BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – July 29, 2011 – What’s in the distribution deal? A new relationship, according to VeggieTales’ Creator and Jellyfish Labs Founder Phil Vischer and Bill Hearn, President and CEO of EMI Christian Music Group (EMI CMG) who have announced a long-term distribution agreement for Vischer’s Jellyfish Labs and its “Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible?” DVD series.
EMI CMG Distribution will assume distribution rights for the DVD series, forthcoming ancillary products and the music products created by Jellyfish Labs for the Christian retail marketplace in the U.S. and Canada, as well as the digital domain, including iTunes and Amazon.com. This fall, EMI CMG will re-launch five DVDs and release a new music CD and new DVD.
“I’m excited that Jellyfish Labs and our Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? DVD series has found a new home at EMI CMG Distribution,” said Vischer, who, before embarking on his latest venture, created VeggieTales. “I’ve always appreciated Bill Hearn and his team; their commitment to excellence and innovation make them great partners as we work to enhance the spiritual journeys of families everywhere through creative children’s products.”
“EMI CMG has worked with Phil on past VeggieTales music and feature films projects, making it a genuine fit for us to work together on his newest venture, Jellyfish Labs and the What’s in the Bible? DVD series,” said Hearn. “Families need What’s in the Bible more now than ever before. What better way to share the good news of the Gospel than this creative DVD series that is fun and informative for the whole family.”
Vischer and his Jellyfish team first launched the What’s in the Bible? series in early 2010. Vischer set out to teach children “the story of the Bible – about God’s great rescue plan and how stories like those of Moses, Noah, David, and Jesus fit together to tell one big, redemptive story.” Vischer’s signature wit shines through with his all-new cast of characters, fast-paced flash animation, puppetry and catchy tunes.
Each DVD contains two 25-minute episodes filled with original music, animation, puppets and creative storytelling. Hosted by the suave news anchor (and puppet) Buck Denver (voiced by Vischer), the series introduces unforgettable new characters including Sunday School Lady; brothers/archeologists Clive & Ian; pastor, teacher and gospel singer Brother Louie; and Captain Pete the church history-loving pirate. For the first time, Vischer also appears in the series. Vischer has written and voiced all but one of the characters in the series along with most of the original music.
Jellyfish Labs and EMI CMG will re-launch the first five DVDs in the DVD series in September 2011. The five DVDs will be repackaged and will include newly created family study guides as well as a digital copy for fans to place on their computers and mobile devices. The DVDs, which will be at retail on Sept. 27, include:
Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Vol. 1 In the Beginning
Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Vol. 2 Let My People Go
Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Vol. 3 Wanderin’ in the Desert
Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Vol. 4 Battle for the Promised Land
Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Vol. 5 Israel Gets a King
Also on Sept. 27, the first Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? – The Songs! music CD also releases through EMI CMG and features 18 favorite songs from the first five DVDs.
The following month, on Oct. 18, two brand new DVDs will debut, including the next installment in the series and a special holiday episode:
Buck Denver Asks…What’s In the Bible? Vol. 6 Kings & Chronicles – A Nation Divided
Buck Denver Asks… Why Do We Call It Christmas?
“Breaking new brands is difficult work these days and breaking new children’s brands would be considered treacherous! Such work requires great partnerships and a willingness to innovate, experiment and take some risks. EMI CMG is one of the few companies in the Christian marketplace that’s positioned for this kind of challenge. We’re delighted to have them as a partner in our efforts to help families better understand God’s word and raise up the next generation of Christians,” said Erick Goss, Managing Partner Creative Trust Media/Jellyfish Labs.
A testament to Vischer’s ability to create products that resonate with families, Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? was the best-selling new children’s DVD series at Christian retail in the past year and has sold almost 175,000 units.
Greg Bays, Sr. Vice President of Sales and Marketing for EMI CMG Distribution, says: “It is exciting to watch Phil Vischer use his creative genius and theological expertise to develop brand new characters and stories for our families to treasure. For EMI CMG Distribution, it is our job to ensure that these new DVDs and the music CD penetrate the marketplace so that they might impact children and their families for years to come. Our team is honored and humbled, and we take our stewardship of Phil’s vision very seriously.”
About EMI CMG Distribution ( www.emicmgdistribution.com):
EMI CMG Distribution was founded in 1994 to serve as the main distribution outlet for EMI CMG’s owned and distributed labels to the US Christian and general retail marketplace, and the international Christian marketplace. Since launching the distribution division, EMI CMG has had more annual charting titles on Billboard’s Top Christian Charts than any other Christian distributor and has been named Billboard Magazine’s Top Christian Music Distributor 10 times since 1995. In addition to distributing EMI Christian Music Group’s fully-owned labels, which include Sparrow, ForeFront, and Credential imprints, as well as EMI Gospel and Worship Together, EMI CMG Distribution has exclusive distribution agreements with Tooth & Nail/BEC, EE-Taow Records, Gaither Music Group, Green Hill Productions, Hal Leonard, Inpop, In:ciite Media, Isaiah 61, Just Me Music, Kingsway Music, Maranatha! Music, North Point Music, Sonoma Entertainment, Spring Hill Music Group, Troubadour for the Lord, Universal Music Group, VSR Music Group, Anchor Bay Entertainment/Starz, Creative Trust Media, GT Media, Guardian Studios/Bananas, First Look Studios, Pure Flix Entertainment, Rainbow Valley Heroes, Vivendi Visual Entertainment and Worthy Publishing. EMI CMG Distribution is a division of EMI Christian Music Group, a unit of EMI Music ( www.emi.com), one of the world’s leading music companies.
About Phil Vischer and Jellyfish Labs ( www.philvischer.com and www.jellyfishlabs.com):
In 1990, 24-year-old computer animator Phil Vischer sat down to create a group of characters that could teach Christian values to kids in a delightfully different way and so a tomato named Bob and a cucumber named Larry were born. VeggieTales revolutionized Christian filmmaking, selling more than 50 million videos and placing Phil’s faith-filled stories in one out of every three American households with young children. Phil continues to pursue innovative new ways to integrate faith and storytelling through his new company, Jellyfish Labs. His projects include JellyTelly, which provides faith-based daily programming via the Internet at JellyTelly.com in partnership with Focus on the Family as well as the Buck Denver Asks…What’s in the Bible? Series.