FARMINGTON — Familiar songs like "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" and "The Hairbrush Song" will echo through the Farmington Civic Center Monday during a Veggie Tales Live event.
The event gives children the opportunity to participate in celebrating the 20th birthday of Veggie Tales characters, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber.
During Veggie Tales Live, the characters from the popular children's show interact with the audience, as well as with other actors portraying people.
Larry the Cucumber is 9 feet tall in the live version and Bob the Tomato is just over 5 feet tall.
In the show, characters are planning a surprise birthday party for Bob and Larry.
When Veggie Tales creators Mike Nawrocki and Phil Vischer first started making Veggie Tales, computer animation was in its early days. They chose vegetables partly because they were easy to animate and because they were simple shapes with no hair or limbs.
"In their simplicity, they just had a real charm," Nawrocki said.
Nawrocki said they wanted the vegetables to be ordinary so they gave them normal names.
"I think the characters themselves are just so engaging," Nawrocki said.
He said when creating the characters of Bob and Larry, the two animators inserted their own personalities.
Nawrocki said the big eyes and bright colors also help kids relate to the characters. He views Veggie Tales as a resource for parents to instill certain Biblical values in their children.
"We try really hard to tell really fun stories with a really great lesson," Nawrocki said.
When the first episode was released 20 years ago, Nawrocki and Vischer put ads in a parenting magazine. Five hundred people responded by ordering copies.
While the first episode wasn't a huge success, it did launch them on their path when one of those 500 orders was from a distributor. But Nawrocki said it still took years for the show to become popular. Nawrocki said news of the show traveled through word-of-mouth.
In addition to creating Veggie Tales, Nawrocki voices Larry the Cucumber, who is best known for his part of the program, called "Silly Songs with Larry," which Nawrocki said was partly inspired by Monty Python.
Nawrocki said as a child he listened to the Dr. Demento Radio Hour, which was filled with parody music.
"I liked that more than regular music," Nawrocki said.
But the most important part of Veggie Tales for Nawrocki and Vischer is not the songs. It's the core message that is used as the Veggie Tales sign off:
"Always remember that God made you special, and he loves you very much."