|Sumo of the Opera|
August 31, 2004
Sumo of the Opera is the twenty-third episode of VeggieTales.
The main story is a parody on Rocky and The Karate Kid, with music largely taken from Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado.
Bob is all alone on the Countertop, greeting the kids once again, before explaining to the viewers that Larry is helping some kids out on a toy drive, but he explains even further that Larry hired a special friend to fill in for him while he's gone. We are then introduced to Larry's replacement, Lutfi the kindly teensy-weensy cucumber (played by a hand puppet operated by Khalil the caterpillar, obviously). When Bob tells Lutfi to say hi to the kids, Lutfi does so, explaining that he is kind and friendly, and not to mention teensy-weensy. Bob then tells Lutfi that since Larry's away, he's going to help with the show, which Lutfi agrees with, explaining that even though he is teensy-weensy, he can be a great big helper. The phone then rings so Bob goes to answer it, asking Lutfi to cover him, which Lutfi does by humming repeatedly. It turns out that Larry was calling, so Bob puts him on speakerphone before Larry asks who's humming. When Lutfi makes himself known, Larry then tells Lutfi that he may be teensy-weensy but he's a great big helper. Bob then tells Larry that he was telling the kids about Larry's volunteer work before Larry tells him that he's not doing it and that he's coming home because the whole day has been a big mess, which Bob is curious about. Larry then explains that he got on the bus, but he missed his stop because he ran out of nickels so he had to take the subway, so he's now calling at a payphone at the subway line, saying that he's giving up and coming home. Bob then tells Larry that he can't just give up now, telling him that he needs to persevere in order to get to the toy drive. When Larry asks what it means to persevere, Bob answers that perseverance means that we need to keep on keeping on, even when it's hard. Larry then says that he's down to three quarters at the payphone. Of course, Lutfi knows of a story that can help Larry.
Countertop Part 2
Back on the Countertop, Larry asks on the phone if they're going to start the story soon, with Bob telling him that it was a silent movie. When Lutfi says that it was powerful, Bob indignantly asks Lutfi how Larry is supposed to know what happened because he's on the phone, which Lutfi replies that he did not think about that. Larry then says that he only has two quarters left on the phone. Because of that, Bob has to find another story about perseverance, while Lutfi covers for Bob again, humming once again.
Countertop Part 3
Lutfi asks Bob if he found a story yet, to which Bob answers that he hasn't yet, before telling Lutfi to keep covering for him. Fortunately, Lutfi knows just the thing, before announcing "And now it's time for Lutfi's Fanciful Flannelgraph, the part of the show where Lutfi comes out with his fanciful flannelgraph and tells an important lesson". Lutfi then comes up while wearing a green bowler hat and holding a shamrock, telling the viewers that he will be telling them the story of the origin of St. Patrick's Day.
The Story of St. Patrick
Countertop Part 4
After Lutfi finishes this story, Bob comes back, explaining that he finally got a story to help Larry. Larry then asks Bob if he heard the story of St. Patrick, which Bob says that he did not. Larry then says that he has one quarter left before Bob tells him to hang in there and then says, "ROLL FILM!"
Sumo of the Opera
At a sumo wrestling ring, a group comprised of seven carrots and one gourd sing about being wrestlers of Japan, before a wrestler by the name of Apollo Gourd shows up. Apollo Gourd is up against Scooter Carrot, who tries pushing against him but to no avail. Apollo then pulls off his trademark wrestling move, which is called his Belly Ringer, which involves him jumping up into the air, landing in front of his opponent, then giving the opponent a belly bump, which knocks his opponent out of the ring. Apollo Gourd does just that to Scooter, knocking Scooter out of the ring, as Apollo gives off a triumphant laugh after that. The sportscaster Jim Gourdly (played by Jimmy Gourd), accompanied by his cameraman (played by Jerry Gourd), approaches Apollo Gourd, telling him about the championship match to celebrate the Year of the Scallion, asking him to comment on his opponent Po-Ta-To. Apollo answers that he has a haiku for Po-Ta-To, which goes "No way Po-Ta-To will stay in the match and linger when I give him a Belly Ringer".
