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"You never need to be afraid to do what's right."
— Mordecai's catchphrase


EstherTheGirlWhoBecameQueen137
Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen
Directed by

Mike Nawrocki

Produced by

Jennifer Combs

Written by

Mike Nawrocki
Phil Vischer

Music by

Kurt Heinecke
Phil Vischer

Distributed by

Word Entertainment

Released

September 30, 2000

Runtime

38 minutes

Previous episode

King George
and the Ducky

Next episode

Lyle the Kindly Viking

Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen is the fourteenth episode of VeggieTales.

It is based on the story of Esther from the Old Testament with elements inspired by Paramount Pictures' The Godfather and Warner Bros' Casablanca.

Plot

The story opens at 3:00 A.M. at a palace in Persia where Haman, King Xerxes' (Mr. Nezzer) right-hand-man (Mr. Lunt), is throwing Queen Vashti out for insubordination (as she refused to make Xerxes a sandwich). A search is then initiated to find a new Queen.

The following day, we are introduced to Esther and her cousin Mordecai (Pa Grape) who are found talking in the city streets. Esther is asking for Mordecai's advice, but his advice reveals that Esther knows what to do but that she lacks the courage to do it. He tells her that she should not be afraid to do what is right: to confront her friend who stole an apple. Suddenly, Haman drives up in a pea-driven car-wagon to collect the eligible maidens for the King. Mordecai quickly hides to avoid Haman from seeing him. Haman then spots Esther and demands she come with him, despite her clear disinterest. Trying to come up with an excuse to stay, Esther remembers Mordecai and begins to explain she needs to take care of her cousin. Before she can finish, Mordecai swiftly shushes her, causing Haman to notice and recognize him. He orders him to bow in his presence, but Mordecai refuses as he bows down to no one "except (his) God and (his) King". Haman becomes furious tells Esther to get in his wagon. Esther once again tries to tell Haman that she wants to stay with her cousin, but Mordecai shushes her again. Haman finally has Esther taken to the palace with the other maidens, though the relationship between Mordecai and Esther is kept secret.

Esther and Mordecai manage to meet again later that night at the palace, but Mordecai shushes Esther once more, confusing Esther. Mordecai apologizes to Esther for all the shushing. But he reveals the reason why he shushed her: to protect her. Mordecai explains that she mustn't let anyone know that she and Mordecai are part of the same family. Esther becomes frustrated. She doesn’t want to stay in the palace and asks Mordecai why things have to be this way. Unsure but hopeful, Mordecai tells her he believes God knows and maybe there's a reason why she's there. He leaves to avoid getting caught, but promises Esther he'll come visit her again. Esther then calls out to God, asking Him to show her the reason behind her being taken to the palace.

In another part of the palace, Xerxes and Haman audition the maidens to be the new Queen. When Esther takes the stage and sings, Xerxes is left in awe and the decision is made. However, Esther does not wish to be the Queen, but regardless she is crowned and ensconced in her new life against her will. One day in the throne room of the Persian palace, Xerxes is visited by Bigthan Peaoni, one of the two Peaoni brothers (Jean-Claude Pea), who has brought him a large cake. Unannounced visitors are not permitted, but Xerxes allows him to be heard. Bigthan convinces him to come to look closely at the cake, while Bigthan's brother Teresh Peaoni (Phillipe Pea) hangs onto a rope, the other end of which supports a grand piano from 1750 A.D. suspended above the cake. Mordecai, who is hiding in a corner (presumably to avoid Haman), observes the plot and informs Esther. Esther warns Xerxes in time and Teresh and the piano crash harmlessly onto the cake. Xerxes thanks Esther for saving his life, but she indicates Mordecai alerted her, saying that the credit should be his.

Haman banishes the Peaoni Brothers to the Island of Perpetual Tickling for their crimes of attempting to crush Xerxes and for entering the throne room uninvited. Though Xerxes believes he is safe, Haman convinces him that a greater threat awaits. There is a family that cannot be trusted, he claims, and pose an imminent danger to Xerxes. Unaware that Haman is talking about Mordecai and his family, Xerxes authorizes an edict to have them banished to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. Mordecai finds the edict posted among other posters and visits Esther on her balcony at the palace. He appeals to his cousin to reveal Haman's evil plans to Xerxes, but Esther is afraid as she lacks the courage to confront Xerxes and struggles with what to do.

Mordecai then reminds her that she never needs to be afraid to do what's right. Esther was still afraid, and was still unsure about what she should do, but she eventually redeems herself as she finally embraces her new position as queen and decides to do what is right.

