzzing texture on the floor behind him. Render technology wasn’t so hot back then, it is very hard to render a whole half-an-hour film with four computers. That was nice, though.

Nawrocki: That was nice.

Vischer: We make up with heart what we lack in technology.

Nawrocki: Lacked.

Vischer: Lacked! Yes.

Nawrocki: We’re getting better at it.

Vischer: We're getting better. Oh, look at that.

Nawrocki: Oh, that's our crying technology! I think that's our first use of crying technology.

Vischer:Yeah, yeah. Very similar to what you just saw in "Monsters, Inc.", as uh, Sulley walks away from Boo. Oh, did you see that rapid action chewing on the peas? Oh look, they're slowing down. Ooh, ow. That's a little intense.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: Now I believe Nezzer's office was also inspired by some of the art direction in the Coen Brothers' "Hudsucker Proxy”.

Nawrocki: M-hm.

Vischer: A film I'd highly recommend. Oh, like bloated whales. Now Mr. Lunt, while we're here, we'll talk about Mr. Lunt who was also created for this show. He was supposed to be, um, kind of the archetypal, archetypical quintessential, uh, gangster sidekick. The guy who's always running around saying (imitating Lunt) "Hey boss! Hey boss, what do we do?"

Nawrocki: And your goal was to make him half-Italian and half-Hispanic, right?

Vischer: Quasi, yeah quasi-ethnic. I was trying to park him somewhere in between Italian and Hispanic and he usually ends up going more Hispanic than Italian. But it's not my fault. But he was actually, the voicing for Mr. Lunt was inspired by the weasels in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" So you can add that to the big wall chart of character inspirations. That's a funny scene, where he says "I'm bennyboo".

Nawrocki: Oh yeah, that's coming up, right?

Vischer: No, it just went by.

Nawrocki: It did? Oh, I'm sorry. You were talking. Can you please be quiet?

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: Look, his mustache is not moving. We didn't know how to make their mustaches move until much later.

Both: (laugh)

Nawrocki: That was a new plugin around 1995.

Vischer: If you look, the view out that window, I think the view out that window was-

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: One of our finer matte paintings.

Nawrocki: Smoked factory glass.

Vischer: But look, we de-focused the background.

Nawrocki: Oh yeah. You know, we actually did this on a Macintosh. We took took these frames out frame-by-frame and de-focused them.

Vischer: Right.

Nawrocki: And then brought them back in.

Vischer: Wow, and back then, that's saying something. (silent for five seconds) There was a missing frame in that shot, I noticed.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: That happened a lot.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: Sometimes, we had time to go back and fix them, sometimes we didn't. Nice little photograph of the bunny.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: But it's squished.

Nawrocki: Got that from the calendar. Oh, it is squished! Yeah.

Vischer: It wouldn't fit in the frame, evidently.

Nawrocki: I remember, uh, sticking ties on these guys was fun.

Vischer: Yeah, sticking tie, I like the design, but trying to put a tie on Bob the Tomato is nigh unto impossible.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: 'Cause his mouth touches the ground, basically. You'll notice that when we go back to him. Nice eyebrow animation. See that tie on Bob? When he opens his mouth, it's very difficult to keep it from going into his mouth.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: Which often did I imagine, I like the clock on the wall. It's a very, overall, a nice nineteen, late 50s, early 60s look to his office. I'd like to work in an office like that someday.

Nawrocki: Well, that was like your office in the screw factory, it had-

Vischer: Yeah, it was.

Nawrocki: Shagged carpeting, and um, ugly curtains.

Vischer: The guy that built the screw factory was a bit of a hipster and he built himself an office with real wood paneling and shagged carpet. And that was my office.

Nawrocki: And he had his own bathroom.

Vischer: Yeah, so then I had my own bathroom.

Nawrocki: The rest of us had to share one.

Vischer: Yeah, so I could stick my head out the door and say "Attention little people! I have an announcement! I'm going to use my bathroom!"

