Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie is a 2002 American computer-animated comedy film based on VeggieTales, produced by Big Idea Productions, Lions Gate Films and FHE Pictures. It was the first feature-length film in the VeggieTales series.
The themes of the film were Compassion and Mercy. The film weaved two stories together to illustrate those themes. The first took place in the current day and concerned a bad mishap that occurred on the way to a Twippo concert. The second, set in ancient Israel, is based directly on the Bible story of Jonah. Through both stories viewers learned that they should be compassionate and merciful and that all people deserve a second chance.
This film featured the popular "Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" in both segments. They were first seen in the Silly Songs with Larry of the same name in Very Silly Songs! and later hosted The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown, and most of the animation was done in house by Big Idea Productions.
Bob the Tomato is driving Dad Asparagus and some of the Veggie children to see the popular singer "Twippo" in concert. Meanwhile, Laura the Carrot is taunting the other children because she won a backstage pass in a contest and will get to meet Twippo after the concert.
When Dad Asparagus turns around to tell Laura not to rub it in, he accidentally hits Bob with the steering wheel, making him lose control of the vehicle. The vehicle's front tires are shot out flat by a Porcupine and it goes careening down a hill and hits a stump just short of a river as Laura loses her backstage pass.
Unable to proceed, they take refuge in a nearby fancy, French, seafood restaurant. But conflict is tearing the little group apart: Bob blames Dad Asparagus for crashing the car, and Junior blames Laura. Junior, sitting at a table alone is met by the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything. The Pirates say he was tough on his friend and encourage him to show some compassion. To illustrate, they begin to tell all the Veggies a story (which they claim to have experienced, despite it clearly being set in ancient times).
Jonah (Archie) is a Prophet who receives messages from the Lord and delivers them to the Israelites. One day, God asks him to leave Israel and deliver a message to Nineveh Nineveh, a rough and dangerous city in Assyria, whose inhabitants the Israelites and Jonah hate and fear. Jonah panics and tries to flee from the Lord. He goes to his travel agent, Angus (Scooter), who tells him that the farthest he can get from Nineveh is Tarshish. When he spies the Pirates' ship docked in the harbor, he asks them to take him to Tarshish. They resist on account of the fact that they don't know how to sail, but Jonah convinces them by paying them, as they want to win a snack food sweepstakes. On the way to Tarshish, a guilt-stricken Jonah goes below deck to rest. There, he meets Khalil the Caterpillar, a traveling Persian rug salesman, who rants about how great Jonah is. He mentions Nineveh in the course of his rant, making Jonah feel even more unhappy.
After waking from a terrible nightmare, Jonah finds the ship beset by a great storm. Captain Pa Grape concludes that the storm has been sent because God is angry at someone on the ship. They all play Go Fish to determine who it is: the loser will be thrown from the ship. Jonah loses the game, admitting he is running from God, and is forced to walk the plank. Luckily, First Mate Lunt has an outboard motor, which they can use to return to Joppa. Unfortunately, Khalil accidentally destroys it. With Jonah off the ship, the skies clear immediately. The Pirates attempt to reel him back in, but a whale swallows Jonah. The whale also swallows the lifebelt attached to Jonah, and threatens to pull the ship underwater. The Pirates fire the cannon at the whale but are forced to use a bowling ball as ammo. The whale surfaces and swallows the ball with Khalil inside.
Inside the belly of the whale, Jonah is visited by a host of God's messengers. They explain through a rousing number that if Jonah repents then God will grant him a second chance too. Jonah vows to go to Nineveh if God shows him mercy, and he and Khalil are spit up onto the shore.
Jonah proceeds straight to Nineveh as promised. After being denied entrance to the city, the Pirates Who Don't Do Anything appear, who have gained notoriety from the people of Ninevah for winning the sweepstakes. They sneak Jonah into the city disguised as winners of the sweepstakes, thought they are all promptly arrested for the theft of Cheese Twists. After sentenced to death by "the Fish Slap of No Return", they are granted an audience with King Twistomer (Apollo Gourd wearing a fake mustache). When King Twistomer hears that Jonah has survived in the belly of a whale, he listens to his message. Jonah delivers the message given to him by God. He tells them they should repent and amend their ways, or Nineveh will be destroyed. King Twistomer and the Ninevites quickly repent.
Jonah waits from a distance, hoping to see God's wrath destroy Nineveh. Khalil is disappointed in Jonah, and tries to explain to him that God is compassionate and merciful, that he has granted the Ninevites a second chance, and that so too should Jonah, since he was granted mercy. But Jonah, feeling pathetic and self-important, can't accept that. The story ends with Khalil and Jonah's camel Reginald leaving Jonah on a cliff overlooking the city.
Back in the present day, the Veggies understand the point of the story. Bob forgives Dad Asparagus and Junior gives his Twippo ticket to Laura. Twippo (also Archibald Asparagus) appears in the restaurant unexpectedly and the film ends with a grand musical number. Prior to the credits, a tow truck driver, who looks and sounds remarkably like Khalil, walks into the restaurant. This makes him somewhat recognizable to Twippo.