NEWS RELEASE – VANCOUVER, CANADA – JULY 5, 2018 - ELO is pleased to announce that Phil Vischer, creator of Veggie Tales, will be speaking at the ELO Forum in Vancouver on November 7th, 2018.
ELO serves Christian marketplace leaders through premier events and courses in North America, Asia and Europe. Since 2005, ELO has held over 50 ELO Forums attracting the world’s top Christian speakers, such as John C. Maxwell (world’s #1 leadership author), Mark Burnett (#1 Hollywood TV producer) and Bobby Gruenewald (Founder, YouVersion Bible App).
Phil Vischer is an ideal speaker for the ELO Forum in Vancouver on November 7th, 2018. Phil has had a significant impact on American culture and beyond. His groundbreaking children’s series, VeggieTales, has sold more than 65 million copies, been featured in major magazines and newspapers and even spoofed by Saturday Night Live and The Simpsons.
Phil created Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber as a 25 year-old Chicago-based computer animator, searching for ways to integrate his faith and his filmmaking. With the help of his wife, Lisa, his college buddy Mike Nawrocki, two art school grads and his church’s music director, Kurt Heinecke, Phil landed VeggieTales videos in a third of all American households with young children.
And then, at the peak of Phil’s success, everything turned upside down. Over-aggressive expansion coupled with a lawsuit from a former distributor forced Phil’s company, Big Idea Productions, into bankruptcy in 2003.
Phil lost his company, his characters, his dream. What he didn’t lose, though, was his relationship with God. On the contrary, losing everything showed Phil that God was all he had ever needed in the first place. Rather than losing hope, Phil found himself with a ministry he never expected – a ministry to anyone who has lost a dream.
Phil has detailed the dramatic rise and fall of his dream and the lessons learned in his well-reviewed book, Me, Myself & Bob: A True Story about Dreams, God and Talking Vegetables (Thomas Nelson, 2008).
Phil will be delivering the evening keynote on the same theme as the title of his book. Dealing with failure is part of being in business. Sometimes Christians assume that God’s blessing means that it will all work out—many times it doesn’t! How to have and maintain faith when a dream is shattered is the challenge—this is what Phil will talk about.
Phil will also speak during the afternoon session of the ELO Forum. His afternoon topic is, “The Battlefield for Young Souls: Faith, Animation & the Digital Age.” Few people are better situated to address this topic. The dominant culture, transmitted through media, can be a powerful influence on young minds from a very early age. How can Christians have a positive role in shaping these young minds?
Phil is currently President of Jellyfish Labs, LLC, Chicago. Since the bankruptcy of Big Idea Productions, Phil has produced What’s in the Bible? – a 13-part DVD series walking families all the way through from Genesis to Revelation, explaining the origins, meaning, and some of the “trickier bits” of the world’s most influential book.