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: Okay, well we could talk about this song for about a half an hour, or we could just read the letters from parents about this song. Now if you're watching this version and you're listening to my voice, you're obviously watching this version. This is the third version of The Bunny Song that we created. The first version, obviously- ooh, this is where it gets fun! The first version, I mean, obviously, the bad guy's song that they weren't supposed to sing had to be bad, right?

Nawrocki: That's right.

Vischer: If the song was good, it'd be okay for them to sing it, right?

Nawrocki: That's, that's right.

Vischer: So it was really important to the story that the song was bad, right?

Nawrocki: That's right! But there's a problem with that scenario.

Vischer: So I made this song a little bit too bad and it had lines in it, I mean, those lines, some people didn't like that, but it also had lines like "I don't love my mom and I don't love my dad" and that didn't go over very well.

Nawrocki: Or "I won't go to church and I won't go to school".

Vischer: Yeah, that's still in there.

Nawrocki: Oh, is it?

Vischer: It just went by.

Nawrocki: It just went by, we were talking so much!

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: Well, that's what the commentary is for! I mean, I hate the commentaries where they don't say anything, you just hear them breathing! That's no fun!

Nawrocki: Wait, let's do that for a minute.

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: So you can enjoy this song, Mike's gonna breathe for you. In rhythm with the song.

Nawrocki: But the with this song, it was so catchy that the bad, it's one of our more catchy songs.

Vischer: It is a catchy song.

Nawrocki: So the kids were just-

Vischer: Yeah, I don't think the tape was out more than three weeks before we started getting letters and I got a letter from one mom in particular who said she was in a grocery store and her kids started singing "I don't love my mom and I don't love my dad". And another mom, their kids were singing with their neighbor kids "I won't go to church and I won't go to school". And we thought "Okay, maybe this wasn't such a hot thing" cause that's a song they weren't supposed to sing and yet, kids were singing it. Obviously not paying attention to the story.

Both: (chuckle)

Nawrocki: Didn't they learn anything?

Vischer: So, we did a sing-along video and we wanted to use the song on the sing-along video, cause it was so, you know, singable, so we rewrote it entirely and made what we call the redeemed version of The Bunny Song. Which was all good, when his character was redeemed. Ooh, that's scary. Bad bunny. That's bad. So anyway, we did that one and then we decided we really need to change the song in the video itself, so we wrote a less bad, kind of a medium-bad version. And I believe that's the one you just witnessed.

Nawrocki: But then we got letters from people who didn't like that one as much as the original.

Vischer: Well, yeah, a few people said "Ooh, come on, man! Stick with the original one!" So, you know. You can, it's what I told Mike back in nineteen ninety-whatever.

Nawrocki: Five.

Vischer: You can please some of the people some of the time or all of the people- no, that's not how it goes.

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: You can please your mother almost all the time, but you can't please all the mothers any of the time.

Nawrocki: I don't think we had the technology in 1995 to get sayings quite right.

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: Something like that- ooh, wow! This is an exciting part. Now this was back before we had any designers on staff, so all of this is my own design. I designed that, I made little sketches, they're really bad sketches cause I'm not a very good illustrator.

Nawrocki: I remember doing the sounds effects for this scene.

Vischer: Yeah, they were big.

Nawrocki: It was the most ambitious we've gotten with sound effects, we just used a lot of reverb and a lot of-

Both: (chuckle)

Nawrocki: What was the crunching? I don't know if I got that off a sound effects disc.

Vischer: What's wrong with Mr. Lunt's mustache? It's disappearing. Ooh, this was fun! Yeah, that was my idea. "Put the platform on hydraulics!", I said.

Nawrocki: And I came up with hydraulic sound there.

Vischer: Good job.

Nawrocki: Thank you very much.

Vischer: Back then, Mike was doing all the editing, audio and video editing. Cause there were only nine people, so.

Nawrocki: And all the mouth animation too.

Vischer: Oh, that's right!

Nawrocki: Yeah, animated all these mouths.

Vischer: Yeah, and look at all those little peas with the fronts of their hats stuck in the sand.

