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|An Easter Carol|
An Easter Carol is the 21st episode of VeggieTales.
It is the sequel to the previous special The Star of Christmas, and an adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
The special begins during the winter. As the opening titles shows, Ebenezer Nezzer (played by Mr. Nezzer) visits the grave of his deceased grandmother in the cemetery to pay his respects.
Months later, it is now spring, one day before Easter, as everyone in the illustrious town of London is singing about it being "Another Easter Day," selling Easter lilies and looking for Easter eggs. However, Mr. Nezzer is the only one not interested in the festivities of Easter. The little orphan girl (played by Laura Carrot) is selling lilies as a fundraiser to save the orphanage, giving a lily to the Constable (played by Jerry Gourd). Mr. Nezzer then hops by, as the orphan girl tries to sell him a lily, but he's not interested, saying that a lily is real and won't last forever, whereas a plastic Easter egg will last forever, handing one to Laura. Mr. Nezzer then tells Laura that she has to pay for the egg, before she throws it back at him.
At St. Bart's Church, Reverend Gilbert (played by Dad Asparagus), his wife Mrs. Gilbert (played by Mom Asparagus), and Edmund Gilbert (played by Junior Asparagus) are preparing to unveil a brand new stained glass window on the church on Easter Sunday, with help from their friend Moyer (played by Scooter Carrot). While Edmund and his father are getting everything ready, Ebenezer passes by the church, with Edmund wondering why Mr. Nezzer hasn't been coming to church lately. Reverend Gilbert explains that Ebenezer Nezzer used to attend the church's Easter service with his Grandmother but stopped coming to church after his Grandmother died. In the process of this explanation, it is revealed that Edmund has been inflicted with a serious disease. Meanwhile, at Mr. Nezzer's egg factory, we are treated to a multitude of mechanical chickens working without rest to lay plastic eggs for Easter sales. Cavis Appythart (played by Bob the Tomato) and Millward Phelps (played by Larry the Cucumber) have been working at the factory for more than a year to pay for accidentally burning down Mr. Nezzer's theater, with the two of them arguing about which one of them will ask Mr. Nezzer for a day off to attend the Easter service at the church. When Mr. Nezzer enters the factory, Cavis and Millward approach him, with Millward attempting to ask Mr. Nezzer for a day off, but he chickens out at the last minute, claiming that he "panicked." Because of this, Cavis is forced to do the honors of asking Mr. Nezzer for a day off, as well as the fact that the chickens are getting tired, but Mr. Nezzer turns down this request, saying that if anyone doesn't buy his eggs, the factory will go out of business.
Mr. Nezzer then leads the duo to his office, showing them a portrait of his Grandmother Nezzer, before he proceeds to sing that 113 years ago, his Grandmother began to sell Easter eggs, which prompted her to build a factory to sell Easter eggs to people in town, right up before she died. Even after his Grandmother's death, Ebenezer will continue to carry on his Grandmother's legacy to produce more Easter eggs, taking to heart that his Grandmother told him that "Easter means no death." Unfortunately, Ebenezer took this message a bit too literally, thinking that it means that his Grandmother will never die as long as he continues to produce more and more Easter eggs. At that moment, Reverend Gilbert and Edmund enter Mr. Nezzer's office, asking him if he will be attending the Easter service tomorrow, but Mr. Nezzer answers that he won't, because he thinks that the church takes people away from having to buy his eggs, before announcing that he will be building an Easter-themed park known as Easterland, saying that it will have all of the things that are provided at Easter, such as Easter egg hunts and all-you-can-eat chocolate bunny buffets. When Mr. Nezzer announces that he will be building Easterland right where the church is, everyone is shocked, telling Mr. Nezzer that he cannot do that, but Mr. Nezzer doesn't care, before he fires Cavis and Millward, and tells them that "The world will be a better place if that church was never built." After the song ends, Cavis, Millward, Reverend Gilbert, and Edmund are upset that Mr. Nezzer actually intends to destroy the church.
