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2009 Conversations


2008 Conversations


Nancy Gibbs
12.30.07

Bruce Barry
12.23.07

Zollie L. Smith Jr.
12.16.07

Arlyn Pember
12.9.07

Gaylon Wampler
11.25.07

Nichole Nordeman
11.18.07

George O. Wood
11.11.07

Mandisa
10.21.07

David Aikman
10.14.07

Thomas Trask
9.30.07

Charles Crabtree
9.30.07

Russ Taff
9.23.07

Earl Creps
9.16.07

Tri Robinson
9.9.07

Ted Baehr
8.26.07

Thomas A. Grey
8.19.07

Charles Marshall
8.12.07

Steve Pike
7.29.07

Thomas E. Trask
7.22.07

Margaret Becker
7.15.07

Michael G. Spielman
7.8.07

John Ashcroft
6.24.07

Michael Landon, Jr.
6.17.07

Jerry Jenkins
6.10.07

Bear Rinehart
5.20.07

Beverly Lewis
5.13.07

John Rowland
4.29.07

David Barton
4.22.07

David Crowder
4.15.07

Randy Singer
4.8.07

Thomas E. Trask and Juleen Turnage
3.25.07

Chris Rice
3.18.07

Richard Dobbins
3.11.07

Patty Byrd Keating
2.25.07

David Gough
2.18.07

Ed Stetzer
2.11.07

Troy Polamalu
1.28.07

Ron Dicianni
1.21.07

Roundtable: Wilkerson, Smith, Canales
1.14.07


2006 Conversations


Conversation: Bruce Barry

Bugs and Bible stories

Animator Bruce Barry is the president, founder and director of Wacky World Studios and creator of the Christian-themed Roach Approach and Bug Rangers children's videos. Barry has also designed award-winning 3-D sets for Universal Studios and Rain Forest Cafe and created themed environments for many children's churches. He recently spoke with Staff Writer Christina Quick.

tpe: How did you get started drawing cartoons?

BARRY: I learned cartooning from my dad, who was a cartoonist for Disney. I started holding a pencil and drawing alongside him when I was 2 years old. I can remember cartooning all over my bedroom walls. I've always loved creating stuff that's different.

tpe: Are you concerned about some of the violent and sexually charged cartoons being marketed to kids today?

BARRY: I watch Cartoon Network and Nick Studios to see what's out there and what these kids are watching. It makes me absolutely ill. It pushes me harder to create quality material with a Christian theme.

tpe: Why did you choose roaches as the main characters in your cartoons?

BARRY: I was in line at a 7-Eleven and two kids were picking out candy. The little girl picked up something called Brains. The candy oozes out and you lick it. The boy picked up something that was a lollipop with a mouth and tongue.

It occurred to me that the grossest stuff was what got their attention. Later that day, this huge roach came out of my garden, stopped and sort of turned toward me. I thought, That's it. I'm going to have bugs telling Bible stories. I sat there that weekend and created the Bug Rangers concept.

tpe: What do you hope to accomplish with Bug Rangers?

BARRY: I'm trying to get across that the Bible is the coolest book in the world. It's full of stories you will never get tired of. My passion is reaching kids for Christ. I'm taking what I've learned in the secular world and using it in God's kingdom.

tpe: How did you become a Christian?

BARRY: Seven years ago I got a phone call from a children's pastor in Springdale, Ark., asking me to design their new kids area. I had never set foot in a church. I eventually agreed to take the job, but I put up a defensive wall against anyone who would try to proselytize me.

One evening while I was working, they were getting ready for a children's event and setting up all these Bible story vignettes. This 12-year-old girl came up and asked me to draw a whale with its mouth open. When I asked why, she said, "Don't you know the story of Jonah and the whale?" So she shared the story with me. I was blown away. Here I was, a 40-year-old man, and I had never heard that story.

She captured my interest. I looked over and said, "So what's up with the loaf of bread and the fish?" That night I walked around with a little girl and learned the simple stories of the Bible. I said, "These stories are better than any Disney movie out there! Why haven't I heard these stories?"

The next day I accepted Christ into my life. It was an absolute rebirth. I felt like a totally different person. I was on fire and ready to take on every church in America and reach kids for Christ.

tpe: So it took a child to reach you for Christ so you could, in turn, reach other kids?

BARRY: That's how God works. He knew my wall was up for adults, so He went underneath my radar and used a child. Now I'm designing for churches all over the nation and making videos to teach kids about God. I want to tell these great Bible stories so kids won't have to wait until they're 40 to hear them.

TPExtra video: View a clip of Bug Rangers here

E-mail your comments to tpe@ag.org.

 

 

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