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: Ooh, that's an angry face. Can't really see his mouth there, cause we didn't have a lighting department yet. So characters would disappear a lot. Due to bad lighting. (pause) But he's singing the right song. God bless him.

Nawrocki: (laughs again)

Vischer: No, it's the right song, Laura. Was this, uh, Laura appeared first in, uh, The Story of Flibber-o-Loo, but she didn't have any speaking role-

Nawrocki: Right.

Vischer: Until we got to this one.

Naworcki: Yup. And this is Kristen Blegen's voice.

Vischer: Yup. Well, that was nice. (pause) But I think they’re gonna get in trouble.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: It would’ve been nice to have some score right there, but we really hadn’t started scoring much yet. In fact, our first film has no score in it whatsoever. See, that’s a nice place for some score.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: Um...

Nawrocki: I thought I remembered there being score here...

Vischer: There was score here. I don’t think there’s score on the one we’re watching!

Nawrocki: (chuckles) What’s wrong? Hello? Helloooo?!

Vischer: Oh, is it over?

Nawrocki: Oh… Up! Here it comes! Silly Songs with Larry!

Vischer: You wanna talk about this?

Nawrocki: (laughing) Well, haven’t we already done that on Ultimate Silly Song Countdown? Maybe I can find some other stuff to talk about. Let’s see here...

Vischer: How’d you come up with this song, Mike? I’ll interview you.

Nawrocki: Okay, well, I came up with this song listening to a, uh, song with my wife in the car called “Los Americanos” while my wife was translating it for me. And I just thought the, uh, the dynamic with her translating a song for me, which was basically making fun of me.

Vischer: She being a Spanish speaker.

Nawrocki: Yeah, she’s a Spanish speaker, right, native Spanish speaker.

Vischer: From Colombia.

Nawrocki: From Colombia, that’s right. So I just thought it was really funny and I thought it would be really funny to have, uh, Bob translating a song while Larry was, uh, basically making fun of him.

Vischer: And it was funny.

Nawrocki: (chuckling) Yeah, and here it is! I really know how to sell, don’t I?

Vischer: (chuckling) I think the result is self-evident.

Nawrocki: Uh, Ron Smith, here at Big Idea, animated this whole Silly Song all by himself.

Vischer: Wow.

Nawrocki: And I think he even modeled the whole thing.

Vischer: Wow.

Nawrocki: Ron's now the director of 3-2-1 Penguins.

Vischer: Wow. You'll notice that, uh-

Nawrocki: Oh, oh, oh! And I remember another thing! Some of the background was inspired by our mural that we had in our hose, so I just brought in the mural and showed it to Ron.

Vischer: Wow.

Nawrocki: And he, uh, you know, built that.

Vischer: What do you know. Now you'll notice this is kind of a reference, here, to theme parks...

Nawrocki: Oh yeah.

Vischer: In general and, uh, Disney theme parks specifically, you'll notice he's got little peas on his head there. (sarcastic laugh)

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: And what he said "authentic Argentinian garb".

Nawrocki: That's right.

Vischer: I don't think anyone has picked that up, and those are dwarves. See, they were dwarves chasing their mother, I got a letter from some kids who thought that we were making fun of dwarves.

Nawrocki: Really?

Vischer: Yes. And their uncle was a dwarf.

Nawrocki: Oh no, we weren't doing that.

Vischer: We're not making fun of dwarves, we were kind of making fun of, uh, certain theme parks, that we like and we take our own kids to.

Nawrocki: Quite often!

Vischer: Nothing against them, but it's just, you know, can be fun to have fun with things.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: Sometimes.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: God made a whole world full of things to have fun with.

Nawrocki: That's right.

Vischer: But the, uh, the, like, "butter on a bald monkey" line is probably my favorite line Mike has ever written.

Nawrocki: Really?

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: My top two or three spoken phrases of all time.

Both: (chuckle again)

Nawrocki: Well, that should be on a t-shirt then!

Vischer: I think so. Look at him go, you'll notice that Larry's, um, poncho is kinda dancing a little bit. Again, a limitation of our render technology at the time.

