Cucumbers Of Unusual Size

On my last day of playing Mr. Mom my kids and I paid a visit to Big Idea headquarters.  Big Idea recently relocated from Chicago to Franklin, Tn and is the maker of all things Veggie Tales.  A friend of mine works there and invited me to bring the kids by if I ever ran out of fun things to do with them.  It took me only three days to call him.  Thankfully his schedule had a hole in it.

He met us at the door to the big Idea offices along with Kurt Heinecke, the main music guy at Big Idea.  Veggie Tales music is the only kid music I can actually enjoy.  Most of that is because the lyrics are very well crafted – not at all about “adult” things, but very well done, extremely smart and irreverent.  They remind me of old Warner Brothers cartoons in that there are two layers happening at once.  A kid layer of bold color and big eyed talking vegetables and another layer of sarcastic grown-up pleasing humor (poking fun at suburbanites in SUVs they don’t really need, for instance).  And the chord progressions are complex and clever enough to make a music nerd like me appreciative.  Kurt Heinecke has everything to do with all of that.  I’m a big fan.

After seeing the offices, playing with toys in development and coveting the Big Idea conference room with its massive screen and killer sound system, we went to Kurt’s office.  He let us see a rough of a new Veggie Tales flick in the making, with just enough animated for him to compose and record to.  It was impressive to see his studio and the process of film scoring midstream.

But four year-olds and two year-olds aren’t into composing.  They’re into farting.

Fortunately for them, their father and his composer friend are too.  Kurt let the kids play with his fart noise making toys, melodicas, “thunder pipes”, cymbals and other toys for kids of all ages (he’s got more of them than he has actual studio gear I think).

Then it was off to meet Mike Nawrocki, one of the founders of Big Idea, the voice of Larry the Cucumber and another co-writer of Veggie Tales’ songs.  He was extremely gracious, taking time out of his busy day to hang out with us for a few minutes.  He even broke into the Larry voice for next extra charge, which freaked my kids out.  They weren’t sure how Larry’s voice was coming from this strange man.  So I just told them Mr.Mike got hungry and ate Larry.  They seemed OK with that.  I think.

Thanks Steve, Mike, Kurt and everyone else at Big idea for putting a smile on my kids’ faces and making stuff for little people that parents don’t hate.