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"You see, you don't have to be afraid because God is the biggest."
— Bob
TalesFromtheCrisper48
Where's God When I'm S-Scared?
Director(s)

Phil Vischer

Writer(s)

Phil Vischer

Music by

Kurt Heinecke

Distributor

Big Idea

Released

December 21, 1993

Runtime

31 minutes

Next episode

God Wants Me
to Forgive Them!?!

Where's God When I'm S-Scared? is the first episode of the Christian computer-animated series VeggieTales, usually considered to be the pilot episode.

The first story deals with Junior's fear of monsters, while the second story is a retelling of the bible story of Daniel and the Lions' Den.

Plot

Bob and Larry on the countertop receive a letter from Lucy Anderson from Phoenix, Arizona who is afraid that there are monsters in her closet. Larry mentions to Lucy that he thought that there were monsters in his closet but they turned out to be his fluffy bunny slippers. Bob then tells Lucy to see if it's just her slippers and commences Tales from the Crisper.

Tales from the Crisper

(See the main page for a full plot.)

Silly Song

(The Water Buffalo Song)

Daniel and the Lions' Den

(See the main page for a full plot.)

Bible Verse

Isaiah 41:10 - So do not fear for I am with you.

Characters

Songs

Production

Before production on the episode began, Phil Vischer had created a screen test called VeggieTales Promo: Take 38 in 1992. He tried to sell the show with it to Christian video distribution companies in hopes that they would give him a budget, but the plan ultimately failed. As Phil tried to sell the show, he and his wife Lisa were in major debt and were struggling to come up with the money to feed their then 13-month-old daughter, Shelby. After a while, a rich couple at Phil's church dipped into their retirement funds and gave Phil $60,000 dollars (US) to get started on the show.

As soon as Phil got the money, he and his Bible college friend, Mike Nawrocki, co-wrote and recorded dialogue for the episode. Phil, deciding he could not possibly animate the whole thing before Christmas 1993 alone, hired two recent art school graduates named Chris Olsen and Robert Ellis to co-animate, but Lisa Vischer was not comfortable with several men all concentrated in their house animating. So the three animators, along with Nawrocki, moved Phil's computer animation system and a couple of office supplies into a rental office at a strip mall on the north side of Chicago, IL, right between a Mexican grocery store and comic book store. They also set up blinds on their windows so nobody walking by could see them animate. As soon as animation began, Phil showcased VeggieTales in Christian magazines and put an 800 number in the magazine advertisements in hopes that people would call in and buy as the show was being made.

As soon as the animation was done, editing was underway. Phil was able to rent an editing device for the video for about two weeks. About halfway into editing, the company that the editing machine came from had called and told Phil that time was upon the machine. He managed to dump the footage onto a hard drive and dump the footage onto another editing device. After everything was done, two copies of the episode were made on two VHS tapes and were rushed off for duplication and everyone, sleep-deprived from completing the episode, slept for a few days while the copies were going off.

500 copies of the episode were sold, which, according to Phil, neither covered for the magazine ads nor the show's production.

Home media

Main article: Where's God When I'm S-Scared?/Home Video

Other Languages

  • لا تخف يا قرنبيطة (Arabic) (Don't be Scared, Junior)
  • 之有關害怕的故事[粵語 (title card)/Crisper 的故事 (Cantonese) (Stories about fear (Title Card)/Crisper's Tales)
  • Ιστοριες Του Ψυγείου (Greek) (Refrigerator Stories)
  • Unknown (Hebrew)
  • ぼくが怖い時、神様はどこにいるの? (Japanese) (If I'm Scared, Where's God?)
  • 賴皮歌 (Mandarin) (Standard)
  • 誰是好鄰居 (Mandarin) (Taiwan) (Fear Terminator)
  • Dagens ferske salat (Norwegian) (Today's Fresh Salad)
  • Onde Deus Está Quando eu Estou com M-Medo? (Portuguese) (Brazil) (1st dub) (Same Translation)
    • O Que Fazer Quando Estou Com Medo? (Portuguese) (Brazil) (2nd and 3rd dubs) (What to do when I'm Scared?)
  • Contos Estaladiços (Portuguese) (Portugal) (Crispy Tales)
  • Где Же Бог, Когда Мне Страшно? (Russian) (Same Translation)
  • Zgodbice z gredice (Slovenian) (Stories of Fear)
  • ¿Dónde Está Dios Cuando Tengo M-Miedo? (Spanish) (Latin America) (Same Translation)
  • Câu chuyện từ khoai tây (Vietnamese) (Story from a Potato)