Nawrocki: It sure would be nice if that poncho could react as Larry moved around.

Vischer: Yeah. Maybe if it would move or something?

Nawrocki: Yeah. It's a starched poncho.

Vischer: So this was 1995, like we said and there were, uh, did we mention there were only nine of us that made this? Only three or four computers? How many? Maybe we only had three.

Nawrocki: I think we, yeah, we had, uh...

Vischer: Yeah, cause we had double shift. We had, you know, six guys animating and three would work form nine to five, and the would come in and work from six to whatever.

Nawrocki: Oh, and this, our editing system at the time, the Media 100, we had six... (pause) Gigabytes... Was that six gigabytes or megabytes?

Vischer: Gigabytes.

Nawrocki: No, yeah, six, it would really be kinda small. Six gigabytes at the time and it was an incredible amount of storage, we thought, at the time. And I think we paid, uh, eight thousand for those two drives to hold six gigabytes, so, and I just bought a, uh, hard drive for my computer at home, paid eighty dollars for twenty gigabytes.

Both: (chuckle)

Vischer: Eighty dollars?

Nawrocki: Eighty dollars. Isn't that sick?

Vischer: Our first, uh, hard drive that we bought to do our first show was a two gigabyte hard drive that cost twenty-two hundred dollars. And that's, we had one two gigabyte drive to do the whole first show. Now we have, well, we have two editing systems, each of them as, uh, two hundred meg. And then central storage at Big Idea-

Nawrocki: Gig, you mean?

Vischer: Sorry, two hundred gig.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: And central storage at Big Idea is a terabyte and a half or two and a half terabytes or something in that range.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: See, technology, it changes. That's really what we're trying to say here.

Nawrocki: Over the years.

Vischer: If you don't like it, just wait a minute. It's like the weather in Chicago.

Nawrocki: But ropes, ropes...

Vischer: Ropes?

Nawrocki: Let me say a word about ropes in technology.

Both: (chuckle)

Nawrocki: Rope technology hasn't really improved...

Vischer: No.

Nawrocki: In the past six years.

Vischer: Every time we tie up our veggies, it looks equally as bad. If you go to the Christmas show, The Toy That Saved Christmas, these guys are tied up once again and it looks just as unbelievable. Oooh. That's not a good sign. So they're gonna go down the slide. Now this-

Nawrocki: Oh, now this shot right here, this is a weird shot. It's a point of view that automatically... Whoa. Whoa, was that re-edited? That might've been re-edited.

Vischer: No.

Nawrocki: Yeah, you remember? Cause there was a point of view shot and then it actually-

Vischer: Oh, yeah.

Nawrocki: And in the middle, it actually disengaged from the character's point of view.

Vischer: Oh look, there's another shot on twos!

Nawrocki: Yeah. Every other frame was rendered there.

Vischer: Someday, we'll fit that when we have the money. He fell into a big vat of chocolate, now I designed those little carrot cars, I was very proud of those.

Nawrocki: Those are nice.

Vischer: The flying bunny heads the carrots drive, oooh, scary.

Nawrocki: That was a BMW, uh, that I used for sound effects.

Vischer: Wow. Very impressive.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: Now this was really our first attempt in VeggieTales at a chase scene. There are some, you know, if you want to make movies, there are some key elements you have to be able to do. You know, good musical number, a good chase scene, a good emotional heart tug. And so every one of these early films kind of explored a different thing to see if we can figure out how to do it, and this was "Let's see if we can do a chase scene". In retrospect, it's a, it's kind of a pathetic chase scene.

Nawrocki: (laughs) It's a little slow, isn't it?

Vischer: It's a little slow.

Nawrocki: Hey, she put on the brakes there, that was nice.

Vischer: Yeah, she put on air brakes of some sort. But they're clearly in trouble now. Mr. Nezzer was a lot of fun. I still like that guy.

Nawrocki: Yeah.

