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Sketches and Songs on Sesame Street videos

Discussion in 'Sesame Merchandise' started by GonzoLeaper, Oct 13, 2005.

  1. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    new review

    Here's my review of "A New Baby in My House" (a 1994 "My Sesame Street Home Video" release-according to the VHS box, though actual end credits list copyright as 1993. Run time of 30 minutes.)

    After the good old CTW logo and Cookie Monster eating the Sesame Street video logo (Seems even through this release it was still under Random House. I guess Sony Wonder must have taken over sometime around 1995 or 1996 or so.)
    Then we see the video title and it sounds like it may be Alice reading the title, but I'm pretty sure it's actually Elmo. (I don't think Kevin Clash does Alice- who performs her?)

    Plot- Snuffy and Alice are playing in their cave and Alice breaks one of his toys. (Snuffy's mom actually addresses him as Aloysius! :))

    Song- Snuffy sings a song about the frustrations of having a sister and his mom joins in, singing about how good it is to have a sister.

    Snuffy's mom then reads the kids a book to explain why it's good to have siblings. (The book's called "Prince Firstly's Little Surprise") The scene jumps to a palace to show us the events of the book, with a few scenes jumping back to Snuffy's mom and kids every now and then.
    Elmo and 2 Anything Monsters are on hand as lords, serving as palace servants.

    Song- Elmo and 2 AMs and Prince Firstly sing a song about how there will soon be someone new in the castle.

    (Elmo is addressed as "lord Elmo")
    King and Queen tell Prince about new brother or sister coming and they go to the hospital to have the baby. Elmo suggests Prince talk to Katie and Stevie about having a baby.

    Live action clip- Young sister and brother (Katie and Stevie) make a card for their mom and go to visit new baby brother Michael in the hospital. (I remember this one running some in the '80s. That's probably when it was made too ;-))

    Queen Quinella and King Goodheart bring new Princess Azalea baby home. Prince wants to teach her how to play "Dragon tamer" but the baby's too young. All the lords are too busy with the baby to play with the prince. The King and Queen find the prince in his old crib in the baby's room and they try to explain to him that he'll get used to a new baby (though he wants a pet!)
    They then tell him about Lillian.

    Cartoon- Lillian tells about the good and bad of having a little sister. (Animation looks similar to the "Hey Arnold" cartoon- perhaps this is another by the same company.)

    People come to see the baby including the Royal Fairy Godmother, Royal Count (played by Count von Count, of course! - who still manages to count up to 3 quickly before he leaves), Royal Cookie Taster (that'd be Cookie Monster of course!) and the Royal Grouch ( played by Oscar.they have a Royal Grouch? LOL- they could probably say he's a royal pain!)
    Prince Firstly starts being naughty to get attention, as he's jealous of the attention the baby's getting. He puts a bone on the throne, a wig on a pig (which is reminiscent of the wigged pigs from the "Staying Alive" number on The Muppet Show), and an ape under the king's cape. (ape played by Joey Monkey). (Note how all these things rhyme- I think another subtle lesson they managed to slip in, while focusing on dealing with new babies.) Elmo and lords get upset with Firstly because of his misbehavior, and so he runs away. Everyone looks for Firstly and the Queen finally finds him hiding in a room. She has to explain to him that she loves both her kids equally.

    Song- Queen sings about how she loves both kids in different ways. (This song has a kinda haunting melody- kinda reminds me of "Time in a Bottle" by Jim Croce- I was kinda freaked out by it at first, but after listening to it a few times, realized that it was a very beautiful song.)

    Firstly now knows he's loved and goes to see his sister and holds baby and gives her her bottle. Baby wets the prince and Snuffy's family has a good laugh about this. Parents tells Firstly that his sister will always look up to him just like Tony, Tasha and Carla!

    Song- I'm The Big One Now (live action kids take care of little baby brothers and sisters)

    Elmo announces the Royal Fairy Godmother is visiting and she offers Firstly a wish. He wishes that he and the baby will always be brother and sister and love each other lots (and since Godmother says that's already pretty much a given) she offers him another wish and so he wishes for a pet dragon. (Much like Pete's ;-)) But instead of Elliot, he names it Spot! (Dragon is the same one from Ernie's "Imagine That" song) End of story.

    In the cave, since Alice broke Snuffy's toy, she offers him her doll. Snuffy says they can both play with it and he realizes she is pretty cute and learns to get along.

    Song- Snuffy, Alice and their mom sing a song about being good big brothers and little sisters. (And they dance, which makes a crashing noise!) (This is the same song as the first one sung, but with different lyrics)

    Snuffy and Alice got play and Alice breaks another toy but this time Snuffy readily forgives her, since "these things happen". Credits roll with instrumental version of last song just sung over scenes from video.

    Concluding thoughts- This is a great video for its purpose- which is to acclimate kids to having a new baby brother or sister. Perhaps there are other songs that could have been used- might have been nice to see Kermit's "Get Along" song, since that also seemed to be a theme in the video. There's nothing terribly memorable in the way of classic clips, though I do remember the "Katie and Stevie" clip pretty well and the "I'm The Big One Now" song.
    There were a few nice original songs though- as I mentioned earlier, I particularly liked the Queen's song to her son.
  2. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Start-to-Read this review and then finish!

    This is a review of the 1991 Sesame Street 'Start-to-Read' video called
    'Don't Cry, Big Bird and Other Stories'. It has a run time of approximately 25 minutes. This is a Random House and Praxis Media production. The title screen says that it features Caroll Spinney as Big Bird. ( And in fact, he does the narration and voices for all characters on the video)
    These videos always start with the 'Start-to-Read' theme song sung by Big Bird. (Characters from the end cover of many Sesame Street storybooks of the 1980s appear on the screen throughout song.) Big Bird reads all 3 picture books for us as text appears on screen so viewers can read along- and Big Bird always talks in 1st. person, of course, though I'm pretty sure the books are all written in the 3rd. person.

    1st. story- 'Don't Cry, Big Bird' written by Sarah Roberts and pictures by Tom Leigh

    Big Bird is in the park with friends complaining that while he likes to play with his friends (Grover, Farley, Cookie Monster, Herry, Prairie Dawn, Betty Lou, Bert and Ernie are all there), sometimes he feels he's too big to play with his friends. Snuffy finds Big Bird crying and tells him not to because he's not too big- the games are too little. But Snuffy can't play right then because he has to take a nap. Big Bird goes to his nest wishing he could be smaller. Bert and Ernie are thinking the same thing out at the park, but realize it's not possible. So they decide to make the games bigger! They send Grover to get Big Bird. Bert and Ernie tie 2 jump ropes together and Big Bird can use it now! Betty Lou drawas a huge hopscotch court for him and Big Bird decides to be 'IT' in Hide and Seek because he's too big to hide. Big Bird gets on one end of the seesaw and all his friends get on the other and they're able to make it work. Then they fly Betty Lou's kite, but it gets stuck in a tree. Betty Lou cries because she can't get to it, but Big Bird can! 'Hurray for Big Bird,' everyone cheers. Then they play Big Bird's favorite game- 'Giant Steps'!

    2nd. story- 'Wait for Me!' written by Molly Cross and pictures by Joe Mathieu

    Elmo and his friends (Bert, Ernie, Big Bird and Grover) live on Sesame Street. But Elmo is younger and smaller than his friends and can't always keep up with all they're doing. They all go roller skating and see the ice cream man. Elmo can't keep up as they skate over to him and Grover goes back and offers his hand to help him. They fall and Elmo scrapes his knee. They run into Big Bird and Bert and Ernie already eating ice cream as they head towards Grover's house. They invite them to go biking but first Grover has to take Elmo to get cleaned up at his house. Once that's done, Grover says he's going to ride his bike, but tells Elmo he can't come because he's too little. Elmo's sad- but cheers up when Grover's grandpa comes out and offers to take him to the zoo. (He would've taken Grover, but he'd left already) Elmo can easily keep up with Grover's grandpa. On the way, they get ice cream, window shop and listen to a band. They take their time to see all the animals. Elmo wants a piggyback ride home, but Grover's grandpa's too tired. Elmo sits on his lap at home and he reads him 'The Three Bears'. Grover comes home just then and Elmo tells him about going to the zoo. Grover's upset that he missed out and asks his grandpa to 'Next time, please wait for me.'

