Big Idea Entertainment, the leading faith-based studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands, announced today they will release their first new Easter holiday DVD in seven years, VeggieTales®: ‘Twas The Night Before Easter, on March 5 and March 8, 2011 in Christian and general market stores respectively.

This brand new DVD features plenty of fun music as well as a new character—Cassie Cassava—voiced by American Idol top finalist Melinda Doolittle. Other memorable family-friendly content includes silly songs, interviews and a backstage pass feature with Larry the Cucumber on the “VeggieTales Live!” tour. ‘Twas The Night Before Easter examines the importance of helping others and serving those in need while exploring the real meaning of Easter based on Mark 10:45, which says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

The title’s launch is supported by a comprehensive marketing and advertising campaign with licensing and promotional partners such as GundÒ, Toys “R” UsÒ, WalmartÒ, TargetÒ, American Greetings InteractiveÒ, Frankford Candy & ChocolateÒ, American Puzzle CompanyÒ and more, as well as live events.

“We hatched ‘Twas The Night Before Easter as a holiday surprise for families,” said Leslie Ferrell, General Manager of  Big Idea Entertainment. “This title follows the huge sales success our first Easter-themed release, An Easter Carol, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to deliver a new DVD timed to the holiday this year. It was truly a rewarding experience working with Melinda Doolittle, and we think fans are going to love her character, Cassie Cassava, just as much as her wonderful singing!”

DVD Synopsis

It’s Easter time in Crisper County and cable news reporter Marlee Meade is hunting for a way to help others. She cooks up a plan to save the old theater with a cast of costume-clad townies, massive props and a 20-foot robot rabbit to perform “Up With Bunnies.” Now there’s only one thing missing – the star of the show! When word spreads that singing sensation Cassie Cassava (Melinda Doolittle) is arriving to perform in her hometown church’s Easter service, Marlee schemes to steal the starlet for her own pageant! But when things go haywire, will it be curtains for Marlee’s dreams – or will she discover the true meaning of Easter and what helping others is really all about?

“Eggs-tra” Bonus Features:

  • Audio Commentary
  • “The Hopperena” Silly Songs Sing-Along
  • Behind the voice of “Cassie” with Melinda Doolittle
  • Larry’s backstage pass to “VeggieTales Live!”
  • “Easter Cards” Interactive Matching Game

Advertising, Radio, TV and Online Support

The VeggieTales: ‘Twas The Night Before Easter marketing and advertising campaign will focus on national print, television, radio, online, social media and grassroots team promotions. Big Idea Entertainment has developed a viral eGreeting Easter card campaign with American Greetings Interactive, as well as an “Easter Countdown” vignette program for radio outlets. Additionally, Big Idea will provide television stations in key markets with an animated interview segment of Larry the Cucumber for broadcast use, plus product giveaways to be serviced to over 100 local market stations as part of the of ‘Twas the Night Before Easter campaign.  A targeted media tour with artist Melinda Doolittle will also take place timed to the DVD release date.

World Vision Partnership

Furthermore, Big Idea Entertainment has teamed up with Christian charity World Vision as part of the campaign. The partnership will focus on building a greater awareness of how families can help care for those in need with opportunities to sign up for child sponsorships through World Vision at www.worldvision.org, as well as in person at numerous Christian retail stores across the country.  Child sponsorship packets for World Vision will be available at participating stores wherever there are VeggieTales Easter displays and World Vision displays.  The Easter DVD will also include a World Vision promotional video with a special message from Bob and Larry as an added feature.

Promotional Partners

Big Idea Entertainment will promote ‘Twas The Night Before Easter through indoor advertising on closed-circuit televisions serviced through ScreenPlay and PlayNetwork that will air clips and silly songs from the DVD in store viewing areas at select Barnes & NobleÒ, H-E-B GroceryÒ, JC PenneyÒ, Chuck E. Cheese’sÒ, GymboreeÒ, Best BuyÒ, Toys “R” UsÒ, WalmartÒ, TargetÒ and at other popular retail outlets. Clips from the DVD will also be featured on TVKarts (interactive shopping carts for children) at more than 190 MeijerÒ stores nationwide.

Consumer Products

Beginning this March, Big Idea Entertainment will roll out a line of ‘Twas The Night Before Easter and Easter holiday themed consumer products. Merchandise will include a mini-plush character set from GundÒ, a division of EnescoÒ, Easter “Candy Coins” from Frankford Candy & Chocolate Company available exclusively at Walmart stores, Easter baskets and tote kits from Sherwood DesignsÒ, a boxed puzzle from TalicorÒ, wooden puzzles from American Puzzle CompanyÒ, “Madame Blue’s Easter Hullabaloo!” Sound Board Book from Ideals PublicationsÒ, Individual Easter cards from DaySpringÒ, a division of HallmarkÒ, and an Easter egg coloring kit and VeggieBus toy all by Big Idea Entertainment.

Big Idea is also pleased to announce the release of VeggieTales®: Hosanna! Today’s Top Worship Songs For Kids! CD in conjunction with the street date of ‘Twas the Night Before Easter DVD. Featuring the vocal talents of GRAMMY and Dove Award-winning recording artists Amy Grant and Casting Crowns’ Mark Hall, the album boasts ten all new recordings for just $9.99 (UPC#: 820413115425).

Live Events

This March and April, more than 2,000 churches nationwide will host “Easter Egg-stravaganza” events to screen ‘Twas The Night Before Easter. Over 250 Christian retail outlets will coordinate “Easter Spectacular” screenings to coincide with the March 5 DVD release date.

About VeggieTales: ‘Twas The Night Before Easter

Not Rated-48 minutes-Color-5.1 Surround Sound-English & Spanish Subtitles Close-Captioned

Full Screen & Widescreen Versions

DVD UPC Codes CBA: 820413118990 $14.99 SRP and GM: 883476030319 $14.93 SRP

About Big Idea Entertainment

Big Idea Entertainment is the leading faith-based studio and producer of children’s and family programming, characters and brands.  Since 1993, Big Idea’s best-selling animated series VeggieTalesÒ has sold 54+ million videos, 13 million books and more than 7 million CDs.  VeggieTalesÒ and Big Idea’s property, 3-2-1 Penguins!Ò, enjoyed four seasons as top-rated series on NBC Saturday mornings, Telemundo and ION TV via the quboÒ children’s programming block.  The studio’s two theatrical releases, Jonah-A VeggieTales MovieÒ (2002), and Universal Pictures’ and Big Idea’s The Pirates Who Don’t Do AnythingÔ-A VeggieTales MovieÒ (2008), are distinguished among the top ten most successful faith-based films of all time. Big Idea also maintains an extensive presence in publishing, licensing and live entertainment arenas. For more information on Big Idea Entertainment, visit: www.bigidea.com.

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