Vischer: He doesn't get to come back enough. And those were the same hands that were assembling bunnies on the conveyor belt, we just started slapping those hands all over the place. And you'll notice there was a gap over his head, that was a rendering mistake. Mr. Lunt there was supposed to have a catwalk over his head. And there's just a hole in the catwalk.

Nawrocki: M-hm.

Vischer: And out the windows, of course, it's still the whiteout. It's a heavy, heavy snow.

Nawrocki: This is actually a good-looking piece of animation right here.

Vischer: Oh yeah, the stuff in here came out really well. I think I won't speculate as to who did it.

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: It was either Tom Danen or Ron Smith, but is very nice. But the fire, I just want you to know, the fire in the furnace, I animated.

Nawrocki: Did you really?

Vischer: Yeah, and I think the opening of the furnace, uh, mechanical stuff, I did.

Nawrocki: That's nice.

Vischer: Thank you very much. (pauses for four seconds) Whoops! This was back when I was still animating a few shots here and there. I don't think I did the smoke, though. See, now look, it's kinda hard to see him, that's the lack of a lighting department again.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: And now everything gets kinda crazy, is that a train whistle I hear?

Nawrocki: Yeah, I think I used a train whistle.

Vischer: Oh, I did that, I animated those special effects, stuff coming out of the windows. Yaaay! (pauses for twelve seconds) See, if you don't know the Bible story, that doesn't make any sense at all. So we're all hoping here that you know the Bible story.

Nawrocki: Be an angel in there.

Vischer: That'd be an angel. Yay, calls them out. Very white, they come out. Very, oooh.

Nawrocki: Oh, yeah. (chuckles) He made a quick turnaround here, did he?

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: We didn't really have the time or the resources for, uh, a lot of introspection.

Nawrocki: He sorta, character just sorta turned on a dime.

Vischer: If only life were that simple.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

(silent for seven seconds)

Vischer: Oooh. Here comes a fun one. Now a couple of people have picked up on this already, but this song was actually inspired by...

Nawrocki: Adam Ant, right?

Vischer: Yes. "Goody Two Shoes", Adam Ant.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: The song that we won't sing for you right now, cause it wouldn't necessarily be appropriate. But it has a great groove to it and that kinda inspired this. This was one of the first songs we tried to produce with live horns in it. Up till this point, almost everything was just completely synthesized or sampled. Notice they, all those peas cut themselves shaving.

Nawrocki: (chuckles) And those peas were, uh, all the animators. Remember we put all the animators into the booth?

Vischer: That's right, we put all the animators into the booth, in the screw factory. And had 'em sing. I can recognize-

Nawrocki: The booth in the screw factory was, uh, like a fireproof safe. So it was like this big concrete, uh, room that we actually had to, uh, like get that construction-adhesive and, uh, glue foam to the walls.

Vischer: Larry fell off the end.

Nawrocki: That's silly.

Vischer: That's always good for a laugh.

Nawrocki: Yup.

Vischer: Sometimes, when we worry not having enough humor in the show for the kids, you know, like we've been doing a lot of really hopefully funny dialogue and stuff like that, we just have to remind ourselves "Have Larry fall down, have Larry fall down, it's time for Larry to bump into something!" And then the kinds are right back into-

Nawrocki: Oh, remember this?

Vischer: Yes!

Nawrocki: We didn't have time to render that!

Vischer: We didn't have time to finish the show, basically!

Nawrocki: So let's use some quick cuts instead of a pullout!

Vischer: So we got to the end and we run out of time, we run out of money, we run out of everything, and so I just came up with that, I think I animated that little loop there, although maybe Ron Smith did it, so I'm not gonna take credit for it.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: And then pulled out and said "Okay, I guess this is, uuh, I guess the film's over! Guess that's...have George smile and twinkle his tooth and let's get outta here! 'Cause it has to ship the day after tomorrow!"

Nawrocki: Oh, here's another render savings: split Bob and Larry and have them talk to each other.

Vischer: And never show Larry. See, some directors would've said "Okay, let's cut to the cucumber".

Nawrocki: (chuckles) That's right. But if you can just have Larry, or if you just have Bob stare at the screen, you won't have to animate Larry.