After Apollo finishes this haiku, Jim is dubious saying that that wasn't a real haiku, which the cameraman agrees with. A mysterious wrestler then shows up and enters the ring with Po-Ta-To, making Po-Ta-To laugh with his silly hijinks. Jim is able to identify this wrestler as the Italian Scallion (played by Larry the Cucumber). When the cameraman asks how this cucumber got a name like "Italian Scallion", Jim explains via silkscreen that the Italian Scallion got his name from being raised by scallions, so grew up thinking that he was a scallion. When the cameraman says that that doesn't make any sense, Jim replies that it does, saying that 'scallion' rhymes with five words and that 'Italian' was the catchiest, before the cameraman corrects him, saying that the silkscreen doesn't make any sense. Archibald then shows up, explaining about the silkscreen after that. After that, the Italian Scallion then hangs a spoon on his nose, which Po-Ta-To finds to be really funny, while his trainer Mikey (played by Pa Grape) tells him to stop laughing and that he's supposed to be sparring with the Italian Scallion. At that moment, Bobby (played by Bob the Tomato) shows up, asking Mikey if he has any recycling, to which Mikey tells him to help himself.
Bobby then starts rummaging through the recycling bin at the same time that the Italian Scallion is now wearing a pair of funny glasses and making Po laugh even more. Bobby then finds a banana peel in the recycling bin before he throws it into the ring, before the Italian Scallion slips on it, sending him ricocheting off the sides of the ring before getting tied up as a result. This makes Po laugh even harder before he suddenly slips backwards after stepping on the banana peel and falls into the recycling bin, before he says in a haiku, "Oh my aching back, might as well call workman's comp, it's thrown out again". Jim then says, "Now that's a haiku", before Archibald shows up again, explaining that a haiku is a poem of three verses, with the first and third verses having five syllables and the second verse having seven syllables. Mikey then angrily tells the Italian Scallion that he's supposed to be helping Po train, not give him a sprain, which the Italian Scallion apologizes to, and that he was just joking around. The Italian Scallion then sings about how he likes to joke around while in the ring.
After the Italian Scallion finishes this song, Mikey tells him to sit down, though he ends up sitting on a whoopee cushion that had been placed on the stool that he sat on. Mikey then admonishes the Italian Scallion for always joking around, telling him that he wanted to be a sumo but gave up the minute it got hard, further telling the Italian Scallion that he's got no guts, or more accurately no gut, because he's skinny, before telling him that he doesn't finish anything. The Italian Scallion then tells Mikey to tell him one thing he doesn't finish, before his friend Hadrian (played by Junior Asparagus) shows up, asking the Italian Scallion if he finished fixing his bike yet because he needs it for his paper route. The Italian Scallion is at a loss for words before Mikey shows him an incredibly long list of things that he never finishes. Po is then carried off that after hurting his back. When Apollo hears that Po-Ta-To is hurt, he demands to know who did it, before the Italian Scallion tells him that it was an accident. Jim then asks Apollo who he will wrestle to win the championship and the prize that goes with it. The prize for winning the championship turns out to be a bicycle known as a Tiger Bike, which Hadrian really likes.
Apollo then says that he wants the championship and that he doesn't care about the prize, while the Italian Scallion states that he won't have to finish fixing Hadrian's bike if he wins that bike. The Italian Scallion then says that he'll take it, which the French Peas think is a joke for Scallion to wrestle Apollo before Scallion says that he was talking about the bike. Apollo then says another haiku, "In the Year of the Scallion, how about a-bout with the Italian Scallion?" Jim then notes that Apollo was only off by two syllables. Mikey then says that Apollo is way out of Scallion's lead, with Scallion retorting that he knocked Po-Ta-To out of the ring, to which Mikey responds that he slipped on a banana peel. Scallion says that it was his fault and that he owes it to Po then tells Mikey to tell Po that he's taking his place. The French Peas then start laughing at the aspect of the Italian Scallion facing off against Apollo Gourd, before Jim tells Scallion that he's a hoot. Scallion then says that he's really going to wrestle Apollo and that he accepts the challenge. The wrestler singers then show up and sing about how the Italian Scallion has accepted the challenge.
After that, Mikey asks Scallion why he's doing this, to which Scallion answers that he owes it to Po and that he needs the bike, which he owes to Hadrian. Mikey protests that Apollo is the champ and that no one has stayed in the ring with him longer than eight seconds before Scallion tells him that there's always the first time. Mikey then tells Scallion that he only has two weeks to train, before Scallion tells him that he could help him by being his trainer, something which Mikey is hesitant about, before he finally agrees to train Scallion for the match, but tells Scallion that he has to do everything that he tells him, which Scallion says that he'll promise to do. Soon, Scallion's training has begun, which involves him mopping the floor, crushing aluminum cans with each hop (but ends up falling in a manhole while doing so), trying to eat more, climbing up the down escalator (which results in him getting bonked on the head by the cane of an old lady gourd (played by Grandma Gourd) and trying to endure getting hit by bags of recyclables at the recycling center. Meanwhile, Apollo asks the French Peas if everything is arranged for his victory party, to which the French Peas respond that they are, before asking him if he's going to train for the match, but Apollo says that Scallion is a pushover and that he could beat him in his sleep before the wrestler singers show up and sing about how Apollo won't be doing any training for the match.