Fun Facts

Moral(s)

  • Do not be afraid of anything.
  • Do not let fear dictate your life.

Trivia

  • About 500 copies of the episode were released on December 21, 1993, on-demand from responses to ads in Christian magazines. The version of these had several differences compared to the current version (which has been making the rounds on all re-releases).
    • The theme song is unfinished, and has a couple of differences, which are:
      • Larry nods his head to the camera after Bob says "Have we got a show for you!" This animation wasn't used in the theme song of the retail version of any other episode, but was used again starting in 1998 with Madame Blueberry and the March 31, 1998 Lyrick Studios reprints of this episode and Are You My Neighbor?
      • The clip montage begins after "VeggieTales" is sung for the first time.
      • Slightly different shots of clips from this episode are used.
      • The lyrics "Broccoli, celery, gotta be; Lima beans, collard greens, peachy keen; Cauliflower, sweet and sour, half an hour" aren't sung. Instead, the chorus sings “Veggie, veggie, it’s VeggieTales” over and over again until they reach the rest of the song.
    • Both major segments have credits.
      • Even the closing countertop still has credits, using an instrumental of the VeggieTales theme song.
    • The dialogue in the movie-within-a-show Junior watches was mixed around a bit, not pitched up, and also recorded in a different session.
      • The assistant says, "Master, it can't be done," in a lower and breathier voice.
      • He says, "Oh, my goodness!" before the scientist's exclamation that Frankencelery has come to life.
      • The assistant also says, "Look how big it is! I didn't realize it when it was lying down! It's standing up!", whereas the scientist didn't say "Stand!" until the retail version of the episode was released.
      • Also, the assistant says, "Oh, look at it going!" before the scientist says, "No, this way."
      • The scientist's dialogue is slightly different after the point where he says, "Frankencelery, where are you going?"
    • The opening dialogue for The Water Buffalo Song was also recorded in a different session.
    • QWERTY doesn't have designated sound effects.
    • There are several other minor differences in the audio and uncut footage.
    • Like the older VHS tapes, there is a pamphlet explaining what VeggieTales is.
  • About a total of 17 characters in the show were around by the time the show debuted with this episode.
  • Daniel and the Lion's Den will return in Heroes of the Bible!: Lions, Shepherds and Queens (Oh My!).
  • This episode can be featured in Heroes of the Bible!: Lions, Shepherds and Queens (Oh My!), featuring Daniel and the Lion's Den.
  • This is one of the only two episodes to have Larry's lower dopey voice, the other is God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?!.
  • The shadows on the television show and the pupils are done by motion capture from real-time tracking of a mouse being operated by Phil Vischer.
  • Phil came up with the idea of the Daniel story as a musical after watching Andrew Lloyd Webber's Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
  • The lines the Wisemen said while taunting Daniel were improvised by Mike Nawrocki and Mike Sage.
  • On the commentary, Mike Nawrocki said that he would like to reanimate the episode with new animation and voices, just with the same script. However, little interest in the episode makes this very unlikely.
  • According to the script, Daniel and the Lion's Den was originally going to be performed as a musical in a theater for an audience.
  • According to Phil Vischer's autobiography, before production on this episode, he tried to sell the show with a little animation test called VeggieTales Promo: Take 38 to Christian video distributor companies in hopes that he'd get the money to make it, but was told they might sell had he made a completed product. Phil managed to get the money from a man at his church who dipped into his retirement funds and gave him $60,000.
  • The 2003 promotional 10th anniversary DVD of this episode and the 2004 VHS version of the VeggieTales Classics release were the only VeggieTales home videos that includes VeggieTales Promo: Take 38, as well as other early animation tests (including Mr. Cuke's Screen Test) as a bonus feature.
    • The 2004 VHS went out of print in mid-2006 (along with the rest of the VeggieTales shows on VHS due to the general death of the format).
    • The 10th-anniversary promo DVD from 2003 was only available through a pamphlet that came with certain episodes around the time, and has become extinct.
  • In an ad for the episode in a magazine, a character lineup is visible with a conspicuous toaster who never appears in any VeggieTales episode allegedly because he was too difficult to animate.
  • During the making of the second segment, the animators panicked about making animated lions in the scene where Daniel is thrown into the den as they thought it would be expensive. They decided to go with just making yellow eyes for lions and animate them.
  • International dubs of this episode except for the Arabic dub have Larry's song about him fearing the lions spoken rather than sung.
    • On a similar note, the Slovenian dub has Fear Not, Daniel spoken rather than sung.
  • This is the only episode of the entire series whose prototype video cover had made it into the final print. This does not happen with Are You My Neighbor? onwards.
  • This is the first work from Big Idea created during the time American president Bill Clinton was in office.
  • This episode has the same lesson as in The League of Incredible Vegetables.
  • Production of this episode started in July of 1993.

