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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

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.

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 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 main page for full plot.)

Silly Song

(The Water Buffalo Song.)

Daniel and the Lions' Den

(See main page for 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 the screen test 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 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 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, and 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, 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 animating. As soon as animation began, Phil showcased VeggieTales in Christian magazines and put a 800 number in the magazine in hopes that people would call in and buy as the show was being made.

As soon as 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 up on 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

It was released independently on December 21st, 1993. In 1994, the current version was first released by Word Entertainment. In 1995, it reprinted the show with special quality. In March 1998, Word Entertainment and Lyrick Studios reprinted the show. In 2000, the show was reprinted with a trailer for Larry-Boy and the Rumor Weed. In 2004, it was released to DVD for the first time by Warner Home Video and Sony Wonder as part of the VeggieTales Classics line. In September 2008, it was released as a 15th-anniversary with remastered contrast and sound.

Fun Facts

Morals

  • Don't be afraid of anything.
  • Don't let fear dictate your life.

Trivia

  • About 500 copies of the episode were released on demand on December 21, 1993 on demand from responses to ads in Christian magazines. The version on these had several differences compared to the Word Entertainment release.
    • The theme song is unfinished, and has a couple of differences, the differences 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 until 1998 with Madame Blueberry.
      • The clip montage begins after "VeggieTales" is sung for the first time.
      • Slightly different 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 “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 recorded in a different session. The assistant says, "It... It can't be done," in a lower and breathier voice and says, "Oh, my goodness!" before the scientist's exclamation that Frankencelery has come to life, and also says, "Look how big it is! I didn't realize it when it was lying down! It's standing up!"
    • QWERTY has no designated sound effects.
    • There are a several other minor differences in the audio and uncut footage.
    • Like the older VHS tapes, there is a pamphlet explaining what VeggieTales is.
  • 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 they should redo the episode with new animation and voices, just with the same script. However, little interest in the episode and a halt on any VeggieTales-related media for the time being makes this very unlikely.
  • 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 test (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 magazine 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 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.
  • There was a much older VCD that had this episode and the next episode paired together. The front VHS cover designs of both episode were combined into one with Junior screaming in front of the TV along with the Grapes of Wrath setting. This VCD has become extinct and is worth a challenge to find today.

Remarks

  • The audio and visual quality on most re-releases is poor compared to other episodes. Phil apologized about this, stating that it's been re-compressed over the years. The 15th anniversary release tried to fix this by color saturation with mixed results.
    • This could possibly be because the original project files of Where's God When I'm S-Scared? have been lost/deleted, or Big Idea didn't want to go through the trouble of re-rendering the whole episode in high quality (with the exception of the footage for the The Water Buffalo Song strangely being re-rendered in high quality for The Ultimate Silly Song Countdown). It is possible, given that the lightning that strikes (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 trying to recreate that scene.
    • On most re-releases, the video cropping was zoomed in a bit. 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.
  • 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.
  • Tales from the Crisper appears to revolve around an incredibly weird storyline:
    • Three characters that are in this universe the equivalent of grown men, somehow knowing Junior is frightened, break into his bedroom uninvited to tell him a story. Were Bob and Larry watching him without him noticing, and does Phil have enough time on his hands he can break into children's bedrooms as requested?
    • Junior talks about calling the police on monsters that pop up in his room yet doesn't bother to do anything about the grown vegetables showing up to his room with no regard for his space.
    • It's unexplained how Bob, Larry, and Phil disappeared at the end of "God is Bigger." It is possible they phased through the ceiling the same way they came in or were products of Junior's imagination the whole time.
    • Dad Asparagus comes in and asks Junior what the racket is, only he does it after "God is Bigger" concludes. Surely if he or Mom Asparagus could hear it, wouldn't either one of them have walked in when Junior screamed either time, when Bob sang alone, anytime any of the four characters raised their voices, during the thud from Bob and Larry or from Phil, or while the four characters were all singing together, and see three grown strangers in Junior's room?
  • 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.
  • Dad Asparagus comes in after Junior sings, which somehow he didn't hear him right now in the beginning of the God is Bigger song.
  • Some international releases 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.
  • 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 reflection 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 in 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 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 her necklace she's wearing doesn't move along with her neck, it just stays in place and her body clips through it.
  • 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 thunder clap 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.

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 "Tale from the Crisper" is a spoof on HBO's "Tales from the Crypt".
  • King Kong is a 1933 film.
  • Godzilla is a giant lizard monster.
  • 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 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

Gallery

Where'sGodWhenI'mScaredTitleCard