Scallion is now doing sit-ups as part of his training, but he finds that the training is tough, before Mikey shows him a picture of when he used to be a wrestler called Mr. Juicy, admitting that he joked around too when he was younger and never took anything serious. Mikey then says that you have to stick it out even when it's hard, before showing Scallion a picture of himself as a wrestler now known as Alexander the Grape, grand sumo champion three years running, before his knee injury (which confuses Scallion). Mikey then explains that there are lots of reasons to quit, but not because they're hard, and that God gives us lots of things to do that are hard. Scallion then laments that he doesn't have what it takes to be a sumo wrestler, which is the reason why he's always clowning around, the only thing that he's any good at. Because of that, Scallion decides to quit, before Mikey then hops off in shame after that. Later, while out in the streets, Scallion is then met with Hadrian who is wearing a scallion headpiece on his head as Scallion wears. Hadrian then asks Scallion why he isn't training, Scallion says that he doesn't know, before he asks about the headpiece that Hadrian is wearing, before Hadrian answers that it's a scallion headpiece that he made for Show and Tell, saying that it felt great to finish it and show it to everyone. Scallion then dejectedly says that he never finished any of his Show and Tell projects, before asking Hadrian if it was hard, to which Hadrian answers that it was, but says that if Scallion could stick to something, so could he. After hearing these words, Scallion realized that Hadrian really would be willing to stick to anything, just as the wrestler singers then show up to sing about how while a sumo's job is tough, you must always keep on keeping on without a stop. After the song ends, a pair of carrots pass by, asking Scallion if he's quit or if he's waiting until he gets in the ring with Apollo. Because of this, Scallion is now inspired to continue with his training.
This time, Scallion is able to continue with his training, going up the down escalator but is able to get past the gourd lady without any problems. Scallion then continues with his sit-ups once again after that, is able to crush more aluminum cans with each hop, and is able to endure getting hit by the bags of recyclables, which causes one of the bags to explode after a few seconds. Scallion is also able to have seconds and thirds of sushi, which tires out the chef (played by Mr. Lunt), before he also resumes crushing more aluminum cans, mopping the floor, and going up the down escalator past more citizens that have gotten onto the escalator. Once Scallion has completed his training, he confidently proclaims "It's time". Soon, it is now time for the wrestling match between the Italian Scallion and Apollo Gourd, with Jim Gourdly acting as MC for the match. After Apollo tells Scallion that he's going to bounce him out, Scallion answers with "Go for it", before the match begins, as Apollo then starts off by pushing Scallion out of the ring, before he uses his Belly Ringer move. However, when he pulls the move on Scallion, it has no effect, which leaves Apollo dazed from the impact of his move has backfired.
After Apollo snaps out it, Scallion then looks up at the Tiger Bike before he counters back with a belly bump of his own that leaves Apollo shaken up. With Apollo all shaken up, this gives Scallion a chance to use the moves that Mikey taught him, such as mopping the floor and going up the down escalator, with Scallion pushing Apollo towards the edge of the ring. However, Apollo then gets back up again as he and Scallion face off once again, which Jim finds to be inconceivable. Apollo then pushes Scallion towards the edge of the ring, but this results in the two of them falling out of the ring before they hit the ground. The match is over, with Jim stating that it's a tie, stating that Apollo is still the champion, before realizing that no one has ever lasted more than eight seconds against Apollo Gourd. The citizens then approach Scallion, praising him for lasting longer than anyone in the ring, as Scallion is proud of himself for finishing what he started before he starts singing about how the feeling of finishing makes him feel good before everyone sings along as well. After the song is over, it seems that the story is over, but Jim tells the viewers that the story is not over yet. Because of that, Scallion then approaches Hadrian, telling him that even though he did not win the Tiger Bike, they did give him the bell that came with the bike, before telling Hadrian that since he's going to be a finisher from now on, he put Hadrian's bike back together, which Hadrian is happy about.