Remarks

  • This episode had the weakest visual quality in contrast to the rest of the series, especially the next two episodes that were in slightly better quality than this (despite still being compressed in quality). Phil apologized about this, stating that this was due to the footage being dumped from one editing system to another via DAT tapes (as explained above), which resulted in the episode's quality loss.
    • As such, the original project files of Where's God When I'm S-Scared? are presumed to have been lost or even deleted to free up disk space (with the exception of the footage for the The Water Buffalo Song oddly being re-rendered in high quality for The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown). It is possible, given that the lightning that flashes (when the tall Wiseman Scallion #1 says anyone disobeying their new law will be thrown into the Lions' Den) was an error; Big Idea has never bothered to recreate that scene.
    • This episode and God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?! were never restored in digitally pristine visual quality unlike the rest of the 90s episodes on their VeggieTales Classics reprints. However, there are recent variations of the episode that have attempted to fix the picture quality as followed by pros and cons:
      • Pro: Although not sanctioned by Big Idea, some fan restorations of the episode online attempted to restore the episode's visual quality by sharpness adjustments and Camera Raw Filter effects to recreate higher-quality visuals, which in the outcome does not look like a digitally pristine remaster but was able to be restored to much sharper, better quality matching that of the next two episodes – therefore greatly beating the one master which is making the rounds in all official releases. The original 1993 version of the episode has been restored in this kind of visual quality online, despite still having the low-quality VHS audio intact.
      • Con: The 15th anniversary release attempted to fix the RGB colors with mixed results, but this by any means still does not remedy the episode's visual quality.
  • Given by the interlaced quality of The Water Buffalo Song in The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown, this episode was likely rendered at half-resolution (or smaller picture size) in contrast to the rest of the episodes, hence what may be the cause for the episode's said poor quality.
  • On the 2003 and 2004 DVD releases, the video cropping was bizarrely zoomed in a bit, possibly to remove the white noise on the bottom of the screen. The 15th anniversary DVD reverted the video cropping back to its original state (just like in the original 1993-1994 VHS versions), except that a small, black bar at the bottom of the screen cut off a bit of the bottom of the screen for some reason. Some international DVD releases keep it uncropped in its entirety, despite making some minor brightness, contrast and color adjustments.
  • When the episode was remastered for the show's 15th anniversary, the audio gets more restoration, as a 5.1 surround sound audio track was included and the songs also get remastered with more instruments.
    • The Water Buffalo Song also uses a re-recording from VeggieTales Live! (with the exception of the beginning and end) having Larry's current voice, but resulting in some of Archibald's dialogue getting cut off.
    • However, most of the music is placed on the vocal track as it was only in MONO, while the music for the songs gets placed in the backing track but with clearly-heard vocals applied to it.
    • The next episode didn't have this treatment in all of its reprints.
  • The original 1993 VHS of this episode is one of only three 1993-1997 VeggieTales VHS tapes (the other two being the original 1994 imprint of God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?! and the 1996 VHS of Dave and the Giant Pickle) that have a different sticker label aside from the rest of the tapes from 1993-1997. The 1997 Lyrick Studios VHS of Are You My Neighbor? didn't count.
  • The 15th anniversary DVD falsely advertises DVD-ROM features which don't actually exist.
  • The first episode features little to no texture mapping. Phil Vischer said on the DVD audio commentary that someone actually called him and asked him why he didn't use texture maps.
  • Junior has a VeggieTales poster on his bedroom wall with Bob and Larry on it even though he has never seen them before.
  • During the first half of the Daniel story, King Darius is seen without his monocle. He later regained it the next morning, though he might be possible that he only wears it during the day or to perform magisterial duties, like how many people rarely wear glasses in the evening or to read or drive.
  • Upon arriving with the Wisemen at the Lions' Den, Daniel states he can see his house from there, which is impossible since the Lions' Den is the only thing he could logically see.
  • Larry mentions that he has slippers. But since he is a vegetable, he has no feet.
  • King Darius is the king of Babylon, but in the original Bible story he is the ruler of Persia and Nebuchadnezzar is the king of Babylon.
  • Mike Asparagus comes in after Junior sings, which somehow he didn't hear him right at the beginning of the God is Bigger song.
  • It is unknown how Bob, Larry, Frankencelery and the closet monsters instantly left Junior's bedroom after he finished singing God is Bigger.
  • Some international releases call this "Tales from the Crisper" in order to remove God from the title, and also replace The Water Buffalo Song with The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything.