Vischer: Right. That's a beautiful echo on his voice, did you do that?

Nawrocki: Yeah, I did, I did. I turned up the reverb on that one.

Vischer: And that was some of our first water.

Nawrocki: (chuckles) That's right.

Vischer: Very nice water animation.

Both: (chuckle)

(silent for six seconds)

Vischer: Now this was, uh, we're coming up to Larry's long monologue about, uh, his nimble schooner Felix.

Nawrocki: Oh, yeah. And Kennebunkport, right?

Vischer: Kennebunkport, Maine which was the, uh, the home of our former president, George Bush I.

Nawrocki: Yes.

Vischer: Which is when this was made, I believe.

Nawrocki: That's right. (pause) No, it must've been after that! It was '95. Yeah, Bush went out of office before then.

Vischer: Oh, yeah.

Nawrocki: Yeah. I think he went out of office in what, '92?

Vischer: We were still reminiscing about the good ol' days, I guess, or something. (pause) Here he goes.

(silent for ten seconds)

Both: (chuckle)

Nawrocki: Uh, Larry rambled on like that in I Love My Lips as well, remember with, uh...

Vischer: (laughs) See, he clicked his heels together three times.

Nawrocki: Click, click, click!

Vischer: Get it?

Nawrocki: I get it! That's some funny stuff.

Vischer: See, some of the humor is just, it's so, you know, sophisticated.

Nawrocki: Complex.

Vischer: That you can show it to people and they don't laugh. See, that's a whole higher level of sophistication when people don't laugh. (pauses) This is, uh, again shows how things that go well for Larry usually don't go well for Bob. And for some reason, most everything goes well for Larry.

Nawrocki: That, uh, Qwerty screen was inspired by our countertop.

Vischer: (laughs) Yeah, our early packages were, uh, like that. And then we got really tired of it so we stopped doing it.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: Larry said Thesaloopians.

Nawrocki: Thesaloopians?

Vischer: Yeah, I remember writing those and thought "Oooh, this'll be fun. Let's have Larry say Thessalonians really funny." And sure enough, it was funny. I think we can all agree to that now. Right. Good lesson, Larry! Thank you! Alright, we actually got letters, we got a few letters from people saying it was really unconsiderate, inconsiderate of Larry to leave Bob in the sink like that.

Nawrocki: (chuckles)

Vischer: We need to make another show where Bob gets out of the sink. Now, and I have to point out that Larry isn't consciously being unkind to Bob here nearly as much as he's just being Larry.

Nawrocki: See, Larry didn't know that all he had to is turn on the water and Bob would float to the top.

Vischer: Or drown.

Nawrocki: (chuckles) Tomatoes float.

Vischer: Oh look, here's the credits. These are the credits. Look at 'em, see, that's pretty much the whole company right there.

Nawrocki: (chuckles) There you go.

Both: Leslie!

Nawrocki: He was a fireman half-time!

Vischer: Yeah, he was a half-time fireman.

Nawrocki: He'd work every third day and come in and render.

Vischer: The funny thing was is that he found working at Big Idea so much more stressful than being a firefighter that he quit and became a firefighter full-time.

Both: (laugh)

Vischer: True story.

Nawrocki: Wow.

Vischer: So, here's all the songs, yup, yup. Kurt, yup. Rusted horns. Kurt helped me write all that stuff. Dance of the Cucumber.

Nawrocki: Oh, there's me.

Vischer: Mike did all that, that's him. Yay, Kurt helped Mike. We don't really write songs, we write melodies.

Nawrocki: (laughs)

Vischer: And then Mike has to turn them, or Kurt has to turn them into songs.

Nawrocki: Oh, translation, Lisa, that's my wife.

Vischer: Lisa, that's Mike's wife. And Lisa Vischer, that's my wife! See, we both married Lisas, isn't that ironic? Oh, look it's all done! Okay! See ya next time!

Nawrocki: (in Larry's voice) Goodbye!

Vischer: Thanks for comin'!

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