He Wrote the Music for Wingfeather Saga and VeggieTales, Too: 'I'm Thankful All the Time'

Michael Foust | ChristianHeadlines.com Contributor | Friday, January 6, 2023
He Wrote the Music for <em>Wingfeather Saga</em> and <em>VeggieTales</em>, Too: 'I'm Thankful All the Time'

He Wrote the Music for Wingfeather Saga and VeggieTales, Too: 'I'm Thankful All the Time'

You may not know Kurt Heinecke's name, but you likely know his music if you've been a parent during the last two decades.

Heinecke was the music composer for VeggieTales, penning the tunes to the hilarious "silly songs" that Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato sang on the faith-centric hit animated series. Those songs, in turn, were memorized and repeated by countless children in numerous minivans nationwide.

He also served as composer for Superbook, the Slugs & Bugs Show and 3-2-1 Penguins – a trio of animated series that were also popular in Christian homes.

"It's a niche," he told Christian Headlines.

Heinecke's latest project is as director of music and composer for The Wingfeather Saga, an Angel Studios series based on the Andrew Peterson bestselling novels. It follows the story of a tight-knit family – the Igibys – who battle evil in a fantastical world.

The Wingfeather Saga was executive produced by J. Chris Wall, who previously worked on VeggieTales and the Slugs & Bugs Show.

Heinecke had worked with both Wall and Peterson in the past.

The music in The Wingfeather Saga, Heinecke said, is unique. Peterson wanted music that was "happy-sad," Heinecke said.

"We want to hear happy, but underneath that, there's this current of sadness because of the situation that they're in," Heinecke said of the Igibys. "So it was a challenge to find that balance between those. We also didn't want to sound like another Lord of the Rings, so we didn't want the Irish whistle through everything."

The music can be described as "Scandinavian" music, Heinecke said.

"It's a little icier, it's a little chillier" in Scandinavia, he said. "But it still has this ancient sound."

The serious-yet-entertaining tone of The Wingfeather Saga is significantly different from the "silly songs" in VeggieTales.

"I co-wrote all those," he said. "Although I don't write the lyrics."

The lyrics were written by Mike Nawrocki (Larry the Cucumber).

"I take his ideas and mold them into a full-fledged song," Heinecke told Christian Headlines. "My claim to fame is I played the tuba on the theme song of VeggieTales."

Heinecke credits God's providence for his career.

"I was the director of music of a church in Chicago [in the 1990s], where the founding members of VeggieTales were all attending that church," he said.

The series, he said, "exploded" in popularity.

"I'm thankful all the time that I'm using my God-given gifts," Heinecke told Christian Headlines.


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Photo courtesy: ©Angel Studios, used with permission.

Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

He Wrote the Music for Wingfeather Saga and VeggieTales, Too: 'I'm Thankful All the Time'