Goofs

This episode was animated by three people, the lead animator on the verge of bankruptcy, in the course of five months using consumer equipment from the early 1990s, and thus it has many animation errors.

  • When Frankencelery escapes, part of his head clips through the door entrance.
  • When Bob explains to Junior Larry's a cucumber, the shadows and the rug on the bottom of the screen change suddenly.
  • When Larry asks, "Where is everybody?" his mouth doesn't move.
  • In the opening countertop scene, the jars behind Bob and Larry show a reflection of the countertop, but in most shots, the jars lose the reflective element.
  • When Bob jumps down, his eyes clip through his eyelids.
  • One shot shows the jars missing.
  • There is a drawing right by Junior's bed. If you pay close attention to the opening scene of Junior in bed, you'll notice that there is Junior's signature. The signature only appears in two shots and doesn't come back. It's featured in the opening shot of Junior laying in bed and when Dad Asparagus comes in Junior's room.
  • When Junior's mom tells Junior that the movie he's watching is too scary for him, you'll notice that the necklace she's wearing doesn't move along with her neck, it just stays in place and her body clips through it.
  • The golden gates change between open and closed between shots. 
  • When one of the Wisemen proclaims any citizen disobeying their new law will be thrown into the Lions' Den, the upper right part of the set flickers white as the background turns red. Due to the team being unable to fix it, a thunderclap sound effect was added to cover up the mistake.
  • When the Wisemen are carrying Daniel to the Lions' Den for breaking their new law, Wiseman #3's (Scallion #3) hair stalks clip into him.
  • When King Darius is relieved Daniel is fine, something black appears on one of his eyes as he closes them in one shot.
  • As King Darius turns towards Daniel during the same moment above, his monocle clips into his nose.
  • When King Darius and Daniel are chasing after the Wisemen at the end of the episode, Darius can be seen clipping into the ground.
  • The British DVD incorrectly lists the bonus features from King George and the Ducky on the back.

Inside References

  • The VeggieTales poster in Junior's room portrays Bob and Larry in the same poses as in the Take 38 promo.