    3rd. story- 'Grover and the New Kid' written by Jennifer Smith and pictures by Tom Cooke

    A new kid, Barry, comes to Grover's school. Grover decides to help him and be his friend. Grover shows him around and shares his cookies and toys with him. But Barry won't share his toy car with Grover or be quiet during story time when "Goldilocks" is being read. He doesn't say "Thank you" or "please" and on the playground, he cuts in line and slides down the slide in front of Molly (who looks a lot like Betty Lou!) She's upset at Barry but Grover says he's new and they should give him a break. Then Barry fights with a kid over a puzzle. Grover's the only one who will eat with Barry at lunch, while the other kids talk about him. Then they do paintings- Grover compliments Barry but Barry says that Grover's painting needs a fire truck- and proceeds to add one to the painting without asking Grover. Grover finally has had it and tells Barry he's not nice and goes off by himself. Finally Barry apologizes to Grover and offers to let him play with his toy car. Then everyone cleans up the class and Barry helps everyone. Barry and Grover walk home together and wave goodbye. Barry says he's glad Grover's his friend. (He should be- Grover might be his only one they way he's been acting!:attitude: )

    -End credits roll, starting with a note that says that Big Bird is performed by Caroll Spinney. The background is once again the same storybook endcovers. (where everyone is sitting around the 123 stoop, reading something. On hand are Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Herry, Grover, Sherlock Hemlock, The Count, Betty Lou, Little Bird, Big Bird and Oscar. ) The "Start-to-Read" theme song plays over credits.

    Also, a note at the end of the tape reminds you of other "Start-to-Read" titles like- "Ernie's Little Lie and Other Stories", "I Want to Go Home! and Other Stories" and "Ernie's Big Mess and Other Stories" and after this entry, all of which have now been reviewed!:excited:

    Concluding Thoughts-
    I noticed in the storybooks that Herry is still sporting his pink and white striped pants (though I've never seen him with these pants- or any pants that I recall on the Sesame Street show itself.)
    Caroll Spinney does an interesting take on the other characters. I think his Herry sounds more like Grover though.
    Grover's house looks similar to the 123 stoop apartments.
    Very cool thing to note about the "Wait for Me!" book- Caroll Spinney returns to voice Elmo on this video!:)
    (As some may know, he was the original voice for Elmo-back from 1979 or so when he was a background character known as "Baby Monster".)
  3. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I wonder if he used the same voice that he used for Elmo. But he's probably just impersonating Elmo's current voice. We may never know what Baby Monster sounded like*.

    *Here that, Sesame Workshop? Put some Baby Monster sketches on Old School Volume 2! Or make them available in some way that's easy for the fans to access!
  4. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    A nice review of the new "Sesame Street: Kids Favorite Country Songs" video has been posted to the Muppet Central site by our own Phillip Chapman so I'm just going to put the link to it here.
    http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/reviews/dvd/country_songs.shtml

    Of course, I'd still like to check it out myself at some point too- from the review I saw though, it looks like there's a lot of good classics on it!
    :)

    I have to agree that I would buy the DVD just for the inclusion of that one great song "There's a Hole in the Bucket"! I loved that one as a kid- I used to be able to sing both Henry and Liza's parts all the way through! Maybe we'll see this one on Old School Volume 2!:zany:
  5. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    A few comments on "Do the Alphabet"

    I just got around to watching the "Do the Alphabet" video the other night. It's been covered on here already, so I won't go into great detail, but I thought I'd comment a bit about it. I appreciated seeing some classic stuff in there- mainly the "J Friends" song and "D (Dee Dee Dee)"- that was great!:) And Billy Joel singing the alphabet- that was fun! I could also tell that Baby Bear was still at an early stage at this point as well. It was also neat to see a video focus on him, Big Bird and Zoey and I do believe the other main character was good old Betty Lou! Wow- haven't seen her in quite a while. Seems she's shown up in a few videos from the 90s- mainly this one and "Fiesta!" I wonder if Betty Lou made a comeback to the Street at some point in the 90s that I missed? The voice seemed a bit different from earlier versions- but it was cool to see her included again. Betty Lou can usually be counted on to make plenty of appearances in those "Start-to-Read" videos and the storybooks they're based on.
    Anyway, I found the "Do the Alphabet" video to be pretty enjoyable- especially the Boogie Pigs Alphabet number. Would have been cool to see either of Kermit's alphabet songs (African Alphabet or Swamp Alphabet or whatever you call that other one.... you know- "and now my alphabet's complete in the swamp")
    :) Oh well- at least I can watch that one on "The Alphabet Game"!:D
  6. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Just a little bump for this thread so I don't lose it in amongst the others. And by the way, yes- I do have some new reviews coming quite soon. (Probably up by tomorrow evening or so.) And if anyone else wants to participate, feel free to chime in with comments or reviews on videos yet to be covered or whatever anytime.
    :)
  7. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Stop, drop and roll- and check out this new review!

    ;) Well, here's my review of Sesame Street Home Video production-
    "Elmo Visits the Firehouse" (a 2002 video with approximately 45 minutes run time)

    (Interesting to note, the fire truck Elmo rides in the opening logo- and later on shows up on the "Elmo's World" segment- looks very similar to characters in "Cars".)
    Let me also go ahead and point out that this video guest stars the real life New York City Fire Department- Captain Bill Walsh, Firefighter Richard Gleason, Firefighter Susan Blake and Battalion Chief Brian Dixon are all listed in the credits.

    Plot- The video starts out with Elmo and Maria at Hooper's Store ordering lunch from Alan. Elmo is taking Maria out to lunch because they're special friends. (I guess Elmo has a generous allowance for a 3 1/2 year old!;) )
    The smoke alarm goes off and Alan takes the fire extinguisher to it and Maria calls the fire department (Elmo is visibly shaken as this is going on. -We also get to hear Maria say her full name again- Maria Rodriguez calling from Sesame Street.) It turns out that it was only a grease fire and only the grease caught fire and it's quickly put out. (And the real New York City Fire Department comes to put the fire out.)
    Elmo says he doesn't ever want to go back into Hooper's Store. Firefighter Bill comes to explain to Elmo what his equipment is for. Then he offers to show Maria and Elmo around the firehouse. Once there, Elmo gets to go down the pole and sit in a fire engine. And he gets to try on some equipment- and then he tells Bill that he was scared before, but isn't anymore. Then they go to get some food at the firehouse. And then we see Elmo and Maria back with Alan at Hooper's Store with Elmo feeling better and playing with toy fire trucks.
    -Live action kids segment talking about firefighters and what they do
    -On the street Elmo and real life firefighter Susan Blake talk about what to do in a fire.
    -Cartoon -looks like CGI version of Firefighter wolf singing a song with three pigs about what to do in a fire. (The brick house should be okay, but who really builds houses out of wood and straw anymore? LOL)
    -Muppets segment- Ernie is hiding something behind his back (Hint- It's not Big Bird, a banana or a lemon- as we see their pictures flash on the screen) It's Fire Chief Rubber Duckie! He gets his water from the tubby! :p
    -Cartoon- another CGI-type segment with a firefighter being drawn in an outline on sand (looks like new version of the classic 80s sketch of an astronaut being drawn on a computer screen with the adult voice asking questions on how to draw it (and getting it wrong) and the kids yelling out how to correct it.) Hadn't seen this before- cool!
    (Dogs chasing fire engine cartoon is used as a bumper between segments)
    Live action song- kid sings about his dad who is a fireman during a live action video of the dad and his kid
    Elmo's World segment- (Oh boy, here we go! Sorry, but this is the portion of Sesame Street I generally tune out at. Nothing against Elmo, but I just don't care much for the format of this segment. Nonetheless, I have watched my share of Elmo's World segments and for completeness' sake, here's an outline of this one.)
    Well, Elmo is thinking about firefighters today (naturally) And as he says this, Muppets firefighters and a fire engine race through his door.
    -Live action clips of firefighters and kids.
    Dorothy, of course, has been thinking about firefighters too. Dorothy asks what firefighters wear to keep safe. The shade sounds like a fire engine when it goes up as Elmo goes to ask Mr. Noodle. Turns out it's Mr. Noodle's sister- Ms. Noodle! (whoa! A Ms. Noodle? Who's pretty good-looking, I might add- ha! played by Kristin Chenoweth) At first she thinks firefighters wear football uniforms and then tries a suit of armor but finally gets it right. Then kids show Dorothy what firefighters wear. Then Elmo asks a baby (who actually does have a toy helmet and so Elmo tells us that firefighters wear helmets too) Then we get to count 12 firefighters in the fire truck that goes by. The computer (sounding A LOT like Martin Robinson- the voice of Snuffy) says Elmo has email and it's from Oscar who shows Elmo the smoke coming out of his trash can. (He's burning toast) The firefighters come over to put out the fire. Oscar decides he likes the burnt, wet soaked toast but doesn't like that he actually wound up helping Elmo with his topic. Then the drawer opens up to show us stuff that can and can't burn you. (Baby Bear shows up to point out that bowls can't burn you unless there's hot porridge in it. A wolf comes to blow it off, but blows Baby Bear away instead.)
    -Live kid Sabrina shows us her family's fire drill and escape plan.
    Then Elmo practices how to "get low and go". Elmo then watches the Firefighter Channel to learn more. We see a cartoon about Mike the firefighting dog who puts out a fire on a doghouse. Turns out he was dreaming. (And then the announcer says, "Coming up next- "Flaming of the Shrew" with Carol Burnett". Cute. Nice play on words and cool that Carol Burnett actually has shown up in person on Sesame Street- and The Muppet Show too, for that matter.)
    The TV is practicing how to "get low and go" too. And then Firefighter Richard Gleason shows up at the door with the Muppet firefighters and the fire engine to talk about firefighters. Dorothy imagines Elmo as a firefighter and he rescues a kitten from a tree and helps a kid hurt on a skateboard. And then we get to sing the "Firefighters" song (to the tune of "Jingle Bells")
    (Not to be confused with the "Balls" song, or the "Dogs" song, or the numerous other songs Elmo's sung on here.)
    Then everyone says "Goodbye!" and that's Elmo's World!

