Family media company Big Idea Productions, creators of the successful VeggieTales home video franchise, has expanded its animation production division with the addition of Dan Philips as vice president of production and Ameake Owens as producer. In his new position as vice president of production, Philips will oversee all aspects of production for Big Idea and develop strategies to strengthen the studio's various production-related departments. Prior to joining Big Idea Productions, Philips worked with DreamWorks SKG as the digital supervisor for THE ROAD TO EL DORADO. He also has held the positions of artistic liaison and co-head of visual effects for the film THE PRINCE OF EGYPT and worked for Walt Disney Feature Animation. Also added to the production staff at Big Idea is Ameake Owens who is serving as producer for the studios first-ever full-length feature film JONAH - A VEGGIETALES MOVIE (scheduled for release in summer 2002). Owens came to Big Idea Productions from DreamWorks Feature Animation, where she worked as the production supervisor for SINBAD and THE ROAD TO EL DORADO.
Michael Hurwicz investigates the ways some animated properties including the VeggieTales -- have been able to rack up big licensing and merchandising success without the usual exposure of television or a feature film release.