However, action does not come easy for Esther. Twice, she attempts to inform Xerxes, and both times she fails, lamely inviting Xerxes and Haman to dinner instead. Meanwhile, Haman attempts to get Mordecai to bow to him again and threatens to have his banishment carried out immediately when he refuses. Mordecai then loses his cool and snaps at Haman that he'll never bow to him, and he yells at Mordecai in his face that he'll be sent to the Island of Perpetual Tickling by tonight.

Meanwhile, at the palace, Xerxes makes his scribe Markus (Larry the Cucumber) to read what has happened since Esther has been appointed queen. Xerxes declares his plan to do something in Mordecai's honor for saving his life. Haman then comes to request Xerxes about him carrying out Mordecai's banishment fast, but is foiled when Xerxes says he needed to do something special for someone special. Thinking that the "special guy" is him, Haman tells Xerxes that the "special guy" should deserve a parade. Xerxes thanks Haman for the idea, saying that Mordecai really deserves a parade, utterly humiliating Haman. On her third attempt, Esther is finally able to muster up the courage to face Xerxes. She reveals that Mordecai is her cousin and that Haman has been plotting to against him and his family, which includes her. Xerxes, who respects Mordecai, loves Esther and would never harm both of them and their family, believes her and banishes Haman to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. Mordecai ends up filling Haman's former position as Xerxes' right-hand-man as Esther, having saved her people, gazes out the side of the palace with a smile.

Characters

Major

Minor

Cameos

Pictured Cameos

Location:

Voice Cast

Songs

Quotes

  • King Xerxes (Mr. Nezzer): Why is there a piano on my cake?

  • Haman (Mr. Lunt): Hey, aren’t you the Peaoni brothers, the most wanted peas in Persia?
  • Bigthan (Jean-Claude): That’s right we are!
  • Teresh (Phillipe): And we could have taken over the kingdom, if it wasn’t for that meddling Queen!

  • Teresh: You don't mean...
  • Bigthan: The island where you get tickled day and night!?
  • Teresh: Night and day!?
  • Bigthan: Without stop!?
  • Teresh: Not even if you say pretty please!?!

  • Xerxes: (gasps) You had me banish the man who saved my life and my own queen?!?!
  • Haman: (squeals)

Home Video

Main article: Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen/Home Video

Features

Trailer Appearances

Other Languages

  • أستير.. الملكة الصغيرة (Arabic) (Esther.. The Little Queen)
  • Ester 皇后 (Cantonese) (Queen Esther)
  • Estera... Djevojka Koja je Postala Kraljica (Croatian) (same translation)
  • Tyttö josta tuli kuningatar (Finnish) (The Girl Who Became A Queen)
  • Das Abenteuer von Esther (German) (The Adventure of Esther)
  • Eszter, a bátor királyné (Hungarian) (Esther, the Brave Queen)
  • 에스더 이야기 (Korean) (Esther's Story)
  • 成為皇后的女孩一以斯帖 (Mandarin) (Taiwan) (same translation)
  • Esther: jenta som ble dronning (Norwegian) (same translation)
  • اِستر دختری که ملکه شد (Persian) (same translation)
  • Ester... a Menina Que se Tornou Rainha (Portuguese) (Brazil) (same translation)
  • Ester... A Rapariga que se Tornou Rainha (Portuguese) (Portugal) (same translation)
  • Estera, dekle, ki je postalo kraljica (Slovenian) (same translation)
  • Esther... La Niña Que Se Convirtió En Reina (Spanish) (Latin America) (same translation)
  • Esther... Cô gái trổ thành Nứ Hoàng (Vietnamese) (same translation)

Fun Facts

Morals

  • Don't let fear dictate your life.
  • You never need to be afraid to do what's right.

Explanations

  • On the poster for public transportation, it states "Why wait 'till A.D.?". This is because the story of Esther takes place before Jesus' birth, which happened at the beginning of the A.D. era.
  • A gnat is a type of insect.
  • An edict is an order or decree by a person in authority.

