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Old School DVD set ideas

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by ISNorden, Oct 31, 2007.

  1. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    So far, both of the Old School sets have shown only the season premieres in full--which may be OK for a general overview of Sesame Street's history, but doesn't say much about some of the "milestones" that happened between premieres. If I'd been in charge of the Old School project, I'd have put together some DVD sets like these--

    • Vacation story arcs. The cast trips to Hawaii, New Mexico, and Montana should be watchable from beginning to end; a lot of Gen-X viewers have great memories of people and monsters interacting "off the street".
    • Character histories. What hard-core Sesame fan isn't curious about how their favorite character got to be the way s/he is? To use an easy example, a "history of old-school Elmo" set might start with his generic-monster appearance in "Me Lost Me Cookie at the Disco", then follow the ways he changed through four more pre-EW episodes. (My vote for two of them: Elmo as ring-bearer at Maria and Luis' wedding; Elmo determined to change the letter of the day from O to E.)
    • Other major events: Maria and Luis' relationship (falling in love, the wedding, the baby) would make a good set of theme DVDs. So would Slimey's trip to the moon, or Mr. Hooper going to school, or... :)
    • Celebrities on the Street. This one might cause music-clearance problems if it did happen, but...finding the most common/popular celebrity to appear on Sesame Street each season should be fairly easy.
    If themed collections of episodes were released that way, would you want to buy them (or have them bought for you)? Please tell me what you all think!
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I think I would have bought them. Maybe a set featuring the debuts of characters who weren't introduced in the season premiers would be nice. Including the debuts of Olivia, Telly, Linda, Gina, Petey, and more.

    The sets are called "old school", not "season premier collection". I don't know if Sesame Workshop is only planning on including season premiers for all of these sets or not. But if that's the case, then the next set will have two episodes that began multi-part episodes. For some reason I didn't notice until recently that the eleventh season premier is the episode where Maria and the cast go to New Mexico (or maybe I've got the location wrong). I assume that this was a multi-part episode, even though only part 1 was shown on Noggin. And the fourteenth season premier is part one of the five-part episode where Big Bird goes to camp.
  3. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I really would love to see them do old School sets that were JUST shorts. No street episodes. All the shorts they can get the rights to possible. Even if they have characters that were pulled for various reasons. That's the stuff we want. I loved the box set I got, but I felt that we should have got some more Roosevelt Franklin stuff besides the "Clap Clap" number (where he doesn't talke).

    I think we also should have got more special features. I remember them announcing stuff initially that they didn't have in the final product, like an "Around the world" look (Which hopefully would have had all new original character footage, not just dubbed clips, which i don't care to see).

    I think they're great, but it seems that the SS Old School shouldn't just be volume sets, but a subbrand of SS entertainment. I'd kill to see an Animator set, featuring interviews with any available animators. I'd love to see Bud Luckey or Sally Cruikshank talk about their work.
  4. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    You've both got great points...I too would've liked to see the "Old School" approach turned into a sub-brand of Sesame Street's official recordings, not just a collection of season premieres with some shorts thrown in as an afterthought. "Short clip-only" collections would be better for some themes I suggested, in fact (such as charater histories)...as for animation, why not a "best of Bud Luckey" or "best of Jeff Hale" set, including interviews with the animators themselves?

    As for the premieres that also begin story arcs--I too would want to see the stories intact, not interrupted by a jump to the next season. And what about the season finale episodes that marked a major change in the show, like Gabriela's birth? Overlooking those shows feels wrong somehow.

    Lastly, I have an idea for another potential volume set for old-schoolers--

    • Banned from Sesame Street! Episodes and clips that were shown only once because someone (CTW staff or parental groups) thought kids shouldn't see them. Buddy and Jim shorts, Monsterpiece Theater with the pipe, Don Music banging his head...and of course, the Wicked Witch actress' visit to Sesame Street. The content alone would make this a collector's item!
  5. CensoredAlso

    CensoredAlso Well-Known Member

    While I am grateful for the Old School sets, I do agree they are limiting themselves with just showing the premiere episodes. It would be nice to see the special episodes like Maria's wedding, or the Wicked Witch episode that was banned (Though I probably just wanted to see episode 1576 where Richard appeared lol).
  6. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Roosevelt also appeared at the beginning of episode 406, where he got one line.