    Then a screen comes up saying-
    "Special Thanks to- The City of New York, New York City Fire Department, Engine Company 58, Ladder Company 26- In Loving Memory of Lt. Robert Nagel"

    And you might think the video's over- BUT WAIT!

    And now- a BONUS Hero Guy segment! (which sometimes can be kinda cool, but probably really aren't my favorite either- though I like them a lot better than Elmo's World)
    Baby Bear starts it out singing the theme song while drawing Hero Guy and a kitten in a tree. Hero Guy flies up to the kitten but can't get her to come down (she's scared of seeing him fly) Hero Guy then turns himself into a trampoline (Just like Plastic Man! Cool! I didn't know he could do that!) Unfortunately, the kitty jumps down and bounces right back into the tree. Hero Guy's about to give up, but Baby Bear convinces him to keep trying. (After all, he IS Hero Guy!) Hero Guy turns into stairs and the cat gets down. Way to go, Hero Guy!
    And then the end credits run- with the same Dalmation dogs and fire engines cartoon bumpers from before running by.
    (Oh, and an animated Elmo reminds us about SesameStreet.com)

    Concluding thoughts-
    Well, this video felt almost like an episode of the more current show. In fact, it may very well be the street plot at least of a more recent show. I'm not sure. But I'm not sure I care for the style of putting the street plot all together in one segment instead of breaking it up with "commercials" (which is what the cartoons and Muppet segments were originally supposed to be fashioned as) and spreading it out throughout the show.
    But it was nice to have the Ernie sketch included. And a few cartoons, though nothing really classic or anything. But it get the message across pretty well. It's been done before with the 1990 "Sesame Street Home Video Visits the Firehouse" video- which ironically, also starred Elmo, along with Gordon and Big Bird- but this probably went into a bit more depth. Both are pretty good really- and they will help you "be cool about fire safety" as the PSA used to go.
  8. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    A Musical Adventure Review!

    Okay, here is my review of the Sesame Street Home Video production of-
    "Elmo's Musical Adventure- The Story of Peter and the Wolf"
    (2001 video- approximately 45 minutes run time)

    (This video has special guest stars! - Keith Lockhart (the conductor) and The Boston Pops Orchestra)

    (This video is based on the classic "Peter and the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev, both the story and music- copyright 1937 and 1940, G. Schirmer, Inc.)

    -Starts with the animated Elmo, Zoe, Cookie Monster, Ernie, Snuffy and Big Bird hanging up the "Home Video" under the Sesame Street sign. That's cool, though I always liked Cookie Monster eating the Sesame Street sign on the 80s videos.

    ---Note- there are a few bonus features on the DVD menu, so I'll address those now.

    -Menu has options for "Watch the Movie", "Favorite Parts", "Games and Music" and "Just for Parents". And a man's voice keeps instructing you on what you need to do at each screen (who gets to be kinda annoying)- and classical music plays throughout. And it seems you have to hit every selection twice.
    It is nice that they worded the menu choices in language that kids would readily understand.

    "Just for Parents" just has options to change the viewing with Englisn and/or Spanish subtitles, as well as previews for other Sesame Street videos.

    For the "Games and Music" section, there's 5 choices-
    Choose which instrument makes the music, Choose which character goes with the music, Meet the Muppets- learn more about The Two-Headed Monster, Big Bird, Elmo, Baby Bear, Zoe, Oscar, Telly and the Wolf,
    See how the characters are represented by different instruments and see how the music tells the story,
    and choose a scene and listen to the music that tells that part of the story.