Later that night, at St. Bart's Church, Edmund is bed, telling his father that Mr. Nezzer can't tear down the church, before Reverend Gilbert tells him that everything will turn out okay soon, which Edmund feels a little bit better about as he goes to sleep after that. At the same time this happens, Moyer is able to escort the orphan girl back home to the orphanage. Back at the factory, Ebenezer is still mulling over the plans for Easterland, telling the portrait of his Grandmother that it will be just what she wanted. Seconds later, Ebenezer then falls asleep as the Easterland plans then fall to the floor after that. After some time has passed, Ebenezer is suddenly awakened when he hears a voice calling out to him. When Mr. Nezzer is awakened, wondering who is calling out to him, he looks up at the portrait of his Grandmother, before an image of his Grandmother comes out from the picture frame and says, "Surprise!" This surprises Ebenezer so much that he faints to the ground, with Grandmother Nezzer telling him to get up off the floor. Ebenezer then gets up screaming that his Grandmother is a ghost, but his Grandmother tells him that there are no such things as ghosts and that she's merely just a vision that he is having, before telling him in song that he didn't listen and that he really missed the point. When Ebenezer is confused about what his Grandmother is talking about, Grandmother Nezzer answers that it's about Easter and that "You got it all backwards and upside-down!" Grandmother Nezzer then tells Ebenezer that at midnight, he will receive another visitor to tell him all about the true meaning of Easter. After that, Ebenezer wakes up after hearing a loud crashing sound from outside.
Outside of the factory, it is revealed that the loud crashing sound was caused by a trash can that Cavis and Millward have accidentally knocked over. Cavis then tells Millward to watch where he's going, before Millward says that he's sorry. We then learn that Cavis and Millward are planning to sneak into the factory so that they can take the plans for Easterland in order to prevent Mr. Nezzer from building Easterland on the land where St. Bart's Church is. Millward is hesitant about doing so, saying that the last time they tried "borrowing" something, it didn't work out so well. The two then proceed to put the first plan into action, which involves Millward giving Cavis a boost to try to get over the wall to the factory. Back inside the factory, Ebenezer is nervously helping himself to a cup of tea, intending to stay awake for the second visitor that the vision of Grandmother Nezzer told him about, just as the clock is almost midnight. Ebenezer then claims that he's not going to fall asleep, but he immediately drops off to sleep after a few seconds. Back outside the factory wall, Cavis is about close to reaching the wall, when Millward suddenly tells him to act casual. When Cavis is confused about this, it turns out that the Constable was passing by, when he notices Millward standing next to the factory wall, with Millward trying to act innocent, despite the Constable staring suspiciously at him. Millward then starts whistling just as the Constable then walks past once again, before Cavis then falls on top of Millward after that.
Back inside the office, Ebenezer is still asleep, just as the clock then strikes midnight, before the music box that sits on the shelf above the fireplace turns into a beautiful angel named Hope. Hope then goes over to Ebenezer to wake him up, but when she pokes him, he does not respond, before she uses her key to smack him in the face, waking him up and causing him to run around in a panic, before he notices Hope and becomes terrified, mistaking her for a bug, before Hope retorts with "Do I look like a bug to you?!?" When Ebenezer correctly guesses that Hope is the visitor that his Grandmother told him about, Hope then asks Ebenezer if he remembered anything that his Grandmother told him, before she also asks him what the true point of the church is, with Ebenezer stating that it keeps people from buying his eggs, but Hope tells him that's wrong, before telling him that she's taking him on a little trip to teach him all about the true meaning of Easter. Soon, Hope and Ebenezer are flying through the sky, though Ebenezer has a tough time trying to stay upright during the flight, though he and Hope do manage to dodge fireplaces while flying. However, the second time, Ebenezer isn't so lucky as he winds up running into the cross of the church that he and Hope have arrived at. Hope then notices Ebenezer still on the church cross before she brings him back down again.