Real World References

  • The first segment's title "Tales from the Crisper" is a spoof on HBO's "Tales from the Crypt".
  • Frankencelery is based on Frankenstein's monster which originated in the 1818 novel, Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus.
  • King Kong is a 1933 film.
  • Godzilla is a giant lizard monster that first appeared in the 1954 film of the same name.
  • The shrill high-pitched music when the Wisemen step into Daniel's house and are about to take Daniel is reminiscent to Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho". However, this was removed in the 15th anniversary DVD release, possibly to avoid copyright issues.
  • The house that Junior Asparagus lives in was modeled after a real rental house that Phil Vischer and his wife were living in at the time this episode was in production.
  • QWERTY was based on a computer featured in an advertisement Phil Vischer made not long before production on this episode began, but Phil has declined to state the model and manufacturer for fear of being charged for using assets from corporate work on personal work.

Fast Forward

Episode Transcript

Credits

Quotes

  • Larry: So, you guys are wise men. That's pretty cool, have you, like, have you always been wise, or did you have to go to school for that? Were you serious about that cheese-ball thing? Hey, I can see my house from here!
  • Scallion #1: Daniel, because you violated Section 4219 2R9-4000 6 dot 1 dash 7, B, of the code of Babylon, forbidding prayer to anyone but King Darius- you are hereby sentenced to be consumed by the lions. Goodbye!
  • Larry: Hey, didn't get I get a phone call!
  • Junior Asparagus: Aaah! Who are you?
  • Bob: I'm Bob. I'm a tomato and I'm here to help you.
  • Junior Asparagus: There's something in my toy chest! It's a big scary lizard! It's a... baby pickle.
  • Bob: That's a cucumber
  • Larry: Where is everybody?
  • Bob: Over here Larry! We couldn't notice that you were a little bit scared.
  • Larry: Yeah! Um, fear not, for behold I bring you tidings of great joy which shall be to all people, for unto you -
  • Bob: Wrong story Larry.
  • Larry: Oh, sorry.
  • Larry: Compared to God, the Slime Monster is like a teeny little cornflake!
  • Junior Asparagus: Yeah, but the Slime Monster can squirt slime out of his ears!
  • Larry: [singing] Everybody's got a water buffalo / Yours is fast but mine is slow / Oh, where'd we get them? I don't know / But everybody's got a water buffalo-ooooooooo/ I took my buffalo to the store / Got his head stuck in the door / Spilled some lima beans on the floor / Oh everybody's got a...
  • Archibald Asparagus: Stop it, stop, stop right this instant! What do you think you're doing? You can't say everyone's got a water buffalo when everyone does not have a water buffalo! We're going to get nasty letters saying, "Where's my water buffalo? Why don't I have a water buffalo?" And are you prepared to deal with that? I don't think so! Just stop being so silly!
  • Larry: [singing] Everybody's got a baby kangaroo / Yours is pink but mine is blue...
  • Archibald Asparagus: Ahhhhhhhhhhh! [Tackles Larry]
  • Larry: Oh, it's not so scary down here! A little musty, not so scary!
  • Larry: See you guys later! Thanks for the pizza!
  • Larry: Ooh, I remember one time I thought there were monsters in MY closet.
  • Bob: Really? What happened, Larry?
  • Larry: Well, it turned out they weren't really monsters at all, just my fluffy bunny slippers. And, they're not so scary. Just, kind of, squishy.
  • Mom Asparagus: Junior! It's time for bed.
  • Junior Asparagus: J-just four more minutes.
  • Mom Asparagus: That's what you said four minutes ago. Let's skedaddle up those stairs, your father will be up in a minute to tuck you in. Besides, I think this show might be a little too scary for you.
  • Narrator: This was very good news for Daniel, but very bad news for the wise men. You see? Each one of them wanted to be second in command.
  • Narrator: So the next day, just like every other day, Daniel prayed and thank God for the sunshine and for all of his friends. He also thanked God for giving him the courage to do what was right. Even when he knew it could get him in trouble.
  • Larry: Did you say trouble?

Gallery

Where'sGodWhenI'mScaredTitleCard

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