    I don't ever remember hearing (or maybe reading is more accurate) about that feature. When/ where was it announced?
  7. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It would be great if there were boxed sets for multi-part episodes. Hopefully, they would be the whole episodes, and not just the linking footage edited together in one disc (like on the Friends to the Rescue DVD). One thing that I wonder about, though, is if the Old School sets will eventually include the season premiers from the 2000s (I don't know if Sesame Workshop will stop at any years for this colection). The season premiers for seasons 33-35 (if you count The Street We Live On as a season premier and not a stand alone special, and by the way, I count it as a special) and 37 have already been reelased on DVD, though with the exception of the season 37 premier, they have mostly been the street stories and some other material (though Elmo Visits the Firehouse includes most of the season 33 premier).

    But it would be great to have a three-disc set with the hawiai episodes, or a three-disc set with the "Big Bird at Camp Echo Rock" episodes. I wonder what would be done with a set on Slimey going to the moon, or any other storylines that lasted most of their respective seasons.
  8. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Well, I wouldn't call it "Banned Sesame Street." That would clearly raise all sorts of flags for retailors and the company itself. I'd call it something more like "Lost SS" or "SS from the Archives." But that sounds like a great idea.

    Yeah, Old School would have been a great idea as a sub-brand. We could have had Old School record collections with minimal (or hopefully NO) celebrity appearances. Like the Fraggle Rock CD collection- Collector sets of multiple rereleases.

    I remember hearing of it in the earliest press release. They must have looked into the idea and abandoned it (if I were to guess, it could be that the release of both that and the "World According" DVD would have been redundant) before they finalized it in a more official PR.
  9. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    It would also be great to have an "around the corner" set, focusing on the years that Around the Corner was on the show. Maybe that could be the season premiers from seasons 25 through 29, or it could just be select episodes that somehow take place around the corner, like the season 25 premier, the episode where Susan and Gordon stay at the Furry Arms Hotel, and episodes taking place at Finders Keepers, the park, and Celina's Dance Studio (or Gina's Day Care Center).

    Maybe some single-disc sets similar to the Old School sets could be released. They could include one complete episode and some bonus sketches related to the episode. The epsidoe with the Wicked Witch could be included along with bonus sketches that involve witches or otherwise have a spooky theme (this would be good for halloween). The season 7 episode where Big Bird hosts a number four show would also be good, with skits about the number four included as bonus skits.
  10. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Most of what you mentioned were shown more than just once. The episode with The Wicked Witch is the only thing you mentioned that technically did only air once, though in many cities the show airs twice a day, so it probably would have aired twice in some cities.

    Buddy and Jim were only shown in the first season, but I think all of their sketches were shown in multiple episodes. And there was a time when there weren't any concerns over Monsterpeice Theater including Allistar Cookie's pipe or Don Music banging his head, so those were shown many times.

    But this is what I'd like to see in such a rarities colection:
    • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
    • Professor Hastings talks about the importance of excersize
    • Roosevelt Franklin spells his name
    • Buddy and Jim (some sketches that weren't shown on Noggin)
    • I Want a Monster to be my Friend
    • One Song (Song of One)
    • There's a Hole in the Bucket
    • Ernie sees Mr. Snuffleupagus, but Bert thinks' Ernie is just imagining
    • Larry and Phyllis sketches that weren't shown on Noggin)
    • Monsterpiece Theater: Me, Claudias
    • Monsterpeice Theater: Upstairs, Downstairs
    • Ernie makes a friend (rare first season sketch, mentioned in CTW archive material, but full plot not really known to any of us)
    • Ernie draws a "tree" instead of a "three"
    • Ernie and the candy salesman (I saw this mentioned in CTW Archive material, and assume that it features Lefty)
    • the original Near and Far
    • The Headball
    • G is for Grover
    • Nobody
    • I'm Square
    • Wally and Ralph sketches
    • The Leslie Mostly Show
    • The Anything-in-the-Whole-Wide-World Prize Game
    • The Mr. and Mrs. Game
    • Ernie pours milk on the ceilling
    • Bert imagines that he's flying a plane
    • Don Music writes The Alphabet Song
    • Four (if it was shot as a segment)
    • With Every Beat of My Heart (ditto)
    • Mad
  11. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The CTW Archives stored at The University of Marland has files called First Season Show Content. It's not currently known if any of the other seasons had such files made, but the word "dump" is written besides quite a few of the sketches listed (some also have "re-do" written beside the sketches).I don't know if there are any copies of these files in Sesame Workshop's offices, but if so, maybe there could be a rarities set and the people compiling such a set could look at these papers to see what sketches have been dumped over the years.