After making a bumpy landing, Ebenezer asks where they are, before Hope answers that they are at St. Bart's Church. Ebenezer and Hope then enter the church, where there is an Easter service going on as they walk down the aisles, before Ebenezer is surprised to see his Grandmother alive and well, but becomes surprised to see a young boy that he does not recognize sitting next to his Grandmother. Hope then tells Ebenezer that the boy is him, and that they are in Easter Past. Young Ebenezer opens up one of the Easter eggs that he got, but is dismayed to find that it's empty. When Young Ebenezer is surprised to hear that Christmas is actually connected to Easter, Grandmother Nezzer tells him that you cannot have one without the other. After that, Ebenezer and Hope and then exit the church, before finding that they are back in the office of the factory again, with Ebenezer thinking that he is back home again, but becomes dismayed to find a clone of himself in the office, before Hope reminds him that they are still in Easter Past, with them in Easter from the previous year. The past Ebenezer is mourning the death of his Grandmother, telling her that the chickens haven't been the same ever since she died. The Past Ebenezer then hears the door knock and goes to answer it, as Seymour Schwenk (played by Pa Grape) enters the office while carrying a wind-up toy that he invented and sets it on the table. Seymour then explains his newest invention to Ebenezer, demonstrating it as it opens up, showing two bunnies wearing Easter suits while playing soothing music. When Seymour asks Ebenezer if he called for an inventor, Ebenezer explains in song (in a similar matter to that of The Music Man's "Rock Island") that he did and that he wants Seymour to invent a bunch of mechanical chickens that can lay plastic eggs so that his plastic egg sales will be back on top again. However, Seymour stops him, saying that Easter isn't about eggs and chocolate and baskets, but when Ebenezer tells him that it's for a greater purpose, Seymour reluctantly decides to grant Ebenezer's request. The current Ebenezer and Hope have been watching the whole thing, with Hope asking Ebenezer if he ever paid Seymour for what he did, to which Ebenezer replies that he didn't, but he did give Seymour a free life-time pass to Easterland.
After that, Ebenezer and Hope then exit from the office, finding themselves back outside the factory this time, to which Hope explains to Ebenezer that they are now in Easter Present. The two then go over to St. Bart's Church, where they see Reverend Gilbert, Mrs. Gilbert, and Moyer talking about how Mr. Nezzer is too stubborn to attend church and that he cannot get away with tearing down the church, as well as the hope of Easter that awaits them, regarding Edmund's current condition. This time, Ebenezer is willing to hear the whole story of Easter from Hope. This time, Ebenezer now finds himself into the church, where Hope sings about how Jesus was born on Christmas day and all the miracles he did, as well as the people that opposed him and sentenced him to die on the cross. Of course, it is also explained that even though Jesus died on the cross, he rose again to give everyone hope. After the song ends, Ebenezer finally understands the true meaning of Easter, telling Hope that he understands now. However, Hope then reminds Ebenezer of his previous statement about how he thinks that the world would be a better place without the church, before introducing him to Easter Future.
Before Ebenezer can react, a wrecking ball suddenly begins striking the church, before Ebenezer finds himself falling through a void until he lands on the sidewalk, where he discovers the orphan girl standing in front of him trying to sell some pencils. However, Winston (played by Jean-Claude Pea) tells the orphan girl to go home, but she says that she can't go home because the orphanage no longer exists. Hope then explains to Ebenezer that ever since the church got torn down, so did the orphanage. Charlie Pincher then steals the orphan girl's pencils, but when the Constable tries to stop Mr. Pincher, Mr. Pincher taunts him, asking him what he's going to do, to which the Constable meekly replies, "Nothing. Nothing at all." Hope also explains to Ebenezer that the only reason the Constable was confident enough to catch criminals was because the hope of Easter made him confident. Ebenezer and Hope then come to the cemetery, where Ebenezer is horrified to discover that Edmund has passed away, with Reverend Gilbert coming to pay his respects. Ebenezer tries asking Hope what he can do, but Hope turns back into a music box once again, before Ebenezer returns to town to see the church still being destroyed. A part of the steeple on the church then falls off and falls towards Ebenezer, just as he quickly wakes up and finds himself back in his office again.
After waking up, Ebenezer looks out the window and asks the orphan girl what day it is, to which the orphan girl answers that it's Easter Sunday, which Ebenezer is joyous to hear, before he heads out towards the church, but not without taking the music box with him. Outside of the factory, Cavis and Millward are still trying to enter the factory, with no success, even though Cavis has a bunch of balloons tied to him. Mr. Nezzer then runs out from the gates of the factory, before Cavis notices that the gates are open, before he and Millward rush towards the factory, but Millward isn't too sure about the state of the factory. At St. Bart's Church, everyone has been gathered, with Reverend Gilbert telling them that this is their last service in the church before it is to be destroyed. However, after a few seconds, a bunch of pea workers show up, stating that the church must come down, but before they can even deliver the first blow to the church, Ebenezer stops them, telling everyone that he finally understands the true meaning of Easter, and that it's all about hope and how death is not the end. He then gives the music box to Edmund and tells everyone that he's seen the future of Easter and that you would not want to go there. Everyone is happy to hear that Ebenezer has finally changed his ways about Easter, before Millward shows up, warning everyone that Cavis is trapped in the factory, which is slated to blow because of the chickens that had been working overtime.
