The producers felt the theme of "perseverance" was almost prophetic: most of this film was created during a period when Big Idea was on the verge of closing (they declared bankruptcy and were bought), and so simply continuing daily production was a struggle.
The countries that Maewyn/Patrick visits in the flannelgraph segment each have their own color schemes: Ireland is green (obviously), Britain is Red White and Blue (colors of the Union Jack flag), and France is Blue.
The script originally called for the "Lutfi" puppet to be removed (revealing Khalil beneath), but this was scrapped for budgetary reasons; Khalil is more detailed and complex than other characters, and so requires more animation and rendering resources.
The soundtrack for the "Sumo" segment is mostly the score from William S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan's Mikado (but with new lyrics). The Scallion training song, though, is based mostly on Survivor's "Eye Of The Tiger" (the theme from Rocky III (1982)).
The "Going Up" sequence (a silent-movie tribute to The Three Stooges and Stan Laurel & Oliver Hardy) was originally rendered to *look* like an old silent movie (black-and-white, with dust and celluloid scratches in the picture), and the words panels were silent. After test screenings, it was decided that many kids don't like black-and-white, and some of the younger kids need help reading the words, so the segment was re-rendered in color with the French Peas reading the word panels. The original version is included as a DVD supplement.