Esther... the Girl Who Became Queen is the 14th episode in the VeggieTales animated series. Subtitled, "A Lesson in Courage," it conveys the message that you never need to be afraid to do what is right.
The story is taken from the "Book of Esther" in the Old Testament, in which Esther becomes Queen and must tell King Xerxes that his prime minister Haman is plotting to commit genocide against the Jewish people. The violent undertones are, of course, removed, from this VeggieTales production; murder is replaced by banishment to the "Island of Perpetual Tickling", and the intended victims are limited to Esther and her family without reference to their race or creed.
This is one of a few episodes that spurn the usual VeggieTales format: there are no opening and closing countertop sequence with "VeggieTales Theme" and "What Have We Learned" songs, or Silly Songs with Larry. The video features the only appearance of the Esther Veggie character who was expensive to render, due to the complexity of her hair, and the character has not returned. This is the only episode to date that narrated by a non-VeggieTales character (credited as Eric Dymes) and is the only video to date in which Bob the Tomato does not appear.
The story opens at 3:00 A.M. at a palace in Persia in the year 2500 B.C. 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 at the hour). A search is then initiated to find a new Queen.
The following day, Esther and her cousin Mordecai (Pa Grape) are talking on the street. Esther is asking for Mordecai's advice, but his questions reveal 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 Esther's friend who stole an apple. When Haman drives up in a favorite car-wagon to collect the eligible maidens, he spots Mordecai and orders him to bow in his presence, but Mordecai refuses as he bows down to no one except to God and Xerxes. Haman then spots Esther and has her taken to the place with the other maidens (though the relationship between Mordecai and Esther is kept secret).
At 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. 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 one of the 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 look closely at the cake, while Peaoni's brother (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 the piano crashes 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 in the street 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.
While Mordecai reminds her that she need not fear to do what's right, 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. His attempt is foiled when Xerxes declares his plan to throw a parade in Mordecai's honor for saving his life, 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 and loves Esther, 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 saves her people.
Cast of Characters
- Esther as Herself
- Mr. Nezzer as King Xerxes
- Mr. Lunt as Haman
- Pa Grape as Mordecai
- Jean Claude Pea as Wheels and Bigthan Peaoni
- Phillipe Pea as Wheels and Teresh Peaoni
- Scallion 1 as the Host
- Larry the Cucumber as Markus the Scribe
- Miss Achmetha as Herself
- Queen Vashti as Herself
- Percy Pea as Crony
- A poster for King George and the Ducky, the preceding video, can be seen in the village.
- The Happy Together! version of the episode is edited around, particularly to remove the first scene in which Vashti is thrown out of the palace by Haman for refusing to make Xerxes a sandwich.