    OKAY-
    Actual video-

    Elmo's voice announces "Sesame Street's Peter and the Wolf" in the title screen. On the street, we briefly see Oscar in his can and an AM sitting around. Elmo is walking down the street with his violin and says he's going to be in a band with his friends. And he demonstrates (pretty talented for a 3 1/2 year old!) Big Bird comes by with his drum that he plays loudly- and he sings a song with Elmo. (Each of the gang sings a verse as they come up) Telly plays the tuba (and true to his nature, he worries at first that they won't be any good, but Big Bird and Elmo reassure him) Then they find Zoe tickling the ivories on the piano in the arbor area. And then Baby Bear comes up and they finish up the song they'd been singing. They didn't play too well together and try to figure out what happened. Baby Bear's dad shows up and comes to take him to see the Boston Pops Orchestra play "Peter and the Wolf". (And the gang commissions Baby Bear to go figure out what they have that their band doesn't)
    Baby Bear's dad takes him backstage to meet the orchestra and show him how music can tell a story. Keith Lockhart, the conductor, shows Baby Bear how a violin piece sounds like Peter walking through a village (and as Baby Bear imagines it, we see Elmo as Peter and Ernie and Rosita in the background, as well as The Count and Buster and Cathleen- the black and white cow.) The French horn sounds like the big bad wolf (and we see the wolf coming out) and The Count warns Peter to run home and hide from the wolf. The kettle drums sound like the hunters (portrayed by The Two-Headed Monster, arguing about which way to go) The bassoon sounds like Grandfather (who is played by Big Bird) He takes Peter home- but Peter decides to go hunt the wolf. The flute is played next and Baby Bear tries to guess the animal it represents. And it's a bird, played by Zoe. Then we have the oboe to represent a duck, played by Telly. And then we have the clarinet to represent a cat, portrayed by Oscar. Baby Bear and his Papa return to their seats then, as others sit down.
    (I'm not sure who all of them are, but one cool cameo I noticed is Caroll Spinney sitting down two rows behind them! - who of course, is the voice of Big Bird and Oscar:grouchy: -We continue to see him and the rest of the audience throughout the video, shushing Baby Bear on occasion, when he yells out loudly after getting caught up in the story. Caroll particularly seems to get upset at some points.)
    Then it gets dark in the audience as the show gets ready to start and Baby Bear yells out to Keith, but gets shushed by a dude in the orchestra and his dad. Baby Bear is told he has to be quiet during the show and he apologizes saying, "I'm sorry. I didn't know the protocol." (LOL- I'm surprised he knew that word!) Now it's time to listen to the orchestra and picture the story in your head. Peter (Elmo) goes out to hunt the wolf and notices the orchestra members playing their instruments as he goes off. (They are right there with him in the village, in Baby Bear's imagination.) A bird (Zoe) shows up and goes with him. Suddenly they hear a loud noise- and Baby Bear (loudly) asks if it's the wolf and gets shushed again. Peter and the bird find out it's a duck (Telly) and then all 3 run into a cat (Oscar) who scares them. Telly says he's always a grouchy, grouchy cat. Grandfather (Big Bird) then catches Peter out there and tells him to get back in. Baby Bear yells out "Grandfather" and gets shushed again. All of a sudden the French horn is played and all the other instrument players run away. The wolf is creeping up on the animals as Peter tries to warn them from behind the gate of his house. (Baby Bear continues to yell out every now and then and gets shushed throughout the video)
    At this point, the narrator tells us that the cat and bird got up a tree, safe from the wolf, but the duck was captured and eaten by the wolf. Telly, as the duck, breaks the 4th. wall and starts going off, telling the narrator that no one told him he was going to get eaten, and so he quits, yanking off the bill and stalks off. The wolf tries to climb the tree but can't. Peter climbs the fence and gets into the tree. Peter sends the bird down to the wolf to distract him. Peter makes a lasso with his rope and lowers it down when the wolf's not looking. He snags him by the tail and all 3 of them (Peter, bird and cat) try to haul the wolf up. The wolf tries to grab the branch over the fence and breaks it off- so now Peter is stuck up in the tree with the bird and cat. Then the hunters show up (and Telly has joined the Two-Headed Monster as a hunter now) and they throw their nets on the wolf and tie him up. All the musicians show up again too. And Peter, the bird, cat and hunters realize that they all worked together to catch the wolf. And Peter goes to show Grandfather the tied up wolf. He's upset with him for disobeying him ( and of course the cat (Oscar) is loving this and eggs the grandfather on) but Peter apologizes and Grandfather forgives him. Then they show everyone in the village that Peter caught the wolf. And everyone cheers at the end of the orchestra.
    Baby Bear goes back to Elmo and the band on Sesame Street and tells them about the orchestra. And he tells them that they have to work together and listen to each other in order to sound good. Baby Bear offers to be their conductor to help them. And then Baby Bear leads them in playing their song together beautifully! (which, by the way, is called "The Music That We Play")
    And the end credits roll over scenes from the ochestra playing as we see Baby Bear and his dad in the audience.
    -And at the end of it all, Maria's voice reminds us to visit Sesame Street on the Web at www.sesamestreet.com

    Concluding thoughts-
    This was a pretty fun video. No real classic clips or anything, but a very classic story and music. I think this is the kind of thing Jim Henson would have been all over, so I think they made a good choice in doing this. Helping kids learn about music and how it can tell a story is definitely a cool theme for this video. And it's also neat that Sesame Street has in fact done a special before with The Boston Pops Ochestra back in the early '70s.
    I also thought it was interesting that "Peter and the Wolf" came out around 1937. I wonder if Disney's "Fantasia" got some inspiration from this, which came out in 1940. Anyway, another fun Sesame Street video here with a pretty good mix of characters.:)
  9. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    I am surprised that you didn't know that this is the street story from the season 33 premier (you weren't living in a cave back in 2002, were you?;) ). It was produced in response to the september 11, 2001 attacks, and I believe that there was a bit of publicity on this episode. I guess the shows producers thought this episode was important/ popular enough to release on DVD. I think that most of the segments on this video were also included in that episode, though I'm not sure about the Fire Chief Rubber Duckie segment. The Elmo's World segment definately premiered in that episode.
  10. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Okay, didn't realize this. I kinda gathered that it was in response to the September 11, 2001 attacks- though I thought that the Hurricane episodes were also meant for that. (Which have also been released- in a compacted format- on the "Friends to the Rescue" video- which I have a copy of and do want to review some time.)

    It's been a while since I've had time to regularly watch Sesame Street on PBS, but I do catch the ocassional episode on Sprout every now and then.

    I'd also still like to track down "Zoe's Dance Moves" to get a review of that. I think that will cover most of the Sesame Street videos released that might have any classic clips from the show.
    And of course, I'll have to check out the new "Ready for School" video when that comes out.
  11. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The hurricane episodes were broadcast in march 2001 (during my spring break), several months before september 11, 2001. I don't know if there were many hurricanes around the time the episode was planned/ in production, but I think the DVD was released in response to hurricane katrina.
  12. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Here is a different kind of review. It is the Sesame Street resource video You Can Ask, which can be purchased for free at the iTunes Store along with other Sesame Street resource video (for those with iPods, just go to the iTunes Store, then browse the TV Shows section,then go to kids, then go to Learn Along with Sesame).

    The video begins with Maria and Elmo telling the viewers that there are all sorts of topics that children can ask about. One thing is fear, and they introduce the street story from the season 33 premier (which is the main plot from Elmo Visits the Firehouse, which was previously reviewed). Afterwards, several word balloons are shown, and Maria tells the viewers that children can ask any questions they might have about what was shown (this is done after all street scenes are shown, with voice overs by whichever human introduces the clip).

    Then, Gina and Big Bird talk about how kids can deal with loss of a person or thing. Big Bird mentions that he could lose Radar, but then Gina talks about how kids can also deal with the loss of a person. When I watched this introduction, I thought, "are they going to show the clip where Big Bird leanrs of Mr. Hooper's death? Or at leas tmention it?" But instead, the clip shown is the street story where Big Bird adopts a pet turtle named Seymour. The beginning scene from the episode is shown, where Big Bird mentions that a turtle came to his nest, and he now has a pet, which he calls Seymour. The Count shows up and counts the spots on it's shell. The scnee then fades to the stree tstory (for those who forget or didn't see season 33 epsidoes, in season 33, each scene had an opening introduction sequence with Big Bird, and the street story appeared in the middle of the show). Big Bird plays with Seymour, but then notices that he's tired, so he builds Seymour a nest. He then sees Seymour chewing on his blanket, and decides to figure out what turtles like to eat. He goes to Gina's office to ask her, and despite being busy with customers, she tells Big Bird what turtles eat, not knowing about the turtle. Big Bird gives Seymour his food, but finds that Seymour has left. Rosita and a human kid help find Seymour, and encoutner Gina. They tell Gina that Big Bird has a pet turtle who is lost, and tell her about how Big Bird got him. She finds Big Bird, and explaisn that Seymour was a wild turtle, not a pet.

    Gordon introduces the next street scene, though I can't remember what he talks about. Anyway, the next story invvles Telly awaiting a visit from his cousin (I forget his cousins name). He brings out his triangle collection, but then worries that his cousin won't like triangles (as he hadn't seen his cousin in a long time). Anyway, his cousin arrives, and not only likes triangles, but wants all of the triangles, and won't give them back to Telly. He talks to Gordon about what he should do. Gordon suggests that he nicely tell his cousin that they are his, and he should give them back. Howeve,r his cousin refuses, so Gordon asks Telly's cousin if he can look at his hat, and then he asks how he would feel if he kept his hat. Telly's cousin starts panicking, and then Gordon tells him that that's how Telly feels about not getting his triangles back. So Telly gets them back.