Trivia

  • According to the teaser trailer, the episode was originally planned to be released for Spring 2001. However, this is possibly because when the episode was finished early, Big Idea decided to release it in late 2000 instead.
  • This is the first episode for several things:
    • The first episode since Where's God When I'm S-Scared? where someone that's not from the cast narrates the story.
    • This is the first non-holiday or Larry-Boy episode not to have the countertop scenes. Mike states that they originally planned a countertop scene, but it was going to make the run-time too long.
    • The first episode in which Junior Asparagus does not physically appear.
    • The first episode where Percy is seen without any of the other Veggie kids.
    • The first episode where Mr. Nezzer and Mr. Lunt are animated in Maya.
    • The first episode where Larry appears without a major role.
    • The first episode where Tim Hodge and Tom Bancroft worked on.
    • The first episode where Mabel appears.
    • The first non-holiday episode that features no Bible verse.
    • The first episode to be put on DVD, but not the first released, as it was only on a screener DVD.
  • This episode is featured in Heroes of the Bible!: Lions, Shepherds and Queens (Oh My!), and Happy Together!.
  • The shot where Percy steps out from the car was animated by Robert Ellis as seen on the behind the scenes on Where's God When I'm S-Scared?.
  • This is the last episode for a few things:
    • The last episode to initially be released to the public on VHS exclusively.
    • The last episode to not feature Jimmy Gourd until Pistachio - The Little Boy That Woodn't (unless you count the Sing-Alongs).
    • The last episode released during Bill Clinton’s presidency.
  • In some airings of this episode on Smile of a Child, some scenes were removed, including who the youngest Jackson is. This is possibly due to time.
  • Pa Grape's voice starts to become more high-pitched starting with this episode.
  • At the beginning of the 2001 Lyrick Studios release of this episode, there is an interview promo with Phil Vischer talking about Big Idea's first theatrical film, Jonah: A VeggieTales Movie but he didn't really talk about it that much. In the 2001 release of Lyle the Kindly Viking, it showed an actual teaser trailer about the film, and actually revealed the name of the movie.
  • There were a couple differences between pre-production and the final version:
    • The narrator was going to be in a South Chicago accent. This was later changed to a New York-esque accent to better fit the gangster setting.
    • Archibald was going to be the host, but in the final, it was Scallion #1. It might be possible his model wasn't rebuilt until the next episode.
    • The Trivial Pursuit scene was longer.
  • When Mike was planning out which story to do next, it was this or Ruth, and they went with Esther. They would eventually do an adaption on Ruth later.
  • In the actual Biblical story, the punishment for committing any crime against King Xerxes would have been fatally hanging on the gallows, which was ultimately Haman's fate. But since VeggieTales is a kid-friendly show, this version has replaced that capital punishment with "perpetual tickling" by being sent to a fictional island called the Island of Perpetual Tickling, where they are just tickled non-stop instead.
    • The Island of Perpetual Tickling was inspired by Mike Nawrocki's childhood fear of being tickled non-stop.
  • Phil had a friend whose 2-year-old child, when viewing the episode for the first time, was so scared by the Grim Tickler that they would yell out "BAD BIRD! BAD BIRD!" (granted, they had no idea what the Grim Tickler was) before running away crying, which was talked about on the commentary.
  • Originally, the book of Esther stated that Vashti refused to be put on display in front of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes' Hebrew name) and his men which caused her removal as her role of Queen.
  • Haman holding the cards was storyboarded by Luis Contreras. Mike originally didn't want Haman to hold the cards in the scene, but they decided to keep it in.
  • The card that showed the answer to who the youngest Jackson is [that lands on Janet], is a reference to music artist Janet Jackson. She is also the sister to the late Michael Jackson.
  • Before Esther tells Xerxes what Haman did, you'll notice the pizza box hides the front of him. Mike states this was done because he was intersecting with the sofa while sitting, so in reality, Xerxes is actually standing.
  • Part of the influence for making this episode was the feedback of VeggieTales fans wanting an episode starring a girl who was a positive role model.
  • When this premiered in select Orlando showings, The Song of the Cebú played before the show, and free copies were placed for people to take home and watch.[1]
  • This episode was included as a bonus feature on a re-release of Lyle the Kindly Viking.
  • This is Scallion #1's second appearance with his new hairdo.
  • There exists an extremely rare early 2002 VHS reprint of this episode by Lyrick Studios/HiT Entertainment. It has a black tape with a white ink label, and it has a print date of March 15, 2002.

