Idol Chatter

vt_pirates_idol.jpgWhen Hollywood releases a faith-based movie these days, the marketing plan is sure to include sermon outlines, church-basement screenings and other come-ons for evangelicals. But at this weekend’s debut of “Evan Almighty,” evangelicals will be buddying up to the mainstream. Showings of “Evan” will be preceded by a trailer for “The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything,” the new movie from Big Idea, the company that brings you the humorously but authentically Christian VeggieTales cartoon series.
Big Idea no doubt hopes the juxtaposition will disarm audiences’ suspicions of Christian-produced entertainment as preachy or dull. If you can swallow a modern-day Noah story, what’s not to like about a twisted Bible-based tale starring talking vegetables?
The biggest winner yet may be the producers of “Evan.” Universal was already out there with a feel-good moral marketing campaign called “Ark Almighty,” and evangelicals already favor “Evan” director Tom Shadyac, an unabashed Catholic. But the “Pirates” trailer is tantamount to an endorsement from VeggieTales’ producers, whose trust rating in the evangelical world couldn’t be higher. You couldn’t get better word-of-mouth in a month of Sundays.

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