    Next, Big Bird and Luis talk about how there are people who are different from each other. The following story invovles Big Bird expecting a visit from his pen pal, Gulliver. Gulliver is a seagal, and when he arrives, Big Bird gets a phone call from Snuffy, who plans on visiting. Gullvier is excited about meeting Big Bird's best friend. Big Bird decides to sow Gulliver around Sesame Street to pass the time, and they hear Miles and Gabbi playing basketball. Gulliver likes basketball, but when he sees that Miles and Gabbi are humans, he decides that he doens't want to play basketball, and says that he just want sto meet Snuffy. So he and Big Bird look for Snuffy (I wonder if they ever barely missed Snuffy:) ), and he acts very nervous when he sees people who aren't birds. Gulliver says that he is hungry, and Big Bird mentions thta Alan makes great irdseed mlkshakes. However, Gulliver sees Alan and decides that he's not very hungry. Gulliver asks what kind of a bird Snuffy is (just like the Dodo's from Follow That Bird did), and then Snuffy apepars. Big Bird says that Snuffy's not a bird, and Gulliver is very frightened, saying that he only plays with other birds. Big Bird then informs him that making friends with people is just like making friendsa with birds. The entire cast then show up and sing How Do You Do, and Gulliver gets over the fact that Sesame Street is filled with more than just birds.

    I knew about these resource videos, and was surprised that one of them featured content from the show (I expected them all to be completely new footage). I looked at a few Muppet Wiki pages that had this video redlinked, which intrigued me a bit (it's not redlinekd anymore, thanks to me).
  13. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    A quick overview of "Friends to the Rescue"

    Regarding the last review, that's pretty interesting. I didn't realize these were up on iTunes. Sounds like a good idea to have that on there- Sesame Street is always keeping up with the times.

    I just got through watching one of my Sesame Street videos, so I'm gonna give a quick overview of it for right now. I may go back and do a more indepth review later.
    But for now- here's a quick look at "Friends to the Rescue" (a 2005 video release running about 53 minutes)

    Plot- The whole video is really an amalgamation of the "Hurricane" episodes from 2001 all culled into one cohesive story. Basically, the Street scenes from all the episodes have been joined together to make the video, with little interstitial scenes utilizing artwork to represent the passage of time (i.e. moon and stars, floods coming down, bright sun)
    There really aren't any sketches or other inserts thrown in here at all. However, there are two pretty nice songs in here.
    Most folks familiar with the "Hurricane" episodes will pretty much know the plot here.
    A big hurricane comes to Sesame Street and probably one of the coolest things about this video is that we finally get another appearance from Kermit the Frog! The gang gathers at Hooper's Store to watch him on the news (which is a news desk with a big Sesame Street News logo behind him.) Kermit and Al Roker work together to deliver the weather report. And Kermit does an on the scene report, talking about the preparations everyone's making. It's so cool to see him interacting with Luis, Maria, Gabi, Alan, Baby Bear, Elmo and Zoe again. (And some of these may even be the first time he's talked to them!)
    From there, the main plot is showing how the Sesame Street gang prepares for the hurricane, by getting flashlights and water and taping windows, etc. Various Muppets stay with the humans- Maria, Luis and Gabi have 2 penguins with them, Bob gets charge of Oscar and Slimey and some honkers and dingers and various monsters. Gina and Zoe stay together and watch TV and eat popcorn. And Big Bird stays with Gordon, Susan and Miles, who entertain him with shadow puppets when they lose power.
    The next day, Big Bird discovers his nest is destroyed and we have probably one of the most powerful scenes on Sesame Street- right up there with Susan telling Big Bird- "Mr. Hooper's not coming back.":cry:
    And it's cool that it's Gordon- which makes sense. They live next to Big Bird and have always been his protectors (well, just as much as any of the other humans on there of course)- but I guess I especially think of Gordon and Susan as they were the ones to take Big Bird in out of the cold in "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street". (Of course, Maria was out looking for him- and they definitely have a special bond too.)
    Anyway- Big Bird is shocked and dismayed to see his nest destroyed and Gordon tries to comfort him and tell him, "It's all right Big Bird." And with a sob and slight stammer, Big Bird says, "N-no, it's not." And Gordon then tells him, "You're right Big Bird. It's not all right. But it will be all right."
    (I love this scene. When I first saw this and indeed when it first aired, it was right around the time of the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and the Pentagon- and I always look at that as a veiled reference to that event. Well, it's as close as Sesame Street's going to get anyway- and I think is admirable for helping kids deal with traumatic events like that. Mr. Rogers also made a special PSA during this time to help children deal with this tragedy)
    And true to his word, Gordon and the rest of the gang helps Big Bird rebuild. It takes 2 days or so, and Big Bird spends some time drawing a picture of his nest before the hurricane, after Baby Bear shows him his picture that he drew during the hurricane, which helped him. (They were all at Hooper's Store at this point- Baby Bear, Big Bird, Elmo and Alan- and all but Alan wound up falling asleep while singing a lullaby to Big Bird for his nap.)
    Big Bird stayed the night with Maria and Luis and Gabi as he waited for his nest to be finished. And they remembered good times in Big Bird's nest, like the time Luis sat on a Honker egg for Big Bird and it in fact hatched while he was doing so. (I'm not sure if that was an actual scene from an earlier episode or not. I'm almost wanting to say it seems vaguely familiar- but I'm really not sure.)
    Finally, Big Bird's house is put back together- but he still has to make a new nest. He finally figures out to call Granny Bird to ask for help on how to make a nest. (After 3 pigs come by and offer him their architect's models of straw, sticks and bricks nests- none of the 3 are working for Big Bird!) (By the way, we do get to see Granny Bird on the other end of the phone directing Big Bird.)
    And so he directs the gang on how to build the nest. (And Linda even makes an appearance at this point- along with Alan, Luis, Maria, Gordon and Gabi and some kids.) And his nest is finally finished- as they sing a song about building his nest together, twig by twig.
    The big bad wolf, who is apparently also a nest inspector, comes by to check out the nest and tells them they'll have to wait for the mud to dry. (Which they can thank Oscar for the mud- who had a brief scene when they were getting it.) Telly and Elmo and Snuffy are there on the scene too and they figure that Snuffy can blow and dry the mud with his Snuffle. (Telly even mentions that Snuffy blew Slimey's rocket to the moon! Wow- what a snuffle!) And so Snuffy does it and Big Bird calls the wolf back to oversee it- and he declares it safe to use. And then Big Bird sings a song with the whole gang there, thanking them for helping him and being his friends- and then, after a quick, frantic search for Radar the teddy bear, Big Bird sits in his new nest!
    And later, Big Bird tells Radar a bed time story as they drift to sleep in his new nest!

    Concluding thoughts- Well, this overview wound up being fairly complete after all, so I guess I may just leave at that in any case. I was ecstatic to see Kermit on Sesame Street again and it was neat seeing him interact with newer characters, some of which may have been the first and only time they've talked- and it was really nice to see an episode that was focused on Big Bird again. Elmo was there as a friend to help him- and it seemed like one of the older classic episodes again- back when it didn't seem Elmo was monopolizing every episode.
    And there's a funny scene where Big Bird and Elmo keep thanking each other for being a friend at the end ("No, no Big Bird- I thank you." "No, Elmo- I thank you.") And Maria finally says "Elmo"- and he abruptly stops and says "Okay". That was funny!
    And it was really cool at one part where Maria asks Big Bird where this thing goes in his house- and turns out Big Bird says it isn't his. And a woman comes by to claim it and says it's the top part to her hat! (Wow! The puppet is obviously a newer rebuilt one- but it looks like the woman with the tall hat from the Bert and Ernie sketch at the movies, where Ernie- and later Bert- can't see past her hat! That is so cool- and pretty random too!)
    And it was also neat to hear Snuffy say his full name as he tells the gang that "Helpful" is his middle name. "Aloysius "Helpful" Snuffupagus". Yeah, that was cool as it's the first time I've ever heard Snuffy say his actual first name.
    And of course, the main message got through quite well- that friends will be there to help you through your hard times. And kids don't have to be scared of hurricanes- there are precautions we can take and when it's over we can clean things up again. And as I said before, I thought it was also a great veiled episode dealing with tragic events like 9/11/01.
    This is a really fun video- and though it's curious that Bert and Ernie don't show up (but I suppose they don't show up in street scenes often anymore) and too bad that Grover and Herry didn't really show up- or Cookie Monster. (Though he is briefly seen eating cookies at Hooper's Store for a second.)
    But it was still a great mix of characters- both old and new- and it was a lot of fun seeing a more classic style Sesame Street episode that seemed to be more balanced in character use. I don't mind seeing episodes that focus on one main character once in a while- but I don't think it should be Elmo all the time. Let Big Bird have some more episodes like this and others as well and I think Sesame Street would be a bit more fun in its current run.
    But anyway- get the video because it's a great one to have- especially for the last-to-date appearance of Kermit on Sesame Street.
    :)
  14. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Well, there's already been a great review of the "Kids Favorite Country Songs" Sesame Street video, so like I said before, I direct you to this link for a full review.
    http://www.muppetcentral.com/articles/reviews/dvd/country_songs.shtml

