The creator of the hit Nickelodeon show The Fairly OddParents has launched a new series that aims to teach children about God and the Bible.
Butch Hartman and his wife, Julieann, recently released six episodes of the 40-episode cartoon The Garden. The animated show is centered around the characters Lenny the lion and Lucy the lamb. The show also includes an app and a companion Bible that features illustrations of the characters from the series.
"Our point is to get Scripture as early into the hearts of children as we can," Butch told The Christian Post in a recent interview.
Lenny and Lucy live in a garden together where everything that's beautiful grows, and they talk to God, whom they refer to as "the boss," daily. God, who comes down as a rainbow, talks to the characters and gives them assignments and tasks. However, they can only complete the tasks well after they turn to Scripture. The show also hopes to help children memorize Scripture through song.
Butch told The Christian Post that he converted to Christianity in 2000 after working in Hollywood for nine years.
Butch experienced success with The Fairly OddParents, which was not a Christian show, but Butch shared that he attempted to inject Christian values of love and family into it.
He added that the idea for The Garden first came to him in 2005, but he didn't do anything with it until 2015, when the Lord impressed it upon his heart.
"We made seven episodes of "The Garden"... and then we sat on them for a while and didn't do anything with them. I left Nickelodeon in 2018," Butch explained. "And then, in 2021, we had the opportunity to pitch The Garden to a group of highly motivated investor people, and they really loved it, and we ended up being able to get some support to make 40 episodes."
When asked why it was necessary for children to have this type of content, the Hartmans explained that it was important for kids to know that God is with them no matter what.
"We want to make sure that families and kids know that God is always there. The Bible says He's the same yesterday, today and forever. He has not left the building," Butch asserted. "People think He has. The world wants you to think God has left the building. The world is trying to make sure that you think God is gone, but God has not gone."
On Saturday, The Hartmans released The Garden Children's Bible at the Museum of the Bible as part of a joint effort with Harper-Collins to create The Garden Children's Bible. Parents can also download "The Garden" app on their phones. There's also an app for "The Garden" that parents can download. Capital Records, an American music label, has also released "The Garden" soundtrack.
The first six episodes of The Garden are now available on Pure Flix, Yippee and Christian Cinema.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Bob Grif
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.