The story opens at 3:00 A.M. at the royal palace of Persia in 1000 BC where Haman, King Xerxes' right-hand-man, 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.
Later that morning, Esther and her cousin Mordecai are discussing her friend who stole an apple. Esther lacks the courage to confront her, but Mordecai believes she shouldn't be afraid to do what is right. When Haman drives up in a faux-car 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 God and Xerxes. Haman then spots Esther and has her taken to the palace 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, but regardless she is crowned and ensconced in her new life against her will. One day in the throne room of the palace, Xerxes is visited by the Peaoni brothers, who plan to crush him with a grand piano while distracting him with a 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, which is a family that cannot be trusted. 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 town and visits Esther on her balcony at the palace. He appeals to her to reveal Haman's evil plans to Xerxes, but she 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 utterly humiliates him by declaring his plan to throw a parade in Mordecai's honor for saving his life. On her third attempt, Esther is finally able to muster up the courage to face Xerxes, and in the process unveils Haman's scheme, forcing Xerxes to banish him to the Island of Perpetual Tickling. Mordecai ends up filling Haman's former position as Xerxes' right-hand-man as Esther, having saved her people, gazes out the side of the palace with a smile.
- Joan Cusack - Esther
- Tim Allen - Mordecai
- Robin Williams - Haman
- Chris Farley - King Xerxes
Esther: Persia's Queen was released to VHS March 17, 1996. It was then released on DVD in July 8, 2000. It was included in a 2-disc DVD pack with Abraham and the Test of Patience.