    However, I just got through watching this today and so I thought I'd comment on a few things. The main storyline wasn't too bad. It was apparently all set in Elmo's room at his house- but definitely maintained an "Elmo's World" feel to it, though the video was not actually set in "Elmo's World". Elmo's country cousin Elmer comes to visit (who is apparently an identical twin) and he and Elmo have a fun time with a rooting, tooting, hooping, hollering, country song jamboree! Elmo meets country music instruments like the banjo, harmonica, and fiddle. And a lot of various country stars guest star to sing classic and well-known children's songs in general, all of which obviously also have a country leaning- like "Home on the Range", "The Farmer in the Dell", "Oh Susanna", etc. The Dixie Chickens (parody of the female country group Dixie Chicks) make an appearance and as I said, various country stars show up. I'm not familiar with all of them, so some may be newer appearances on Sesame Street or some may be specially recorded just for this video. It was fun seeing The Count in "Sesame Jamboree" with Allison Krause. And I know it's probably a long shot, but it would have been great to see Kermit used for "Froggy Went A'Courting"- I mean, come on- that's the most obvious choice, but I gather that Kermit only shows up on Sesame Street now for really, really special occasions (in new material, that is). (Though this song is performed with Kermit and Miss Mousey on "The Muppets Valentine Show", so I guess I can always watch that!) Obviously, one really nice classic song was Johnny Cash's song about tall tales. And it was great seeing Cookie Monster in the classic "Ballad of Casey McPhee" song! I used to love this one as a kid. And there was a great cowboy cartoon shown toward the end where he sings about feelings as he rides along on his horse. I also remember this well, though I haven't thought about it in years. The ending with the, what I assume is a bear or something, who comes up and says, "Surprise" abruptly always makes me laugh.:)
    And I'm also glad for the bonus features! There's lots of great songs included here, like a newer song with Garth Brooks singing "We Make Music" with Herry Monster and other monsters. And there was a song with Faith Hill and Tim McGraw called "Take a Turn", that featured Elmo, Telly, Herry and Cookie Monster and an AM singing with them and that was neat. And lots of other classics I remember from childhood like "The Dirtiest Town in the West" and "I'm a Real Cowboy"- with Forgetful Jones, Clementine and Buster! I had not seen that one in many years- but I laughed at it again, just as it made me laugh as a kid.:D "It's Zydeco" is another favorite I remember well. Polly Darton there to sing "I Make Music" was great too- another one that I remember seeing before. I don't know that I recall the "It's Funny" song or "The Ballad of Slippery Slim", but those were a lot of fun to watch too. Also, a few rarely seen characters show up in the "It's Funny" song, like Betty Lou and Farley. (I also saw "Fat Blue" there, but he still shows up pretty regularly.)
    Oh- and one other thing I enjoyed. During the end credits of the actual video itself, Elmo and two country stars that I'm not sure of their names sing "Songs"- the finale song from the "Elmopalooza" special- and that was really cool, as I particularly like that song. It's a fun, happy song in the vein of "Sing"- though of course, nothing can ever really replace that Joe Raposo masterpiece!;)

    Anyway, I would definitely recommend this video if but for the bonus features alone! And there are some great classic songs included in the main story as well, particularly "The Ballad of Casey McPhee".
    I would have loved to see more of Polly Darton, Forgetful Jones, and maybe even Rodeo Rosie, but for the stuff we did get, it's a pretty good deal!
  15. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Get Ready for School with this new video and review!

    I just recently got a chance to see this one, so here's a review of the "Sesame Street- Ready for School" video, which is a 2007 release with approximately 45 minutes for the run time.
    Note- this also includes "Abby's First Day of School!" as a bonus feature, and that probably runs for another 30 minutes or so, but that's just my estimate.

    The actual main video appears to be 3 of the newer main "Street" storylines combined into one cohesive story. The bonus feature, as far as I know, is also a "Street" storyline- with no skits or songs included.
    (I don't get to watch Sesame Street all the time, so I may not be familiar with all the more current "Street" storylines as such, but I'm pretty sure that all of these are "Street" stories. And that's fine with me- though I'd still like to see more videos shot with original footage and interlinking classic sketches and songs.)

    Anyway, here's an overview of the plot and a few comments on it.

    When you start up the DVD, there's the standard stuff- previews, subtitles, chapters, etc.- and a bonus feature- "Abby's First Day of School!"

    Main video plot-
    Kids and Muppets run by on a chalkboard (as chalk figures) on the title screen ("Ready for School")