Back on the Countertop, Bob asks Larry what he thought of the story, before the sound of a dial tone is heard, to which Bob is worried, thinking that Larry never got to hear the story. Larry then shows up, which Bob is happy to see before he asks Larry about the kids and that he doesn't know how much of the story Larry heard, but Larry assures him that he pretty much heard the whole thing, then says that he ran out of quarters before the end, but was able to make it to the toy drive. He then explains further that they gave away toys, had sandwiches, and took pictures, proclaiming that it was awesome. Bob then says that when he heard the busy signal, he thought that Larry had given up, but Larry tells him that he got back on the subway, got to the bus, hopped three more blocks, and made it there. Bob is amazed from hearing this story, before asking Larry to talk about what they've learned today, before a sumo version of the "What Have We Learned" song plays, but Qwerty then steams up before breaking down, which surprises Bob and Larry, asking Qwerty if he's okay, but he can't respond without power before Lutfi pops up, saying that he fits into tiny places, before Bob, in shock, tells him that he killed Qwerty, but Lutfi denies this, saying that he only made Qwerty sputter and smoke, before Bob says that they need to get Qwerty repaired and that they need a verse. Fortunately, Lutfi says that he knows his "scripture memory verses" before he hums the rest of the song, then brings up the verse on a cardboard sign, which is, "You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised... Hebrews 10:36". Larry praises Lutfi for the verse before Bob tells him that God wants us to persevere, to keep on keeping on, even when it's hard. After that, Bob, Larry, and Lutfi then sign off as the episode ends.
- Larry the Cucumber as himself and Italian Scallion (the protagonist)
- Jimmy Gourd as Jim Gourdly (the tetartagoinst)
- Junior Asparagus as Hadrian (the tritagonist)
- Pa Grape as Mikey (the dueteragonist)
- Bob the Tomato as himself and Bobby (a major character)
- Apollo Gourd as himself (the sole antagonist)
- Khalil as Lutfi
- Jerry Gourd as himself and the Cameraman
- Madame Blueberry as herself
- Mr. Nezzer as himself
- Mr. Lunt as himself the Sushi Chef (cameo)
- The French Peas as themselves
- Archibald Asparagus as himself (cameo)
- Scooter as himself (cameo)
- VeggieTales Theme Song
- VeggieTales on TV Theme Song (TV version only)
- Mail Song (TV version only)
- Schoolhouse Polka with Larry: Schoolhouse Polka
- Wrestlers of Japan
- A Joking Sumo I
- He's Accepted the Challenge
- A Sumo Can't Go Wrong
- The Feeling of Finishing
- What Have We Learned (Sumo Version first then Lufti sings and hums it)
- A spring roll is a rolled Asian appetizer. It is similar to an egg roll, but the wrap is made of flour dough wrap.
- Scallion thinking he has to drink raw eggs is a reference to the 1976 movie Rocky (which this episode frequently spoofs; see Real World References), in which Rocky Balboa does in fact drink raw eggs as a quick form of protein.
- The title of the video is a play on the novel The Phantom of the Opera.
- The Italian Scallion's mask is also a possible reference to Erik's mask in that story.
- This is the only VeggieTales episode to have more than two segments (three if you count the Silly Song).
- Larry's trouble getting to the toy drive is based on Mike's experience when he was in Chicago before trying to help out at a toy drive, though unlike Larry, Mike didn't have any troubles getting there.
- This is also the first time Qwerty breaks down.
- During the scene where St. Patrick was preaching the people of Ireland, the crowd is actually animated versions of the crew at Big Idea (see image)
- This was the only episode where concept artist Joseph Sapulich provided character voices including voicing one of the sailors and the Ireland townsfolk.
- When this aired on Smile of a Child, both the main story and mentions of it were removed (this included the the first half of the What Have We Learned song). But the main story was included on separate airings.
- The numbered bus routes Larry mentioned after he came back are actual bus routes in Chicago.
- There were a few differences between pre-production and the final version:
- Brian Roberts states that there was a Jerry Lewis gag after Maewyn and the ship crew landed in France, but it was cut due to time.
- There was a line after Hadrian asks if his bike was finished, Scallion says "Yo, Hadrian, know why the kid crossed the playground? To get to the other slide. Get it?". This was absent in the final.
- The scene of Apollo Gourd saying he doesn't need to train was after Scallion was eating at the sushi restaurant. However, it was pushed after the first training at the recycling center.
- Originally in the storyboards and concept art, it was going to be an entirely new model for the Sushi Chef. That was probably Hop Sing, who was mentioned in The Ballad of Little Joe script.
- After the first training at the recycling center, it was suppose to be night time, and it shows Hadrian throwing newspaper.
- After the crowd sings, the script has Mikey, Bobby, and Jim Gourdly saying "Wait, wait. The story's not over." However, in the final version, it was only Jim who says "Wait folks! The story's not over!".
- At the end of the show, Lutfi revealed himself to be Khalil. This was brought over to Lessons from the Sock Drawer.
- The artwork used for St. Patrick was done by Joe Spadaford and Chuck Vollmer, while Brian Roberts did the animation.