At the factory, everything has begun to overheat, especially the mechanical chickens, as Cavis quickly races out from the office while carrying the plans for Easterland. Unfortunately, the exit gets blocked off by a bunch of debris, leaving Cavis trapped inside the factory. Ebenezer then shows up by use of the emergency exit, which Cavis is surprised then angry about, telling Mr. Nezzer that he is not going to build Easterland, but Mr. Nezzer tells him that he didn't come for the plans, he came for Cavis, which Cavis is surprised to hear. Before they can escape, the ramp for the emergency exit ends up getting destroyed, so Mr. Nezzer and Cavis have to find an alternate way to escape from the factory. Fortunately, Ebenezer comes up with an idea as he and Cavis get into the egg cart, before a mechanical claw picks up the cart and starts swinging it around, with Ebenezer telling Cavis not to push the button for the remote until he says so. Outside of the factory, everyone has approached the doors, with Millward saying that all of the exits are blocked, but Reverend Gilbert tells him that their police officer is one of the bravest on the force. The Constable then charges forward to break down the doors, but unfortunately, he only succeeds in knocking himself silly, just as Millward says "Officer down." Back inside the factory, the mechanical claw still continues swinging the cart around with Mr. Nezzer and Cavis in it, before Mr. Nezzer then tells Cavis to push the button, which Cavis does, which causes the claw to throw the cart out one of the windows, just as the factory explodes after that, as everyone starts following after the airborne cart.
The cart still continues bouncing all over town, until it finally reaches the ground and comes to a stop, to which Cavis climbs out of the cart and kisses the ground in relief. Seconds later, it is now raining plastic Easter eggs as everyone is happy to see that Mr. Nezzer and Cavis are all right, as well as the fact that Mr. Nezzer has finally seen the light about Easter. Of course, Cavis expresses concern that all of the money that Mr. Nezzer made has now gone up in smoke from the explosion, before a loud clang is heard. It turns out that the safe with all of the money has survived the explosion of the factory. Once that's over with, everyone, including Ebenezer, then starts to attend the Easter service, all while singing a reprise of "Another Easter Day."
Later, Ebenezer has approached his Grandmother's grave again, this time with a more positive attitude, and places a lily on her grave while telling her "I'll see you later.", before he hops off after that, as the special ends.
- Ebeneezer Nezzer (the protagonist)
- Hope (the deuteragonist)
- Cavis Appythart (the tritagonist)
- Milward (the tetartagonist)
- Edmund Gilbert (the former main antagonist)
- Reverend Gilbert
- Mrs. Gilbert
- Another Easter Day
- 113 Years Ago
- You Didn't Listen Ebenezer
- Hope's Song
- Another Easter Day(Reprise)
- أغاني القيامة (Arabic)
- Uskršnja pjesma (Croatian)
- Pääsiäiskertomus (Finnish)
- Eine Ostergeschichte (German)
- Unknown (Hungarian) (existence unconfirmed)
- 부활절 영상 (Korean) (subtitled)
- En påskefortelling (Norwegian)
- Um Conto de Páscoa (Portuguese) (Brazil) (Audio News)
- Um Conto de Páscoa (Portuguese) (Brazil) (Herbert Richers)
- Velikonočna pesem (Slovenian)
- Un Cuento de Pascua (Spanish) (Latin America)
- Niềm hy vọng trong lễ Phục Sinh (Vietnamese)
Having previously made a Christmas special, Phil Vischer knew that he would eventually have to make an Easter special. However, he couldn't figure out a proper way to tell the story of Easter without portraying Jesus as a vegetable.
