Sumo of the Opera

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Sumo of the Opera
Veggietales dvd sumo.jpg
DVD cover
Directed by Mike Nawrocki
Produced by David Pitts
Written by Jim Fisher,
Jim Staahl,
Mike Nawrocki
Starring Phil Vischer,
Mike Nawrocki,
Tim Hodge,
Greg Whelan,
Paul Ewing,
Joe Sapulich,
Lisa Vischer
Music by Arthur Sullivan,
Kurt Heinecke,
Jim Fisher,
Jim Staahl,
Mike Nawrocki
Distributed by Sony Wonder
Warner Home Video
Release dates
August 31, 2004
Running time
50 minutes
Language English

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. After doing a generic parody of a Gilbert and Sullivan musical in Lyle the Kindly Viking, the main story is a direct spoof of Gilbert and Sullivan's The Mikado. The parody is so transparent, in fact, that most of the music is credited to Arthur Sullivan himself. In addition, this release contains an eclectic mix of other influences as well. While Sumo of the Opera draws plot elements and names directly from Rocky and has similar plot style to The Karate Kid, the segment that precedes, Going Up!, is an homage to both the Three Stooges and a Laurel and Hardy short film called The Music Box. Even the Silly Song is a parody, this time of the 1970s educational shorts Schoolhouse Rock!


The opening countertop sequence finds Bob the Tomato alone with a cucumber sock puppet named Lutfi (played/voiced by Khalil). Larry the Cucumber, we learn, is on his way to do charity work but is having trouble 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 piano to a mansion at the top of a hill. While his fellow workers give up on the seemingly impossible task, 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.

In the second segment, Lutfi presents a story about the origin of St. Patrick's Day. Done in the style of a flannelgraph, the story tells about Maewyn Succat, a young English 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, Succat runs away and returns to England by way of France. 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. Succat 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 (in a nod to Sylvester Stallone's Rocky Balboa character, one of many homages to the Rocky movies), a sumo wrestler who has difficulty taking anything seriously. He succeeds in injuring his sparring partner Po-Ta-To (Henry the Potato in an obvious spoof of Mr T's character Clubber Lang from Rocky III) as a result of his clowning around when 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 young Hadrian (Junior Asparagus) reminds him that he has not yet fixed his bike. Meanwhile, the Champion, Apollo Gourd, is looking for an opponent now that Po has been injured. The prize is a new "Tiger Bike". Wanting the bike for Hadrian, 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. However, when Scallion sees Hadrian emulating him he realizes that he must set a good example and persevere. 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. However, Scallion does surprisingly well in the match. He lasts longer in the ring than anyone ever has against Apollo. When they both tumble out of the ring at the same moment, the match is called a tie. 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.

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

Cast of Characters[edit]

Going Up![edit]

The Story of St. Patrick[edit]

  • Khalil as the narrator
  • St. Patrick/Maewyn Succat
  • Maewyn's master
  • Boat Captain

Sumo of the Opera[edit]

  • Larry The Cucumber as the Italian Scallion
  • Gloria Maria Ojeda as Sue Zanepeas
  • Apollo Gourd as himself
  • Jimmy Gourd as Jim Gourdly
  • Jerry Gourd as the Cameraman
  • Bob the Tomato as Bobby
  • Junior Asparagus as Hadrian
  • Pa Grape as Mikey
  • Mr. Lunt as the Sushi Chef
  • Archibald Asparagus as himself


  • Countertop Intro
  • Going up!
  • Silly Song: Schoolhouse Polka
  • The Story of St. Patrick
  • Sumo of the Opera
  • QWERTY Closer


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
  • The Feeling of Finishing, sung by the entire cast
  • Schoolhouse Polka (Silly Song), sung by Larry