Remarks

  • Despite the Classics DVD being released on the same day as The Ballad of Little Joe, the previews are from May 2003. It is possible that it was originally supposed to be released on the same day as The Wonderful World of Auto-Tainment!.
    • Because of this, this episode was originally going to be released on DVD on May 20, 2003, but was delayed until August 5, 2003.
  • The Qubo broadcast of this episode states this episode was directed by Phil Vischer.
  • On the DVD and Netflix versions, some sound effects are missing from the original VHS release (eg. a rooster crowing after the opening credits).
  • The Happy Together version and the secular international version cut many scenes; one example of a cut scene includes the beginning in which Haman is seen throwing out Vashti and then proclaiming to Xerxes he'll need a new queen.
  • It'd be very unlikely all the maidens could fit in Haman's wagon at its size.
  • Esther was successfully able to audition for the role of and be crowned as the new Queen, but, aside from one maiden onscreen, where were the other maidens? Had they already auditioned and not been crowned or were they just plain ignored during the audition? Unless there were elimination rounds before the final rounds of the audition, it's hard to believe the host doesn't discriminate against certain maidens.
  • The host says "Ladies and gentlemen..." even though only Haman and Xerxes are in the audience. That is, until the room suddenly fills up in just a split-second with unseen characters taking pictures and applauding.
  • One of Esther's dresses has shoulder pads... however, she doesn't have shoulders.
  • The Peaoni Brothers had ample time to set their whole trap up without anyone noticing. Given how much time it would've taken to bring the piano in, there is no way they would've able to put up a trap without anyone noticing in just one day.
  • The texture on the fall board of the piano changes when it crashes to the ground.
  • After Haman is banished to the Island of Perpetual Tickling, Mordecai fills his former position, which is apparently "the No. 2 guy in the whole kingdom," which in turn would make the Queen's spot No. 3. This likely coordinates with Haman's role as the "vice royal" in the Bible, which according to the Bible, Haman was originally appointed after Vashti's removal.
  • When King Xerxes confronts Haman about him scheming to get rid of "the man that saved his life and my old queen" (which could be mistaken for "own queen"), Haman actually planned it the night when the Peaoni Brothers were banished.
    • Additionally, when King Xerxes says that he is to be banished "along with anyone else that dares scheme against my queen and her family", he is referencing Haman's family, which according to the Bible, he, along with his family, were executed, which took place following a second decree where the Jews would counterattack, as the King is unable to simply reverse Haman's decree.
  • Despite the VHS and the VeggieTales Classics DVD having the scrolling credits at the end of the episode, the 2000 screener DVD has the still credits version.
  • The only international dubs of this episode that have the VeggieTales Theme Song are the Finnish, German, Norwegian and one of the Mandarin Chinese dubs.

Goofs

AmphibianEsther

"That's hideous! She's amphibious!" - Phil Vischer

Esther2004VHSGoof
  • In the first shot of Persia, the sunglasses on the Pea train clip through their bodies.
  • When Mordecai shushes Esther the second time, he gains teeth. However, he doesn't have any when he shushes her the first and third times.
  • As you'll notice in some shots, you can see some buzzing in the textures.
  • In the shot where Xerxes asks Haman what would be a fitting punishment, Markus' scroll starts to slowly rise to Markus' face, resulting in the feather clipping through the scroll.
  • Towards the end of The Battle Is Not Ours, when Esther is gazing at the sunrise, she appears to clip into the edge of the palace.
  • In the overshot of the palace entrance during the sunrise/sunset, you can see black on the left.
  • One shot shows a wall rendering too late.
  • When the episode was rendered for the first time, Esther had no whites in her eyes, making her look like an amphibian. Some of these scenes can be found in the teaser trailer (see image).
  • On the 2004 Sony Wonder VHS, there are several goofs on the front cover (see second image):
    • Though it may not be technically a goof, the cover is re-used from the 2002 WEA VHS.
    • All the characters aside from Esther are lower than usual. This causes Mordecai to be slightly hidden by the "A Lesson In..." box, and causes Haman to be hidden by the critic review.
    • King Xerxes is shown his clothes from the bottom is missing, which causes him to be slightly disconnected into parts.
    • The background pattern from the back cover slightly overlaps onto the top of the front cover, overlapping half of the VeggieTales logo.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • The episode takes large inspiration from the 1972 gangster film The Godfather, and the 1942 classic Hollywood film Casablanca. This is evident when paying attention to the designs of both Persia and King Xerxes' chamber as well as the music heard throughout.
  • Teresh Peaoni references the Scooby-Doo series by referring to Esther as a "meddling queen."
  • The Jackson's Haman and King Xerxes are referring to while they're playing is a family of singers, including Michael, Randy, Tito, and Janet.
  • When King Xerxes and Haman are having dinner with Esther, they are playing Trivial Pursuit.
  • Haman's car bears resemblance to a 1930's Lincoln.
  • When Mordecai snaps at Haman for asking him to bow before him, he references Proverbs 17:7 from the Bible.

Transcript

Credits

Commentary

Gallery

EstherTheGirlWhoBecameQueenTitleCard

References

  1. “BigIdea.com News - Esther: A Premiere Event.” BigIdea.com, 19 Oct. 2000, http://web.archive.org/web/20001019030338/http://bigidea.com:80/company/about/news/estherpremiere2.htm.
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