|This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the book.|
|Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen|
October 3, 2000
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.
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 God and King Xerxes. Haman becomes furious and 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, and 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 apart 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 Perisan 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. Peaoni convinces him to come to look closely at the cake, while Peaoni'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 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 her for saving his life, but she indicates Mordecai, 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, Xerxes unwittingly authorizes an edict to have him and his family 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.
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 destroy 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.
- Markus (Larry the Cucumber)
- Scallion One
- Mordecai (Pa Grape)
- King Xerxes (Mr. Nezzer)
- Haman (Mr. Lunt)
- Percy Pea
- Peaoni Brothers (French Peas)
- Miss Achmetha (debut)
- Grim Tickler
- Bob the Tomato (picture cameo)
- Junior Asparagus (picture cameo)
- Laura Carrot (picture cameo)
- Larry-Boy (picture cameo)
- Tom Grape (picture cameo)
- Haman: Hey. Aren’t you the Peaoni brothers? The most wanted peas in Persia?
- Bigthen: That’s right we are!
- Teresh: 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!?!
- King Xerxes: Why is there a piano on my cake?
- Mordecai: Hello, Haman…
- Haman: You can call me sir. You know, we both work for the king, but compared to me, you are a g-nat.
- Mordecai: It's a 'g'. Silent. It's 'gnat.'
- Haman: Are you calling me a g-nat?
- Mordecai: No! Just correcting your pronunciation.
- Haman: Are you calling me stupid!?!
- Mordecai: Uh, no?
- Main article: Esther... The Girl Who Became Queen/Home Video
- ستير (Arabic)
- Ester 皇后 (Cantonese)
- Estera... Djevojka Koja je Postala Kraljica (Croatian)
- Tyttö josta tuli kuningatar (Finnish)
- Das Abenteuer von Esther (German)
- Unknown (Hungarian)
- 女の子が女王様になる方法 (Japanese)
- 에스더 이야기 (Korean)
- 成為皇后的女孩一以斯帖 (Mandarin) (Taiwan)
- Esther jenta som ble dronning (Norwegian)
- راستر دختری که ملکه ش (Persian)
- Ester a Menina Que se Tornou Rainha (Portuguese) (Brazil)
- Ester... A Rapariga que se Tornou Rainha (Portuguese) (Portugal)
- La Niña Que Se Convirtió En Reina (Latin Spanish)
- Estera, dekle, ki je postalo kraljica (Slovenian)
- Eather... Cô gái trổ thành Nứ Hoàng (Vietnamese)
- Don't let fear dictate your life. (Reused from "Where's God When I'm S-Scared?")
- You never need to be afraid to do what's right.
- 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.
- 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 where Percy is seen without any of the other Veggie kids.
- The first episode where Larry appears without a major role.
- The first episode Tim Hodge and Tom Bancroft worked on.
- 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 truck was animated by Robert Ellis as seen on the behind the scenes on Where's God When I'm S-Scared?.
- This was the last episode made during the time American president Bill Clinton was in office. When the next episode was released, George W. Bush was already in office.
- This is the last episode to initially be released to the public on VHS exclusively.
- 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.
- 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 original Bible story, King Xerxes' two servants, Bigthan and Teresh, and right-hand man Haman, were hanged for their crimes. But since VeggieTales is a kid-friendly show, this version has them sent to a fictional island called the Island of Perpetual Tickling, where they are just tickled non-stop.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- The episode was made out of VeggieTales fans demanding an episode that's all about a girl.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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 non-religious foreign versions 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.
- Vashti is thrown out just because she refused to make Xerxes a sandwich at 3:00 A.M. Unless Haman was enforcing Xerxes' rules, there must be unreasonably strict rules set before the Queen (as they're crowned AND during their term in the palace).
- 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 indicating the palace guards aren't doing their job correctly.
- 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. Shouldn't the No. 2 spot go to the Queen since they both share the rule of Persia, unless that's no longer how royalty works?
- 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 has the VeggieTales Theme Song are the Finnish, German, Norwegian and one of the Mandarin Chinese dubs.
- 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.
- 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.
- The bulletin board in town contains a few references:
- The doors in the town are the same as the one seen in the previous episode.
- The windows in King Xerxes' palace are the same windows used in King George's castle from the previous episode
- The episode takes large inspiration from the gangster film The Godfather, and classic Hollywood film Casablanca. This is evident when paying attention to the designs of both Persia and Xerxes' chamber.
- Teresh Peaoni references the Scooby-Doo series by referring to Esther as a "meddling queen."
- The Jacksons Haman and 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're playing Trivial Pursuit.
- Haman's car bears resemblance to a 1930's Lincoln.
- “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.