In 1998, Phil hired 4 writers, including John Duckworth and Doug Peterson, to pitch several different story ideas. While Doug would pitch a future Larry-Boy episode, John pitched an idea called An Easter Carol, starring Ebenezer Nezzer, "..who's conception of Easter is as hollow as the plastic eggs he makes in his factory". Phil thought this was a wonderful idea, and a perfect way to tell the story of Easter. When production started in early 2001, an employee at Big Idea suggested that a new Christmas special be made alongside the Easter special. Phil agreed with this, but soon realized that if he wanted to properly tell the story of Easter, the Christmas special had to be released first.
Despite Phil liking the story, he still struggled to find a way to truly explain the story of Jesus' resurrection. However, in a brainstorming session with several Big Idea employees, one of them suggested telling the story through stained-glass windows.
- Main article: An Easter Carol/Home Video
- This is the first Easter episode.
- The first episode not to have the Boyz in the Sink since their debut appearance.
- This is the first episode that used explosion effects on the animation.
- This is the last episode for several things:
- The last episode of VeggieTales to be done entirely by Big Idea.
- The last episode Scott Nelson worked on.
- The last holiday episode to be filmed in 4:3.
- The last episode to not use the VeggieTales Theme Song until Saint Nicholas.
- The last holiday episode to be released on VHS.
- The last episode to use the name "Big Idea Productions, Inc.". Starting with the next episode, the name "Big Idea, Inc." would be used.
- The last episode where Jackie Ritz voices Lisa Asparagus.
- The last release by Warner Home Video to be distributed by WEA at the same time until The Bumblyburg Superhero Value Pack!.
- The last Easter episode distributed by Warner Home Video on VHS and DVD for the mass market. Starting with Sumo of the Opera, Sony Wonder had taken over for mass market distribution.
- This is the only Easter special filmed in 4:3.
- According to Phil, he came up with the climax of the factory exploding after flying from Los Angeles.
- The pictures at the Reverend's living room are a portrait of Charles Dickens and Grandmum's Cottage. Tim Hodge confirmed that he painted the portrait.
- On several TV broadcasts, this episode was split in two parts.
- There are some differences between the original script and the final episode:
- In the script, Big Idea's credit in the opening scene says "Big Idea presents." The final episode, however, has it read "Big Idea Productions presents."
- Archibald's line in Another Easter Day was originally going to be sung by The Banker, who would've been voiced by Ron Smith.
- In the script, the woman whose hat is being used as a basket during Another Easter Day was originally meant to be the mother of the kid hunting for Easter eggs.
- Also, "That's my new hat, you give it back!" was slightly different (and having its order reversed compared to the final episode) and even said "...or I'll call the constable!" instead of "Oh, do I look beautiful?"
- Before it shows Laura selling lilies for the orphanage, there would've been a shot of Ebenezer walking by her, but was most likely cut due to time constraints.
- While Laura is selling lilies and a woman goes by the constable, their exchange before the former's part in said song was completely different.
- Laura: Thank you, constable! We sure feel safe with you around!
Woman: Yes, congratulations on your medal!
- Laura: Thank you, constable! We sure feel safe with you around!
- The second half was also originally going to end after Moyer's part of the song, with Reverend and Edmund Gilbert immediately noticing Ebenezer Nezzer after they are shown putting up the letters for the sign of St. Bart's Church.
- Speaking of which, Reverend and Edmund's part was also going to be sung by the townsfolk and after Moyer notices Ebenezer.
- There was also going to be a song after Cavis and Millward (which is sung by them) greet Ebenezer in the factory, but it was cut due to time constraints. Its lyrics are shown below.
Cavis and Millward:
♪ Oh, all our fri-ends ♪
♪ are the me-tal hens ♪
♪ at this ♪
♪ fine fac-to-ry ♪
♪ They work all day ♪
♪ as eggs they lay ♪
♪ and do it all ♪
♪ for free ♪
Ebenezer: Yes, I'm aware of that.
- There were going to be lawn-mowers mowing plastic grass, but they were removed due to possible rendering difficulties.
- The script does not show Ebenezer handing Cavis a pink slip as the latter becomes fired.
- There was also going to be a scene where Ebenezer is in the factory alone before going back to his office, but was cut due to time constraints.