    - Outside Hooper's Store, Alan and Gina come out to take pictures of Miles, Gabi, Susan, Gordon, Maria and Luis as they are all getting ready to go to Miles' and Gabi's graduation from high school. Bob jumps in for one of the pictures too. (Bob comments that he remembers when Gabi and Miles were side by side in baby carriages! Hey, Bob- so do I!:D )
    Elmo comes out in the middle of this and wonders what's going on and Miles and Gabi explain to him what a graduation is. And then they reminisce about their first day of school. (And they must have really good memories to remember all these details from their very first day of school!)
    (Flashback scene, but it's obviously new footage filmed. I can't remember if there ever were any scenes shown of Miles and Gabi in school back in the late 80s or 90s. Which brings up another question- Maria and Luis weren't even married until 1988 and I don't remember exactly, but I don't think Gabi was born until 1990 or so- and Miles was adopted in 1985 and he was already at least 1 or so at that point. So, unless Miles seriously got held behind or Gabi jumped up a few grades, they shouldn't be graduating high school at the same time. But oh well- I don't guess that really matters. Though I also wonder if Miles and Gabi will continue on the show and become the new "young adults" of the show- much like Gina when she first showed up around 1987 or so... though I still think of Gina as being pretty young! But hey- I still think of Maria as being pretty young! And it's amazing to think Bob is in his 70s! He doesn't look it a bit!)
    Anyway- back to the review.
    (Flashback scene- which occasionally jumps back to Gabi, Miles and Elmo on the Street throughout)
    Kids at school sing the Alphabet song. Gabi tells Elmo how Miles was shy on his first day of school. And we see the kids drawing pictures- Gabi draws a picture of where she lives- on Sesame Street, with her sitting on the 123 steps, with Oscar sticking his head out of his trash can. Miles draws a picture of a basketball in space and though reticent at first, the teacher gets him to explain it more.
    Then Gabi and Miles tell Elmo about their big fight over a fire truck toy. Then the teacher sings a song about learning to share and the kids learn to share the toy. (In between these stories, Gordon and then later Luis pop in to remind the kids they have to get going.)
    Then Susan and Maria come up to them at the end of this story to tell them they have to leave. And they tell Elmo goodbye at this point and leave for graduation. (Hmm- apparently Alan had to work at Hooper's, so he couldn't make it to the graduation, though I assume Gina and Bob would have attended. I'm surprised some of the Muppets wouldn't have been going- though maybe some of the older ones that would appreciate it more and sit through it better did go- of course, that would probably be Ernie and Bert, Kermit, Herbert Birdsfoot and maybe Grover... Hmm- I wonder if they will ever show Gabi and Miles in college- doesn't seem like they've mentioned this much on Sesame Street, but then I don't guess it would be much point to on a show aimed at preschoolers!
    anyway, sorry- more speculating on my part...)
    Elmo walks off thinking about his graduation and humming "Pomp and Circumstance". He runs into Baby Bear, who's working on his drawing of his first day at Storybook Community School. He's trying to figure which of his classmates he left out of the picture. Baby Bear then tells about his first day of school.
    (Flashback scene)
    Papa Bear drops Baby Bear off at school, where he meets Red Riding Hood, Jack and Jill and Mary and her lamb. The teacher introduces herself (Mrs. Goose- aka Mother Goose, of course!) Kids introduce themselves (Peter Piper, who picked a peck of pickled peppers, Jack- from "Jack and the Beanstalk", "Jack Be Nimble", "Little Jack Horner", Jill (who reminds Jack that he and she are also from "Jack and Jill"!)- and then Baby Bear takes his turn and then there's Hansel and Gretel.)
    Baby Bear gets a bit carried away during his introduction as he starts thinking of Curly and misses her, as he wonders what she's doing now. (In fact, he wonders this for his mom and dad as well and we see them all popping up in his thought bubbles from time to time.)
    (And I have to mention this too- Hansel and Gretel speak with a German accent and every now and then they clap their hands when saying something. I just had to laugh there at what seems to me to be a subtle reference to Saturday Night Live characters Hans and Franz in their "Pumping Up" sketch- "I want to pump (hand clap) you up"- LOL - I love how Sesame Street works in stuff like this for the parents to enjoy)
    Baby Bear correctly identifes the letter "A". And then they do the number one and Red gets this one.
    They get to make a "1" as their art project- and Baby Bear's excited about that. And then he puts together his Humpty Dumpty puzzle first.
    And finally the school day comes to an end and Baby Bear doesn't want to come back at first, but Papa Bear and Mother Goose tell him homesickness is a normal- and his whole family will look forward to hearing about his day when he gets home. This makes him feel better.
    Back on the Street- Elmo finally tells Baby Bear he forgot to draw himself in his picture (which would be easier to do if Elmo didn't talk in 3rd. person!) Elmo then sings a song imagining his first day of school! (with animaed chalk drawings)
    Elmo then decides to play "school" and enlists Alan to be his teacher. Alan gets Elmo drawing for "school" and then goes to deal with a testy AM customer. (He leaves him to deliberate between a tuna salad or egg salad sandwich. - Alan is constantly kept running back and forth between the customer(s) and Elmo's "school") Old MacDonald shows up and signs his kid up for Alan's "school". (The "kid" is a goat!) Alan reads the book the goat brought called "Tickle the Goat". (I was wondering if they were going for some sort of "Tickle Me Elmo" joke here) Another customer (a lady AM) comes in and orders a tuna salad sandwich- but then both customers wind up trying to decide between the egg salad and tuna salad sandwiches and Alan leaves them to decide as he goes back to check on Elmo (and a human boy and girl who have joined the class.) And Elmo suggests they should do the alphabet and so they sing the song.
    Alan answers the customers' bugle call (they're celebrating because they've decided on something)- Alan deduces they want him to cut the sandwiches in half so they can each have some (but their idea actually involved a tractor!) Then they start deliberating between milk and juice. Alan goes back to his class, where an elephant (in a pink tutu) has come from Staten Island to join his class, especially for rhyming. So, Alan says a word and lets the class rhyme with it (and the elephant finally catches on after a few misfires.) Another bugle call brings Alan running back to the customers who have now decided to join Alan's class (and they'll eat the food during lunch period.) After this, Elmo gives Alan his drawing to keep (and it's a drawing of Elmo's favorite teacher- Mr. Alan! (as Elmo was calling him in his role as "Teacher")
    Ending credits roll on a piece of notebook paper with animated kids' drawings rolling in the top of the screen with kids rapping about school (which I think is actually an older song done on Sesame Street before, but I'm not sure)

    AND NOW-

    BONUS FEATURE!

    "Abby's First Day of School"

    We start at The Fix-It Shop (okay, maybe nowadays it's The Mail-It Shop, but I still call it The Fix-It Shop!)- as it happens, Elmo has a broken windmill in Dorothy's bowl and Luis is going to fix it for him there at the shop. (So it seems no matter what business Maria and Luis are in- Sesame Street's residents still come to ask them for help with fixing things. Also, it was interesting to see Dorothy in her bowl out on the Street and not in "Elmo's World") Baby Bear then comes looking for Abby Cadabby (who they point out is a fairy goddaughter. Baby Bear mentions he loves saying her name- which I have to admit does have a fun ring to it.) Both are going to Storybook Community School (it's Abby's first day) and Baby Bear walks Abby to school. (Abby tried to go via magic at first, but came back because she didn't know how to get there). (And at school, we find out that Abby's mom is Cinderella's fairy godmother- thus, the reason Abby's at the Storybook school. -well, this was news to me, in any case.)
    Mother Goose introduces Abby Cadabby to her classmates, as they sing the "Welcome" song for her. Abby vanishes at the end to go tell Elmo about it. Then she comes back just in time for "Show and Tell". (Mary shows her little lamb who does impressions of other animals, which the children guess.) Abby goes via magic to ask Elmo what she can show at "Show and Tell". Elmo and Luis suggest (as Baby Bear did before Abby left school) that she can show off her wand. Elmo uses Abby's wand by mistake and he then shows up at school. And Abby soon follows after him. And she shows Elmo off for "Show and Tell" because he's her friend. And then Mother Goose says Elmo can be their guest for the day and they sing him the "Welcome" song!

    ....................
    Okay- and that's it. I love how earlier on Baby Bear comments about Red Riding Hood to Abby- "She thinks everyone's her grandma"!:D (as Red keeps addressing everyone with her "My, what big ______ you have, Grandma" phrase)
    And Abby and Elmo keep reappearing at school and landing on top of Jack, who naturally breaks his crown. Jill keeps telling him it's okay and taking him aside to help him with his wounds- at one point she tells him- "Walk it off, Jack". I laughed at that.

    This one I'm pretty positive is in fact a "Street" storyline- and it was fun for me to see Abby Cadabby, as this was the first time I've finally seen her on Sesame Street. And I think Abby makes for a nice addition- I wonder how Oscar will take having another cutesy person on the Street- just when he'd gotten sorta used to Elmo...:grouchy:

    Anyway- it's a fun video with some current "Street" storylines that are all about getting ready for school, so the video certainly accomplishes its purpose. However, I still would have liked to have seen some more classic clips included in the video, or at least included as bonus features, like we had on the "Kids' Favorite Country Songs" video.
    Oh well- at least there's "Sesame Street- Old School Volume 2" to look forward to!
  16. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Oh yeah- here's something to whet your appetite. I've recently tracked down a copy of "Zoe's Dance Moves", one of the few older Sesame Street video releases I still haven't seen and have been wanting to comment on. So look for a review of that one coming pretty soon!:)
  17. minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    The Mail-It Shop was turned back into the Fix-It Shop again last season (with no episodes explaining or showing the change), so it was the Fix-It Shop. And the bonus feature is probably 15 minutes long. I've heard that the DVD is 60 minutes long, so if the main program is 45 minutes long, then it was probably counting the bonus feature when listing the run time.
  18. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Okay, come to think of it- 15 minutes does sound about right.

    And I didn't realize that about The Fix-It Shop, though I'm glad for the change. It's nice to have a place like that that actually repairs televisions and toasters and such. And I just like that better than The Mail-It Shop. Perhaps after hiring Grover as an employee, Maria and Luis had second thoughts- and they decided to reopen The Fix-It Shop- and Grover went back to drive Fat Blue crazy at Charlie's Restaurant!:)
  19. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Do You Wanna Dance? :)

    Okay, here's a review for the Sesame Street video- "Zoe's Dance Moves"
    (2003 video, approximately 40 minutes run time.)
    (Special guest star- Paula Abdul)

    On the DVD, besides the usual stuff- play story, chapters, and previews... there's also a bonus feature- a brief interview with Paula Abdul, talking about her history with dance and inspirations (she mentions loving "Singing in the Rain" with Gene Kelly as one of her all time favorite dancers- that's cool- he's one of my favs. too- and "Singing in the Rain" is a great movie! And of course, Gene Kelly was also a guest star on The Muppet Show! Just thought I'd point that out.;) ) And you can hear Paula's thoughts on Zoe and Elmo.

