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VeggieTales Co-Creator Teaches Kids About Bible, Life of Jesus in New Animated Series 'The Dead Sea Squirrels'

Image Source: YouTube Screenshot/Lipscomb University
Image Source: YouTube Screenshot/Lipscomb University

A new faith-based children's series is coming from VeggieTales co-creator Mike Nawrocki, Disney animator Tom Bancroft, and producer Steve Taylor. 

The Dead Sea Squirrels is intended to help kids "make a connection to the Bible and life of Jesus," the Christian Post reports.

"I'm thrilled to see The Dead Sea Squirrels coming to life," Nawrocki told the CP. "The beginnings of the idea came to me over a dozen years ago. So, to get the opportunity to write a book series and now to move into animation — it is a longtime dream come true."

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The story follows Merle and Pearl, two 1st century squirrels from Israel who managed to stay preserved in salt alongside the Dead Sea. Then, 2,000 years later, a 10-year-old boy named Michael finds them and brings them home in his backpack. 

Merle, Pearl, and Michael experience action-packed adventures full of music and humor, all while learning important lessons.

The creator's Kickstarter campaign reveals the producers needed $1.2 million to get the series started. But after raising over $35,000, there were enough investors to fund the project.

"In the few days since our Kickstarter campaign launched we've had potential investors come forward to fund the series," the website for the fundraiser reads.

Nawrocki, who teaches film and animation at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee, hired a group of students to assist with animating the series.

He launched The Dead Sea Squirrels books in 2019 but kept the idea of creating an animated series close by. 

"The response has been incredible with Book One now in its third printing," Nawrocki said. "I knew all along I wanted the stories in these books to come alive through animation, and to create another resource for parents to get their kids excited about the Bible."

The animated series is expected to air in the fall of 2022. To find out more about The Dead Sea Squirrels, click here.

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