    And it would be great to have some unaired Sesame Street sketches, like all of The Man From Alphabet segments (though we'll likely get one on Old School Volume 2) and the original, unaired version of Imagination.

    Another great idea would be a three or four disc boxed set of every Monsterpiece Theater segment, in production order. Since the segments where Cookie Monster eats a pipe were reshot and replaced years later, maybe the original versions can be part of the main program, and the altered versions can be bonus features.
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder how well sets focusing on certain animators would sell. I'm sure that the general public doesn't know the names of any Sesame Street animators (except for Jim Henson, but the general public most likely just thinks of him as a pupeteer and Muppet creator).

    A set with all of Bud Luckey's cartoons could sell, I think. I don't think a disc devoted to the best of Bud Luckey is neccessary, as most of his best-known cartoons have been released on DVD (and many of those best have been included in Old School Volume 1). Maybe the cover could include The Alligator King and the ladybugs from The Ladybug Picnic. People who don't recognize the name Bud Luckey would probably recognize The Alligator King or The Ladybug Picnic.

    But I wonder about the other animators. I think most of the shows animators only worke don the show for one season each (I think there are exceptions, like Mo Willems, Sally Cruikshank, and maybe Cliff Robertson). I wonder if an all-Suzie Kabloozie disc would sell. A DVD with every Teeny Little Superguy segment would be neat, but I think there were only three or four segments. Would that even add up to 30 minutes?

    I wonder if a Pinball Number Count or Jazz Numbers set would sell. I'm sure that many casual fans know of Pinball Number Count, but most of the segments are very similar. Would somebody get bored after sitting through all of the Pinball Number Count segments in one sitting? Maybe those two segments can be included in one DVD set, with all editions of those segments.

    I also wonder how well a Typewriter DVD would sell. I think casual fans would recognize The Typewriter, and there were 26 segments, one for each letter. That could possibly fill a half hour. I don't know if a DVD featuring every Speech Balloon segment would sell. I don't know how many people are aware of that being a series of skits (I recently noticed a simialrity in some of those skits, asked about them at Muppet Wiki, and learned that they were called Speech Balloon in an early Sesame Street book). And while they are simialr in format, they don't feature any recurrimng character. It's all different characters and designs.

    And I wonder if a set featuring all of the Bellhop cartoons would sell. I know that there were segments for numbers up to 20, but were there Bellhop segments for every number up to 20? Were there segments for any number higher than 20? Was there a 0 segment?

    But maybe there can be a collection of Sesame Street animation DVDs, focusaing on the complete works of various aniamtors, maybe 3 or 4 animators per volume, with biographical information on the animators, and interviews with those animators who are still living.

    Maybe volume 1 could, include the complete Sesame Street animations of Bud Luckey, Sally Cruikshank, and Tee Collins, volume 2 could feature the complete animations of Cliff Robertson, Jeff Hale, and Bruce Caynard, volume 3 coudl include complete aniamtions of Mo Willems, Craig Bartlett, John and Faith Hubley, and whoever animated the Teeny Little Superguy segments, and so on.