- Going Up! and The Story of St. Patrick also appeared in Lessons from the Sock Drawer.
- Schoolhouse Polka also appeared in Sing-Alongs: Do the Moo Shoo.
- Going Up! and Schoolhouse Polka also appeared in the TV episode Bully Trouble.
- This episode is featured in Growing Patient Kids!.
- The sound effects that's used for Scooter after Apollo defeated him is a mix of both chattering teeth and a jackhammer.
- This is the only episode in the Vietnamese voiceover not to use the somewhat non-religious cut in foreign dubs aside from the rest of the pre-Sheerluck Holmes and the Golden Ruler episodes that use a somewhat non-religious cut in some foreign dubs.
- Several fourth wall breaks were done, such as:
- Maewyn interrupting Lutfi while he's telling the story.
- Archibald popping up explaining what the silk screen is made of and what a haiku is.
- Scallion looking at the audience when Mikey states he injured his knee.
- Considering Maewyn is in England, the church minster should've used the term "Football". However, this would have been confusing to American children watching the show.
- While it may seem incorrect that St. Patrick refers to God as three persons (rather than people), this word is often used in theology to refer to the trinity.
- A semi second flash flare happened when Jim Gourdly was explaining Jerry on Scallion's history.
- Bus 92 is the route Larry took to get to the toy drive. If you look up at CTA, it takes you to Foster, which was the original location of Big Idea.
- In the previews section, The Complete Silly Song Collection is listed as "Silly Song DVD Collection".
- Concept art of the mall had the Big Idea logo in English, but it's in Japanese in the final. (See also Goofs)
- The horns on Apollo's helmet clip through the black before he enters the room.
- During some parts of St. Patrick, some of the body joints of Maewyn are disconnected at times.
- The bearded sailor switch voices with the other sailor after they were cooking ham.
- Concept art of the mall had the Big Idea logo in English, but it's in Japanese in the actual episode. (See also Remarks)
- Scallion is missing his tooth in some shots:
- One is seen when he tells Mikey he owes it to Po-Ta-To.
- Another one can be seen in a millisecond when Mikey asks him why he wants to face Apollo.
- The lip-syncing is off at parts.
- In the concept art, Scooter's character was Moyer.
- If you look closely at the news article on Alexander, you can see the word “Jonah.”
Real World References
- Star Trek is a science fiction television series. Lutfi stating we'll just believe the Irish folk are speaking English is mostly referring to the alien species' mostly speaking English, especially in The Original Series. It is a common joke, although it is explained in-universe that the crew has universal translators which render the alien languages into English.
- The small pile of rocks Maywen knocked over is a miniature version of Stonehenge.
- Because it's a spoof of Rocky and Karate Kid, a lot of references and mentions were used, including:
- Larry's character, the Italian Scallion is the spoof name of Rocky Balboa's nickname, the Italian Stallion.
- Mikey is a composite of Mickey and Miyagi, the two mentors from the films.
- Hadrian's name is a spoof of Adrian, Rocky's love interest and later wife. The repeated phrase "Yo Hadrian" is in reference to Rocky's famous call of "Yo Adrian!"
- Some of the scenes of Scallion training (punching the can bags and running up the escalator) are similar to the training montages Rocky does. The seemingly ridiculous nature of the training techniques and their usefulness in the final fight is a major plot point in The Karate Kid.
- The illustrator of Mikey's images is Danny LaRusso. That was the main character from the Karate Kid films.
- Eye of the Tiger is the name of a song by Survivor, which was used for Rocky 3.
- Po-Tato is a spoof on actor Mr. T, who is famous for saying "I pity the fool!". He was also known as Clubber Lang from the third Rocky film.
- E.S.N. (Emperor's Sports Network) is a play on words for ESPN (Entertainment and Sports Programming Network).
- When Jim Gourdly explains The Italian Scallion's back story, the picture of Larry on the silk screen has a sketch of him wearing a shirt similar to Charlie Brown's signature shirt.
- The Mikado Mall is named after the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta "The Mikado", from which many of the songs in this show take their tunes (e.g. "A Joking Sumo I" & "A Wand'ring Minstrel I"). Some of the stores there are play on words of real stores, such as:
- Origami-R-Us (Toys "R" Us)
- Samurai's Secrret (Victoria's Secret)
- Colors of the Wind is the name of a song from Disney's Pocahontas.
- The S. S. Minnow is the name of the ship from "Gilligan's Island".
- Alexander the Grape is a play on words for the Macedon king, Alexander the Great.
- A unofficial follow up called Lessons from the Sock Drawer would be made, using some of the same shorts.