    Anyway- on to the plot.

    Plot- "Zoe's Dance Moves" title screen comes up on a theater stage with a purple curtain (which, of course, reminded me of The Muppet Show stage!)

    -The video opens with Zoe and Elmo about to start their first dance class. Zoe has her pink tutu on and Elmo claims to have his dancing shoes on, but then realizes he's not wearing any and he has to go back and get them. Zoe goes on toward the room for the dance lesson as a bunch of kids come out and go by her. The dance instructor (Paula Abdul) comes and tells her that the class is over. But she's about to work on a new dance and so she asks Zoe to help her with the dance.
    Zoe and Paula warm up their bodies first with ballet.
    - Jumps to animated drawings of ballet dancers (We can hear Paula and Zoe commenting thoughout all these clips).
    -Then some live action ballet dancers dance- and Big Bird and Snuffy join them- as well as a girl in a wheelchair (but I don't think it's the same kid that was on the Street for a while as I had first thought.)
    -Then we jump to a live girl in a dance leotard in a studio dancing.
    -Then we see a live girl in a dress dancing outside.
    -Jump to a clip of a live girl dressed in native African wear dancing African style with 2 green, blue and yellow monsters. (These are the same ones that show up briefly in the Sesame Street 25th. Anniversary special)
    Back in the dance studio, Paula and Zoe work on African dancing. Zoe momentarily gets frustrated because she can't get it- and Paula reminds her that's why they keep practicing. And they move on.
    - Jump to clip of live kids in African tribal wear dancing in a park. (Zoe and Paula are still commenting throughout)
    - Cartoon of purple and pink birds dancing to a drum beat that alligator is playing.
    In the studio, Paula and Zoe now try some Asian dance. (Looks like they've got some "Karate Kid" moves going on!)
    -Clip of live Asian girl dressed in red, dancing with sticks with those same monsters from before. (Zoe and Paula comment throughout again)
    -live girls in Asian traditional wear do a dance in a park.
    -live boy dressed in red dances with a big Asian banner that has a Muppet monster head. (You know, one of those things a bunch of people walk under in those Chinese New Year's parades)
    Paula and Zoe now try some Silly Willy Nilly dancing. (Zoe's creation)
    -Jump to clip of live girl and animated purple octopus doing a dance.
    -live girls and boys and adults do some silly dancing to a song about body part and how they move (and how you can use them to dance)
    -cartoon of yellow man dancing with purple cat (Man has to keep correcting cat on how to do his dance- and cat keeps throwing in his own version)- (Paula and Zoe resume commenting here)
    Back in the studio, Zoe and Paula do a bit of tap dancing.
    -Savion does his rhyming game in a park- doing a bit of rapping and tapping (tap dancing, that is!)
    -CGI style man and woman dressed in tuxedos do a bit of tap dancing (Paula and Zoe comment again)
    -live clip of 3 business men doing different dance styles to a hip hop song on a radio one of them has. (In the end, they learn to dance together and wave on the bus when it comes by, choosing to dance to work instead!- I remember seeing this one as a kid- classic!:D )
    Paula and Zoe practice some hip hop dancing as some kids come up and ask to join in.
    -Jump to live clip of lots of girls and a few men and boys from different cultures and heritages doing different dances.
    At the studio, Elmo shows backs up with his dance shoes and the kids, Paula, Zoe and Elmo all do their "Everything" dance (this is the dance that Paula and Zoe have finished choreographing)
    Paula explains how to do all the dance steps- ballet, African, Asian, Silly Willy Nilly Dance (at this point, one of the boys decides to flash us- LOL), tap dancing and hip hop.
    And they take some time to keep practicing as Paula goes to give individual instruction- and Zoe helps Elmo with the hip hop moves.
    - Jump to live clip of various male and female dancers who, one at a time, start dancing while others remain perfectly still. (And then they dance together)- (Paula and Zoe are also commenting again during this one)
    In the studio, everyone is ready to dance! And we get to see the whole thing set to music! (Twice!- On the first time, the camera's on everyone- but on the second time, there's more individual shots.)
    - End credits roll with the "Dancing Shoes" song playing, featuring Christian Gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans. (Look for them, Elmo, Bert, Ernie and the Count all in the video- there's also a kid wearing a shirt pretty similar to Ernie's trademark shirt!)
    And Zoe pops up one last time at the end of this to remind you that if you want to dance with them again, just go back to the beginning!

    Concluding thoughts-
    Well, this was a pretty fun little video. It certainly should encourage little kids (I'm thinking mostly girls, but boys are included in the video) to get up and dance. And we get to hear Zoe say her trademark "Don't joke me" line a few times. And aside from a few cameos in songs from Big Bird, Snuffy, Bert, Ernie, and The Count- the main stars of this video are Zoe and Elmo. And actually, it's really Zoe who is on here the most. And it's nice to see Zoe hold her own on a video. I can't say that there's an overwhelming amount of classic clips or anything- but there are a few classics I remember that are pretty cool- mainly the hip hop song with the 3 businessmen and the "Dancing Shoes" song at the end.
    It's worth a view- and would probably be one of those videos kids want to see over and over again in order to practice and perfect the dance moves! Splish Splash-Get your dancing shoes on!:)
  20. GonzoLeaper Active Member

    Do you need to go potty? Elmo can help you! :)

    Okay, well, I finally had a valid excuse to watch "Elmo's Potty Time":) (nephew in potty-training)

    So I have in fact viewed this video and I may try to have more of a full review on here at some point.
    This is a 2006 home video release with a run time of about 45 minutes.
    I don't know that there's any really classic clips of any sort included on the video, but there are a few cute new ones.
    The main plot involves Elmo discussing using the potty with his father and after he ventures out onto the Street, Elmo continues this conversation with the young viewers. He encounters Gordon and Baby Bear at the 123 stoop, where they talk about various words people use for urination and excretion and the associated by-products.;)
    (There's even a segment shown where live kids name all the various things they call their poop and peepee- LOL!)
    And later on, Elmo runs into Grover who is frantically trying to make it to Hooper's Store to get to the bathroom. After Grover relieves himself (wow- that is SO weird to say about a puppet-LOL) he and Elmo discuss the importance of going to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to go.
    And they sing a song about it!
    And Elmo also helps Baby Bear coax his sister, Curly Bear, to go to the bathroom when she needs to go. (She's gone in hiding under a table in the courtyard area). Gina shows up and takes Curly to the bathroom to help her.
    By the end of the video, we find out that Curly has successfully used the potty! Oh, and there's also a scene with Elmo and Prairie Dawn where they discuss going from diapers to underwear and both wax nostalgic upon the day they got their first pair of underpants. (wow- there are so many points in this video that I just have to crack up laughing about-LOL)
    And Elmo and Prairie Dawn also argue a bit about the 3 (or is it 4?) things you need to do after using the bathroom. Make sure to flush. Wipe yourself with toilet paper. And wash your hands. (I believe the discrepancy comes with whether or not washing and drying your hands is 1 or 2 steps.)
    Anyway, I can't recall there being very many (if any) segments on Sesame Street really devoted to using the bathroom (at least not when I was watching it as a kid), so I can't imagine there would be many classic segments to draw from. Though I do believe the "Water Wasteroon" song is played on the video. And by the way, Grover is actually voiced by the original master here- Frank Oz! Yeah! So I suppose it's worth watching to see Frank Oz return as Grover- and hear him and Elmo sing a song about what to do when you have to poop and pee- which is way too funny just to hear Grover and Elmo saying those words. LOL)
    As always, it certainly accomplishes its purpose and helps allay kids' fears and concerns about using the potty. This certainly makes a great tool for parents to use with their kids.

    (If I got a chance later on, I may try to have a more in-depth review, as I said. But that's what I can recall from memory there.)

    I do believe most of the individual Sesame Street home video releases have been reviewed on here by this point.
    However, whenever some new ones come along, those can always be added.
    And I suppose it would be good to get the reviews for the Play With Me Sesame home video releases on here too. (Though in that case, I'd mainly be interested in the sketches and songs included- because the format of the show is its own thing altogether.)

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