Sumo of the Opera

Sumo of the Opera

name = Sumo of the Opera

caption = DVD cover
writer = Jim Fisher,
Jim Staahl,
Mike Nawrocki
director = Mike Nawrocki
distributor = Sony Wonder
producer = David Pitts
starring = Phil Vischer,
Mike Nawrocki,
Tim Hodge,
Greg Whelan,
Paul Ewing,
Joe Sapulich,
Lisa Pautz Vischer | music = Arthur Sullivan,
Kurt Heinecke,
Jim Fisher,
Jim Staahl,
Mike Nawrocki
released = August 31, 2004 | runtime = 50 minutes long
language = English
preceded_by = "Bob and Larry's How to Draw"
followed_by = "Duke and the Great Pie War"
imdb_id = 0435507

"Sumo of the Opera" is the 24th episode in the "VeggieTales" series. Subtitled "A Lesson in Perseverance", it teaches viewers the importance of working through adversity to accomplish one's goals. It was released in fall of 2004 in DVD and VHS format.

After doing a generic parody of a Gilbert and Sullivan comic opera in "Lyle the Kindly Viking", the show's creators have now gone one step further. The main story here is a direct spoof of one of Gilbert and Sullivan's most famous works, "The Mikado". The parody is so transparent, in fact, that most of the music is credited to Arthur Sullivan himself. See "Notes and Trivia" below for more information.

In addition, this release contains an eclectic mix of other influences as well. While "Sumo of the Opera" draws plot elements from the movies "Rocky" and "The Karate Kid", the segment that precedes it is an homage to both the Three Stooges and a Laurel and Hardy short film called "The Music Box". Even the requisite Silly Song is a parody, this time of the 1970's educational shorts "Schoolhouse Rock!"


The opening countertop sequence finds Bob the Tomato alone with a curious sock puppet of a cucumber named Lutfi. Larry the Cucumber, we learn, is on his way to do charity work but is facing an inordinate amount of difficulty in getting there. Bob and Lutfi need to convince him via telephone to persevere rather than giving up and coming home.

The first segment, "Going Up!", is a silent film short based on Laurel and Hardy and The Three Stooges. Three Stooge-like veggies are assigned to deliver a grand piano to a mansion at the top of an enormous hill. While his fellow workers give up the impossible task in frustration, Curly (Larry) perseveres and is rewarded for his eventual success.

The Silly Song follows, a "Schoolhouse Polka" reminiscent of the "Schoolhouse Rock!" series of educational shorts. Larry plays the accordion and sings a song about homophones, the accordion somehow rendering sounds like an electric guitar in a blistering solo.

While Bob looks for a relevant film for Larry, Lutfi presents an interim story about the origin of St. Patrick's Day. Done in the style of a flannelgraph, the story tells about Maewyn Succat, a young Romano British boy who is kidnapped by pirates and sold as a slave in Ireland. His new life is miserable and he spends his days in constant prayer, even as those around him celebrate paganism. When God tells him it's time to leave, Maewyn runs away and returns to Britain by way of Gaul. Back at home, Maewyn continues his scholarship and dreams that the people of Ireland are begging him to come back and teach them about Christianity. Maewyn grows up to become a bishop, is rechristened "Patrick", and fulfills his destiny to return to Ireland and teach the Word of God.

Finally the main segment begins. In "Sumo of the Opera", Larry stars as the Italian Scallion, a Sumo wrestler who has difficulty taking anything seriously. Although he succeeds in defeating his sparring partner Po-Ta-To, he does accidentally as a result of his clowning around: Po slips on a banana peel and falls from the ring, injuring his back

He is admonished for his joking by Mikey (Pa Grape), who accuses him of being weak, lacking ambition, and never completing what he starts. When Hadrian reminds him that he has not yet fixed his bike, Scallion has no defense.

Meanwhile, Apollo Gourd, the champion, is looking for an opponent now that Po has been injured. The prize is a new "Tiger Bike". Needing the bike for Hadrian (Junior Asparagus), Scallion accepts the challenge. Mikey agrees to become his trainer on the condition that Scallion does everything he says.

Scallion starts out well and trains hard, but when things get difficult, he quits. Mikey is unable to change his mind. However, when Scallion sees Hadrian emulating him he realizes that he must set a good example (and, of course, still owes him that bike). He returns to his training with relish and eventually is ready for his match with Apollo Gourd, though naturally no one gives him a chance.

Scallion does surprisingly well in the match. He lasts longer in the ring than anyone ever has against Apollo. However, it is not enough. They both tumble out of the ring at the same moment, rendering the match a lullaby. Unfortunately this means that Apollo remains the champion. In spite of this, Scallion is victorious for having persevered and even completes the repairs to Hadrian's bike as well.

Back on the countertop we see that Larry has also persevered and completed his charity work.

Cast of Characters

Going Up!

* Larry The Cucumber as Curly
* Jerry Gourd as Larry
* Mr. Lunt as Moe
* Mr. Nezzer as the Delivery Boss
* Scooter Carrot as the Ice Cream Man
* Madame Blueberry as the Mansion Owner

The Story of St. Patrick

* St. Patrick/Maewyn Succat
* Maewyn's master
* Boat Captain
* Other citizens of Ireland and England

Sumo of the Opera

* Larry The Cucumber as the Italian Scallion
* Mister Twisty as Apollo Gourd
* Jimmy Gourd as Jim Gourdly
* Jerry Gourd as the Cameraman
* Po-Ta-To as a random sumo potato
* Bob the Tomato as Bobby
* Junior Asparagus as Hadrian
* Pa Grape as Mikey
* Mr. Lunt as the Sushi Chef (cameo)
* Scooter Carrot as a Sumo
* Archibald Asparagus a randomly-appearing educator
* Sumo chorus
* Other townspeople


* Opening Countertop
* Going up!
* Silly Song: Schoolhouse Polka
* The Story of St. Patrick
* Sumo of the Opera
* Closing Countertop


In addition to the ubiquitous "VeggieTales Theme" and "What We Have Learned," this episode contains the following songs:

* "Wrestlers of Japan", sung by the Sumo chorus
* "A Joking Sumo I", sung by the Italian Scallion
* "He's Accepted the Challenge (Part 1)", sung by the Sumo chorus
* "He's Accepted the Challenge (Part 2)", sung by the Sumo chorus
* "A Sumo Can't Go Wrong", sung by the Sumo chorus (edited from the TV version due to the show's length for only thirty minutes)
* "Think of Me" sung by Apollo Gourd and the Sumo chorus
* "The Feeling of Finishing", sung by the entire cast
* "Schoolhouse Polka" (Silly Song), sung by Larry

External links

* [ Official Website]
* [ Veggietales at]
* [ VeggieTales] at [ Christian Cartoons Online]
* [ Ultimate Veggie]

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