- After Hope smacks Ebenezer in the nose with a key, the script only says that the latter wakes up and sees Hope. In the final episode, he runs around after he wakes up but before looking at Hope.
- Speaking of which, she also would've smacked him on the head rather than his nose.
- The script only has Hope saying "ding" twice. In the final episode, she says this three times.
- A tradesman from The Star of Christmas would've appeared after the cart bounced around and asked, "Why does everyone want their laundry picked up on Easter Sunday all of a sudden?!?"
- Instead of landing on the street before coming to a complete stop, it would've instead landed in his laundry cart, going around before stopping in front of a surprised shopkeeper.
- The script also does not list Cavis kissing the ground before the Easter eggs fall from the sky.
- The reprise of Another Easter Day's lyrics would've had a different order from the final episode.
- The script does not list Ebenezer saying "I'll see you later." after he visits his grandmother's tombstone.
- Even though the camera shows a view of Ebenezer walking away from the tombstone, the script has it show a closeup of his lily.
- While the German and Norwegian titles translate to "An Easter Story," the Latin Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese titles translate to "An Easter Tale."
- The script for this episode was finalized in 2003, one year before this episode was released.
- The sequence where Grandma Nezzer tells Ebenezer about the second visitor (including You Didn't Listen Ebenezer) is cut in the Brazilian Portuguese dub, instead being replaced with a narration that explains what happened before cutting to Ebenezer waking up.
- It was never explained how Edmund became ill after the Christmas events.
- Laura suddenly gained a British accent, which she lacked from the previous special.
- In the previous special, the church's stained-glass windows have different patterns without a consistent picture. Here however, the windows each depict a moment in Jesus' life to tell his story.
- The fireplace is glowing without any fire. Tim and Phil state it's just embers.
- When the Peas first barged in the church, Jean Claude was in front. But when he talks to the Reverend, he's in the back.
- Speaking of which, Jean Claude appears as two different characters in this episode.
- In the credits, Percy's name was seen despite not appearing. It might possible he was one of the worker peas.
- Also in the credits, Edmund is credited as "Edmond".
- The credits states the video was released in 2003, but it didn't come out until February 2004. This is likely due to the episode having been completed in 2003, and that the VHS/DVDs were manufactured ahead of time.
- In the original 2004 DVD release, the preview option has a preview for the episode itself.
- Despite his name not appearing in the credits, the progression reel credits Robert Ellis for animating the factory explosion.
- The back of the 2004 DVD says there's bonus LarryBoy and 3-2-1 Penguins! shorts, but there are no shorts anywhere on the DVD. However, it could be possible that it was just for marketing purposes.
- The church patrons somehow don't get harmed by the explosion, despite standing right outside the factory.
- When Nezzer sings about how his Grandma's business grew, his pupils poke through his eyelids.
- When Nezzer kicks everyone out of his factory, Millward's tooth is yellow.
- When Nezzer asks if his Grandma is okay, the carrot at the doorway is floating.
- The scenes where Nezzer was planning to help Edmund is fuzzier compared to the in-between scenes.
- On the "Fun!" menu, when the stained-glass Ebenezer and Cavis fade back to their original position, the order of features are different for a second before repeating the cycle. This doesn't happen again in the "Settings" menu.
- Reverend Gilbert fainting is similar to what he did in the first Larry-Boy episode.
- The tree seen at the graveyard is the same one from Lyle, along with the chair in Nezzer's office.
- One of Mr. Nezzer's plans for his Easterland is everybody will eat his Chocolate bunnies.
- The picture of Grandmum's Cottage from 3-2-1 Penguins! can be seen on the wall of Reverend Gilbert's living room.
- The picture in Edmund's room is the background of the village from Omelet.
- The music that plays when Hope and Mr. Nezzer enter the church is the What Have We Learned song.
- Because it's a sequel to the Star of Christmas, a few past references are mentioned.
- This story might have took place in 1884 because Cavis mentioning they're working for Nezzer about a year and a half after burning down his theater.
- Cavis and Millward trying to "borrow" something important.
- Some of the set pieces were reused from it.
- Millward lifting Cavis would be used again in Big River Rescue.
- Reverend saying "Call the police" was used again in LarryBoy and the Bad Apple (and is the exact same voice file as well).