    I wonder if it would be too much to make a collection of segments focusing on a certain number or letter.
  13. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    On April 1, 2006, as an April Fools joke, I posted a thread saying that I contacted Sesame Workshop and was told that Sesame Workshop was plannign a colection of two-disc "Sesame Street Treasures" releases. I wrote that the first two releases would be "The Complete Ernie and Bert Collection Volume 1" and "Sesame Street Film Festival Volume 1". The Complete Ernie and Bert Colection Volume 1 would feature every Ernie and Bert segment from 1969-1974 (though after reading Muppet Wiki information that comes from the CTW Archives, I'd be surprised if every Ernie and Bert insert from the first four seasons would fit on two discs... It seems like the first season had a lot of Ernie and Bert sketches). The Sesame Street Film Festival would focus on various animators and filmmakers (including Bud Luckey and Jim Henson), with all of their Sesame Street animations and films, and a handful of Mupet segments would also be included.

    Of course, that was just an april fools joke, but I wonder if Sesame Workshop would be willing to make character colections similar to the various collections in the Walt Disney Treasures series. Of course, there are some major characters, like Big Bird and Oscar, who were mostly in street scenes and stories, and not many inserts, but sinc emany of the early episodes don't have much plot focus, maybe certain one-shot street scenes with them could be included as well as all repeated inserts.

    A complete Ernie and Bert colection would be good, but there could be problems. If all of the skits are in chronological order, then I wonder if more than two discs would be needed to include every first season sketch with them. Heck, I challenge somebody who has a lot of season one Ernie and Bert sketches on video and has a way of editing videos to take all of their Ernie and Bert sktis from the first season and copy them onto a video and disc, and see if it lasts longer than an average episode (I'll say an average episode would be 56 minutes). But in the first season, there were a lot of multi-part Ernie and Bert sketches, as well as sketches that either had them commenting on the previous skit or/ and introducing the next skit. If such an approach were done, would it be better to include the skits that either followed or preceded the Ernie and Bert sketches, or would it be best to just stick to Ernie and Bert sketches, and have them uncut even if their mentions of other skits don't make sense without them, or would it be better to cut all refferences to skits that follow or lead to the skits?

    I'm sure that some could be easily edited. The ending of the skit where Ernie cals his bath Rosie could easily be edited. It could fade to black after Ernie laughs at his reason for calling his bathtub Rosie, leaving out Bert's introduction to Solomon Grundy. I haven't seen teh sandbox game sketch, but I think the beginning, with Ernie watching the end of Jazz #8, could be edited as well. But then there's one skit where Ernie coments on an Alice Braitwaite Goodyshoes cartoon, and this skit probably wouldn't make sense if the cartoon wasn't shown before it. And there's the multi-part skit where Cookie Monster eats Ernie's Xs and Bert's eggs. Part four has Ernie and Cookie Monster commenting on the previous cartoon, followed by them asking to see the cartoon again, and then part five has Ernie erashing Cookie Monster, getting the idea from the cartoon.

    Another thing to think about: should a collection of Ernie and Bert skits only include segments staring both characters, or also include their solo segments? And should segments where one of the two only makes a short cameo appearance be included or excluded? I wouldn't include segments where they are just part of the background. One way aroudn this would be to make three such collections: one for Ernie and Bert segments, one for just Ernie segments, and one for just Bert segments (this one would probably have less volumes than the Ernie set). If individual sets were made for both characters and had segments with both characters, that would probably get a bit redundant. But it would make sense for some segments with both characters to be included on respective sets. Maybe Ernie and Bert can have seperate sets, with certain skits featuring both characters on one set and others on the other, and solo skits stil being included.

    I also wonder about what should be done with getting all segments with supporting characters, especialy ones who kids probably wouldn't recognize, like Sherlock Hemlock and Guy Smiley. Sure, these could be marketed for adults, but that doesn't mean that the releases wouldn't be hard sells. But I was thinking that there could be two-disc sets compiling all segments for major characters, in chronological order, and maybe the discs could contain bonus segments with other characters.

    For example, an Ernie and Bert collection could include bonus Guy Smiley segments on disc one, and bonus Professor Hastings segments on disc 2. Or a Grover colection could include bonus Harvey Kneeslapper segments on disc one, and bonus Two-Headed Martian segments on disc two. Or a Count collection could include bonus Mumford segments on disc one, and bonus Sherlock Hemlock segments on disc two.

    And then there is the case of what to do about Kermit the Frog. Kermit is a major enough character to sell such a set, but while Sesame Workshop does have permission to release Kermit segments on DVD, would Sesame Workshop need more permission to release a set focusing on Kermit's Sesame Street appearances, which would have to include an image of Kermit on the cover, his name in the title, and also use Kermit as a selling point? Of course, if such collections include bonus segments focusing on certain supporting characters, maybe Kermit could be treated this way.
  14. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I'd rather have a disk or two (in a set) of an umbrella of all Animators. They'd show 2-4 pieces of their best works on the disk, and it would also have either an interview (or better yet) commantary with availabe animators.

    I also think a box set of CD's, either similar to the Fraggle rock one (reprints of landmark albums) or a best of set similar to Songs from the street (featuring entirely regular cast recordings, and no celebrity stuff) with out of print songs/albums would be a great idea as well.
    Bliffenstimmers likes this.
  15. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    Letter and number collections on DVD

    If I ran the Old School project and wanted to release DVD sets that focused on letters or numbers, I would probably take the same approach as the old record sets from the early 70s: have each volume of that series cover a range of related segments. Old School Letters Vol. 1 might cover A-D, for instance; Old School Numbers Vol. 1 might cover 2-5**. That way, fans could cover many of their favorite series at once: they'd be able to get the Typewriter and Speech Balloon series, or the Pinball and Bellhop series, a few clips at a time.

    Bonus clips on each disk might focus on the entire alphabet for letters, or general counting/arithmetic for numbers. Of course, the "letters vs. numbers" sketch (with Muppets choosing teams based on their sweaters) should appear on both sets as a bonus in Volume 1! :)

    ** So few clips exist for numbers below 2 or above 12, that I could see two possible solutions: (a) give them their own volume in the disk set, or (b) include those clips as bonuses in each volume. (Baker #1 would sell the Old School Numbers set pretty well; so would the sketches with Luis' secret identity as Señor Cero.)
  16. ISNorden

    ISNorden Well-Known Member

    There was no Bellhop #0, probably because it's hard to imagine the lady at the front desk ordering that bellhop to do something with nothing. ;-) Not all of the other numbers were covered, either: I recall Bellhop segments for 2, 6, 8, 10, 12, 16, 18, and 20. Not enough for half a DVD, let alone the whole thing...but they deserve to be included in a number-themed collection!
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Letter and number box sets would be good. Maybe each disc could have one complete episode that focuses on the alphabet or counting, or individual letters or numbers (though in the years before the format change, I would imagine it being hard to focus on the whole alphabet and select one or two letters to be the sponsors).

    There could also be a boxed set on learning concepts (disc 1 could be about shapes, disc 2 can focus on colors, disc 3 can revolve around opposites, and so on). A box set about daily activites would also be good, including a disc on meal time, school, sleeping, and bath time. And a set on the body would be great. Disc one could include parts of the arm, disc two can be parts of the leg, disc three could be parts of the head, and disc four can be miscellaneous body parts.
  18. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Well, I thought of the idea for a boxed set on segments concerning parts of the body, but then when I started of thinking about skits to include, I realised that there aren't very many skits involving parts of the arms and legs. I can't think of any skits about knees or toes. I don't know about any skits involving writsts or ankles.

    But I can think of plenty of skits for parts of the head.
  19. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    If there was an "Old School" sub brand, it could include books. Rereleases of several early 1970s books, and maybe new books done in the style of old books, with illustrations like the retro artwork done for season 35 anniversary products. Maybe there could be books simialr to the Sesame Street Library books.
  20. PinballStewie

    PinballStewie Well-Known Member

    I don't remember there being a Bellhop 'toon for # 6, though I did have a dream that there was in which the bellhop had to deliver 6 presents to a little girl having a party for her 6th birthday. You also left out # 14, which is a real one in the series, where the bellhop has to carry some heavy weights to a man in Room # 14, but it turns out the man in Room # 14 could've carried the weights there himself.

    BTW, you wouldn't happen to have "40 Dots", would you? I'd really like to see it again to see how freaky it was 'cuz I love SS skits like that (coincidentally, #'s 2 and 8 in the Bellhop series were freaky to me when I was a kid).

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