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Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Mark Caro

    Jonah may resemble an 83-minute Sunday school lesson, but at least it's a playful, colorful one, with spunky peas and tomatoes, chirpy kids' tune-- and bright animation that may not rival "Monsters, Inc." or "Shrek" but gets its points across.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The main lessons Jonah attempts to teach are compassion and mercy. That's an unusual -- and welcome -- message these days.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Entertaining, humorous take on biblical story.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this full-length movie is a faith-based morality tale like all of the films and products in the Veggie Tales franchise. The moments of peril, such as a raging storm at sea, a van careening out of control on a country road, and Jonah and friend being swallowed by a whale (and worrying about dying), are handled with such a light touch that they are unlikely to scare most children. Jonah may be tossed into the water, but he is wearing a very reassuring ducky lifesaver ring, and the credits explain that no vegetables were hurt in the making of the movie. Jonah’s story references only the Old Testament, except for the presence of a gospel choir and visual images of the cross in one sequence.

  • Families can talk about their own spiritual views -- and ask children about theirs.
  • Jonah has references to God and the Bible, but do you think the values in the movie are universal? 
  • When we must be obedient and when should we think for ourselves?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Jonah is designed to promote values rather than provide information. The terms "prophet," "compassion," and "mercy" are clearly defined. Some geographical locations are shown, specifically Biblical cities in Israel. The visuals include animated characterizations of Middle Eastern terrain, ancient dress, architecture, and music.   

  • message true5

    Messages: Primarily advances the virtues of compassion (when you see someone in need and you want to help) and mercy (when you give someone a second chance even if they don’t deserve it). These two concepts are introduced and cleverly repeated in multiple situations with a variety of characters. Along the way other positive-values messages are delivered: do not fight, do not cheat, do what’s right, don’t provoke, and many more. 

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Leading characters are intelligent, resourceful, courageous, and forgiving. Jonah, the prophet-hero, makes a mistake, realizes it, and seeks forgiveness. Even the meanest people learn the lessons that are being taught and "accept God’s message." An early scene contains some very poor driving skills and irresponsible behavior: looking at a map and being distracted by passengers. 

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: Cartoon action and suspense throughout. The movie opens with a wild ride in which a van and its passengers careen down a hillside, crash through barriers, nearly run over a porcupine family, and hover on the edge of a cliff. No one is injured. Jonah and his shipmates are caught in a violent storm, but as the ship tosses and turns, all on board play Go Fish and don’t appear panicky. Finally, the mythic whale swallows Jonah (among others), and the prophet does fear for his life. 

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: One funny reference to Ho-Ho's and Ding-Dongs.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue