Greg's Blog

Behind the Scenes of My New Cartoon

by Greg Laurie on Feb 23, 2024

Behind the Scenes of The Adventures of Ben Born Again & YellowDog

Have you ever stopped and thought about the storyline of Pinocchio? 

Geppetto makes his puppet, and it comes to life. And what does he do the next day? He sends it off to school . . . just sends this little defenseless puppet who doesn’t know anything off to school!

Pinocchio meets some rather unsavory characters, gets into a lot of trouble, and is ultimately swallowed by Monstro the Whale. I thought, “Why would you let him go to school? You should have walked him to school, Geppetto. What kind of a parent are you!?” It’s outrageous. 

Well, similarly, we brought this little character I’ve been drawing for years to life: Ben Born Again. And in case you missed it, it’s a play on words . . . Ben Born Again, as in, I’ve been born again! 

Bringing My Characters to Life

Ben’s like a little surfer dude. He has blonde hair, and he likes to hang around the beach. And did I mention he’s passionate about Jesus? 

People have asked, “Is this like an animated version of yourself when you were a kid?” Yeah, more or less, it is.

He’s my alter ego, for sure. And Ben’s sort of the narrator. He’s the straight man if you will. And YellowDog—a talking dog—is there for the laughs. He’s there for the comedy. 

So Ben’s always trying to help YellowDog (who gets himself into all kinds of trouble). He’s afraid of all kinds of things. 

In fact, one of the little cartoon adventures that we’ve done is when Ben takes YellowDog out into the surf. Ben’s a competent surfer, and YellowDog’s behind him on an attached tube. As they’re paddling out, they get caught in some big waves, and YellowDog starts to freak out . . . You’ll have to stay tuned for more on Harvest+, but the point is that YellowDog gets himself into some scrapes and is the perfect comic relief. Ben has to keep his eye on his furry companion. But, most importantly, they learn so many important biblical principles on their adventures together. 

How I Get Ideas for Each Episode

Maybe you’re wondering where these ideas for The Adventures of Ben Born Again & YellowDog come from. Well, I get them from everywhere! 

For instance, we have some gags in one of these cartoons about dogs in strollers, but we turned it into cats in strollers. So, YellowDog has an irrational fear of cats in strollers. 

You’ve heard me say these things in my sermons.

Who knows, maybe a Prius will end up in one of these cartoons! And I’ll find a way to mock kale, too, because that comes up every now and then. 

So, I draw from all kinds of things that I find amusing. I have real-life stories—including stories from my childhood—that I’ve adapted to the show. Like some of my listeners may remember the story I shared about going to the pet store with my mother to get a pet snake as a kid. By the time we got home, the snake was out of its cage, and she never wanted to drive the car again.

She had to drive it a couple of weeks later and was at a stoplight when she felt a cold coil drop at her ankle. She jumped out of the car screaming. 

Turns out it was just a loose hose. But she didn’t want to drive the car after that and actually gave it to me (if you want to get a car from your parents, lose a snake in the trunk).

Anyway, that story finds its way into this cartoon. Anything that happens is potential humor for these cartoon adventures.

Where to Watch the Ben Born Again Cartoon

I want you to check this animation out for yourself!

The first episode is available right now on our Harvest+ app. It’s the perfect length for active kids and their short attention spans. It’s 7 minutes long, but it took more than 7 months to make!

I think you all will really enjoy watching it as a family. And I pray that God will use this cartoon to bring younger people to Christ. Watch it for free with your kids and grandkids! 

And consider partnering with Harvest so we can continue to reach out in this new, innovative way. We’re focused on going into unexpected places to reach unexpected people with an unexpected message. Be part of that. We’ll even send you the “Living Water” comic book, inspired by this new animation when you choose to be. 

Can’t get enough of this cartoon? Click here.

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