It’s been nearly ten years since we’ve seen the original work of Phil Vischer, who created Veggietales and later sold the company. Now, Vischer returns with another of his characters, the Galactic Mission Board’s Buck Denver, in the animated feature film, Galaxy Buck: Mission To Sector 9.
Buck believes that God wants him to do something big for Him. He has a sign in his customer service cubicle that literally says, “God wants you to do something big.” He believes that his life is worthless, ordinary, and lost because he hasn’t done something he considers wildly spectacular. But then disaster strikes: a quadrant of the galaxy won’t be able to hear the messages from Pastor Paul because a transponder is down.
Vischer, who wrote and directed the film, also built, moved, and voiced the puppets. Vischer’s original creation, Buck Denver is a character from Buck Denver Asks… What’s In The Bible? and adapts beautifully to a story that rings of an episode from Star Trek with significant theological emphasis.
Galaxy Buck is laugh out loud funny for kids and adults, but it’s also pretty heavy, too. No Vischer film can be “too heavy” because of his rich sense of humor. Still, given that this is the man who created a multi-million-dollar brand that he later sold because of inadequate finances, who better to share a story about pursuing what you think God wants from you and the frustrations that can follow?
In our story here, Buck Denver learns that we can’t really know what God wants for our lives until we submit to following Jesus and recognizing that we’re loved as we are. Sure, it’s painted on a galactic level with aliens and a thrilling adventure, but it boils down to recognizing that our true identity is in our worth as a child of God not in what we might accomplish, even if it’s done for God.
Phil Vischer is back. And this funny, insightful parable from animated space leaves me hoping that it will be the first of many. Rest assured, Vischer will only be creating stories as the Spirit leads, so Buck Denver’s future is in God’s hands.