"Isn't it great that because God forgives us, we can forgive others?"
— Pa Grape after ending the story
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The Little Drummer Boy
Director(s)

Brian Roberts

Producer(s)

David Pitts

Writer(s)

Mike Nawrocki
Mark Steele
Brian Roberts

Music by

Kurt Heinecke

Distributor

Vivendi Entertainment

Released

October 4, 2011

Runtime

45 minutes

Previous episode

Princess and
the Popstar

Next episode

Robin Good and His
Not-So-Merry Men

The Little Drummer Boy is the forty-first episode of VeggieTales. It is a retelling of Romeo Muller's story.

Plot

Junior's parents are going out to do some Christmas shopping, and Pa Grape is at Junior's house to be his babysitter until they come back. They're planning to get a drum set for their son, seeing how he loves playing with his drum sticks. Junior is practicing his drum skills and is waiting for his friends to come by so they can sing Christmas carols together. However, because Junior is listening to his music on his device, he doesn't hear the doorbell and his friends, Laura, Annie, and Percy think he forgot to come caroling and went shopping with his parents. The asparagus doesn't know why his friends came by, only to hear them singing far away. He thinks his friends ditched him, but Pa thinks it's probably a mix-up and they'll come by again. Pouty, Junior decides he won't forgive his friends for ditching him. Pa decides to cheer Junior up by reading a story about a small drummer.

The story starts with a small farm boy named Aaron. He goes out to see if his pet lamb Baa Baa is alright, to which his father replies "yes." His father also gives him a gift, which is a drum. Whenever Aaron plays the drums, the animals start to dance along. Unfortunately, his happiness ends quickly as the Roman army burns down his family farm, as it was in the property they wanted. Aaron hides with the animals for shelter, but his parents aren't there, so he thinks they died in the fire. He decides that he'll be better off without any other people, and he leaves the farm along with the remaining animals.

Meanwhile in the desert, two travelers named Ben Haramed and Ali are trying to find a way to earn money for their show, since the only performers they have are a flame juggler, acrobats, and a stand up comedian. Ben then hears distant drumming from Aaron, and thinks that he and his animal friends would be a good addition to the group. He tries to persuade the drummer to join in, but Aaron refuses since he doesn't want to be involved with people. However, Ben tells the drummer that once they make enough money and share it (which Ben doesn't plan to), he won't be around others. Aaron eventually decides to join the group, but also because he wants to take care of his animal friends.

The traveling group arrives in Jerusalem to start their show. But things don't go so well, and the townspeople aren't amused with the performers. So Ben insists that Aaron should play in front of the rambunctious crowd, although he doesn't want to smile at others. He sings along with his animal friends, and everyone loves their performance. But Aaron doesn't feel happy, and throws the money back at the folks, which makes them angry and causes them to throw slushies back at the performers, who escape from the trouble.

Later that night, the group spend the night in the dessert again. Ben isn't pleased with Aaron's actions earlier, and states that he won't leave until he pays back the damage he's done. Ali spots three men wearing fancy clothing like kings (they're wisemen who are planning to meet the newborn king), and Ben decides he'll make a profit since they have lots of gold. The group set up a show, but the three men aren't interested; they need to leave because there's a star they have to follow. However, things don't go well as their Sandspeeder conks out from carrying too many jars of myrrh. Ben has a sly idea: he'll give Aaron's camel Joshua to the three men, so he tells Ali to distract Aaron while he sells the camel away. Just as Aaron arrives back, he gets mad at Ben for selling his friend and he didn't even want his money. So he runs off with his remaining friends so he can find Joshua.

Just as they're heading to find the three men, Aaron spots the shepherds looking at the sky because something shiny was talking to them (angels), saying that they need to head to Bethlehem. He decides to follow them, and just as they head to the town, Aaron spots Joshua and soon they are reunited. But things get bad as a Roman riding his chariot almost hits Baa Baa, causing Aaron to worry that he'll die. He decides to talk to one of the wisemen, but he doesn't know how to mend sheep. However, he suggests they go see the newborn king in the manger. Because he doesn't have anything to give and only has a drum, Aaron decides to play a song for the baby. This helps him open his heart with happiness and forgive everyone that he held his grudges against for so long. Just then, an amazing surprise happens when his parents arrive and he is happily reunited with his family, and his dad says he'll help Baa Baa get better.

After hearing the story, Junior decides that he'll forgive his friends for not letting him join in their singing. His friends come to the door, and ultimately apologize and forgive him for what happened earlier. Pa tells the kids that he'll make some hot chocolate since they were out in the cold, which they accept. Percy then tells Junior before heading to the kitchen that he's allergic to his new cat, which confuses Junior.

Characters

Songs

Quotes

Unfortunately, Aaron's happy world was about to come to an end.
Wait, hold on. What do you mean? Isn't this a happy Christmas story?
Well, every good story has some bumps along the way.

