Jelly Telly

Phil Vischer—you know, the VeggieTales guy—recently announced he's getting back into Christian media. How, you ask? Well, he's launching a kids media studio that will distribute exclusively on the internet through a monthly subscription service.

Oh, and you get to pick your price.

It's just crazy enough to work.

He explains how and why in the video below (it's about 20 minutes long and worth every second).

The video can be seen full-size at the Jelly Telly website, which will have more content at a later date.

So, for those that didn't have the wherewithal to get through the video, the basic premise is that there are all these Christian film students and story tellers that graduate from college and have no Disney Channelesque place to tell their stories, which means that kids have nowhere to get those stories that might include a lot of Christian principals.

That's unfortunate because kids are—to put it lightly—heavily influenced by media.

Judging from the shorts in the video we can expect some high quality talent to come Jelly Telly's way, which in turn will lead to kids learning all sorts of wonderful things about Christianity and the world around them in a safe environment.

Personally, although I'm well outside the target audience for Jelly Telly, I'm all for this venture, but it does bring up some questions about media and Christianity.

Do we need to have separate outlets like this for Christian media, or should we work within the structures of this world? Do kids need another way to consume media, or should instead of replacing one way of consumption for another, spend their time in other ways?

And on a lighter note: do you think this has a chance of being successful? And, how much are you going to pay per month?

Sidenote: Mr. Vischer wrote up the history of what happened to Big Idea a while back. It's an interesting read.

Comments (11)

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i watched the video. I’m not sure they can compete with nic or disney. I like the concept, but you gotta compete to get the fan base. Seemed a little like PBS sesame street stuff.

I think this is a great idea. I would happily pay 10-30 bucks a month for an outlet like this. Way to go Jelly Telly. Cant wait to sign up!!!!

Decent idea, but I really don’t see the correlation to Disney Channel. I hope they have stuff planned that can reach the tweens and teens. And I hope the site has more than just videos. Kids today spend more time online than in front of the TV–and they’re not online watching videos. They’re on social networks, browsing websites, chatting, emailing, etc.

Thanks for the heads up on this.  We’ve added your report and questions to our site.

It doesn’t seem to buffer if you pause and walk away for awhile; you need a fairly high speed connection to watch this without it lagging.  (Or maybe our network is slow because it’s summer and kids are home from school!)

I agree with Travis’ comment.  Erik’s point is also well taken.  Kids today tend to watch “up”—watching stuff that on first glance appears to be for older age bracket.  Also if the tweens think it’s cool, that will encourage the younger ones to watch.  Mixing live action characters may help build that bridge, if the kids they work with can be characters they can get to know over time.  Cole and Dylan Sprouse on ABC/Disney’s Suite Life or Miley Cyrus are examples of what both male and female kids and tweens prefer to watch.  If I were Phil Vischer, I’d be spending as much time casting as I did animating.

The key here may be that there is fresh content daily.  They’ll see stuff each time they haven’t seen before.  And Taylor’s comment seems to indicate that for some parents, this is most definitely worth the cost.

I am excited about this since my children would definately learn more through cartoon/puppet type media.  I’d be willing to pay $30.00 a month for this. :)

Ireally think that this website will be very cool.

Hi my name is Carolyn Morehouse. In our area I hear about you on WFRN. I love things like you are doing and have a great interest.  I like things like Veggie Tales and yes we need these things for kids.  Like Adventures in Oddessey, etc.  I wish it was a cartoon or something for kids.  I appreciate your work.

I think it is great, different outlets are always good, but kids like the internet and know how to use it. There is always other options available, reading, being creative, making things, etc. I do think as a parent it is our responsiblility to evaluate the usage of different media in order to have a balance and train our children up accordingly to be responsible.  Our God is so awesome and it is so exciting to have oportunities like this to add to the fun of serving our Creator.  There are many so called christian, videos that use the Bible but they change the story and that is so disturbing as we should not change God’s Word as then it becomes like any other book or story.  The Bible is not a story but it is God’s Word. We need discernment to see the lies from the truth as there are so many lies out in the world (wolfes in sheeps clothing) people want to hear what there itching ears want.  It is not about us but it is abour our Saviour Jesus Christ, not to be served but to serve Him, He doesn’t owe us anything He is Sovereign but we owe Him our lives and more. It is not about self-esteem but it is to know who we are in Christ and to find our identity in Christ (God-esteem).

Nic and disney and PBS involved too much magic this would be a class of its on. My daughter loves it!

I heard you on Focus and was impressed with your passion to do something to help the kids really get ‘grounded’ in truth.  I was encouraged to hear of your supposed failure with Veggie Tales but He works all things out to our good. (if we let Him work to show us).  Being a teacher for 30 years and being in Christian circles we need kids to understand the ‘deep’ below the ‘obvious’.  Go with the flow!!!

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