- Pa telling Junior a good story would have bad happenings.

Production

In the commentary, Mike and Brian stated that they wanted to do another Christmas video based around the biblical times. They eventually decided to do one based on the Rankin/Bass special "The Little Drummer Boy" by Romeo Muller. Brian Roberts didn't know at first if they could do this episode due to the fact it involves the Nativity, and the policy Phil kept is to never show Jesus interact with the veggies. But then they discovered they never actually show Jesus in the original special.

Fun Facts

Explanations

  • A analogy is a way to compare two things, mostly to something else in significant respects.
  • Fruitcake is a type of cake that contains chopped fruit and nuts, and it's usually served during the holidays.
  • The wisemen panicked when they heard the name Herod. Herod was a king in the Bible who was jealous that the new savior was a bigger king than himself, and planned to kill him after he was born.
  • Though Qwerty never appeared in the episode, the silly song doesn't count.

Trivia

  • This is the first episode for several things:
    • The first time we see Junior's living room since Larry-Boy! and the Fib from Outer Space!.
    • The first Christmas episode to have the opening theme, but without the countertop (although it appears in the Silly Song). Brian Roberts states the living room segments act as the countertop.
    • The first time since Moe and the Big Exit that both Nezzer and Lunt played villains together.
  • This is the second Christmas special to feature the VeggieTales Theme Song, after It's a Meaningful Life.
  • When this episode came out on DVD, it came with the Holiday Double Feature DVD as a bonus disc.
  • As stated, this story is adapted from Romeo Muller's story. However, unlike the original, there are a few differences between the two. This included:
    • Aaron's happy life was shown right at the beginning instead of flashbacks. This was so the audience can approach to him more.
    • The farm was burned by Romans instead of bandits. Also, Aaron's parents were alive at the end.
    • Ben and Ali didn't know who Aaron was, unlike the original where they knew who he was already. Also, they bribed Aaron and his animal friends to join them instead of capturing them by force.
    • The two are also a bit more lighthearted, but still sleazy than how they were in the original.
    • Mai, Oui, and Bernie were new characters for Ben's group.
    • Ali juggled jars in the original, while he does flaming torches instead.
    • Ben just sold Joshua in the original, while in this version, Ben and Ali try to separate both the camel and Aaron away.
    • In the original, Aaron's lamb was saved because of Jesus. However, after Aaron played the song towards the new king, he was able to forgive others and his parents came back. Also, his dad was the one who saved the lamb.
    • Some of the songs were different. (Go see the songs' pages)
  • There were a few differences between pre-production and the final version:
    • Originally, Percy's line about the cat was going to be first about a broken water heater, then a possum, and fighter robots.
    • Brian originally wanted to remove the scene where Baa Baa gets hit, as he felt the original scene didn't fit well of just Jesus healing the lamb. However, he put it back in after they figured out that the dad can heal him.
  • The music Junior listens to on his PeaPod is "Deck the Halls."
  • This marks Percy Pea's last appearance to date.

Remarks

  • When Ali juggles the torches the first time, his turban turns completely black. But when he juggles in front of the crowd, the turban just gets some soot once the flames are in contact.
  • Ben calls Aaron by his name, despite him (Aaron) never stating that fact.
  • Although not a goof, there are some shots where Aaron's mouth clips through his eyes.

Goofs

  • The cover and Larry's promotional model displays him without his tooth.
  • The credits list What Have We Learned, but that song was not included in the episode.

Inside References

  • The Christmas ornament on the tree is the same one that was seen in Saint Nicholas.
    • Also, the Roman helmets some of the peas wore were also from that same episode.
  • Pa's mustache is the same one he had in Pistachio.
  • Slushies being thrown at others is a reference to what happened in Josh and the Big Wall!.
  • The fez Bernie wore and the table with heart chairs were from the first Minnesota Cuke.

Real World References

  • The way Junior keeps interrupting the story is similar to "The Princess Bride," in which the grandfather tells his grandson a story and often jokes that he'll end the story because the grandson thinks he won't like it, only for the grandson to say that it has started to get interesting.
  • Jimmy's character name Bernie Gourdberg is possibly a mix of two comedians, Bernie Mac and Whoopi Goldberg.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pisa is a freestanding belltower in Pisa, Italy.
  • The song Bernie plays on his harmonica is "Home on the Range." That song was heard previously in Moe and the Big Exit.
  • A few Star Wars references were made here:
    • "Help me, Ben Haramed, you're my only hope" is a paraphrase of a quote from "A New Hope".
    • Cuke Skywalker is a play on words of Luke Skywalker, the main protagonist from the original trilogy.
    • Jedi are a race of aliens who have special powers (eg. control objects). The flaming branch is a parody of the lightsaber, a laser sword used by both Jedi and Sith.
    • A Sandspeeder is a hovercraft used in the series. The one that's shown is the one used in "A New Hope."

Episode Transcript

Gallery

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