• Welcome to the Muppet Central Forum!
    You are viewing our forum as a guest. Join our free community to post topics and start private conversations. Please contact us if you need help.
  • "Muppets Now" premieres on Disney+
    The Muppets fifth series of all time debuted on Disney+. Make plans to watch one of the most anticipated shows of the year. New episodes premiere every Friday through September 4.
  • 50 Years and Counting
    Read our review and discuss with fans the highly anticipated Sesame Street "50 Years and Counting" DVD set from Shout Factory featuring over five hours of beloved moments.
  • 50 Years and Still Sunny!
    Read fan reactions and let us know your thoughts on the all-new Sesame Street documentary "50 Years and Still Sunny!" hosted by Gloria Estefan.
  • The Dark Crystal: "Age of Resistance"
    After a 36 year wait, return to the great conjunction. The Dark Crystal "Age of Resistance" is a mesmerizing and beautiful prequel series now on Netflix. Renew your essence today.
  • Music is Everywhere
    Muppet Central Radio is now on TorontoCast, TuneIn, Apple, Amazon and Google. Listen to Muppet music 24/7 wherever you go with TuneIn and Apple apps and devices.

Happy 30th anniversary, Follow That Bird

CherryPizza

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2002
Messages
341
Reaction score
29
I started school in 1984, and before too long I was whisked along in a tidal wave of what I would later discover is called peer group pressure. Those fellow scholars who wanted to prove themselves as 'cool', 'tough' or 'mature' passionately proclaimed that Sesame Street was a "babies' show". My attempts at defending its honour were constantly defeated.

So when Follow That Bird was released on this day 30 years ago, it was a challenge to my identity to see it at the cinema. However, I saw it, loved it, and still love it today. It's such a treat to have something in movie form (so less likely to get lost than TV episodes) that recalls the days of Sesame Street as an ensemble, with humans and a range of Muppets all having their fair share of the spotlight... and part of me has a smug chuckle at Elmo's appearance being limited to a mere peek through a window at the end of the movie.

As a side note, it was little more than three years later that those fellow alumni had no problems enjoying SS ironically, as big kids watching an amusing little kids' show. I'm sure there's a thesis that can be written about that.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,369
Reaction score
2,458
I watched the movie the other night, and there's a few things I hadn't noticed before.

For years, I thought Slimey wasn't in the movie, but as I watched the DVD the other night I saw that he does appear in the scene where Big Bird meets Miss Finch. He's in front of a box by Oscar's trash can. I wonder if the VHS quality made me miss that (though I've had the movie on DVD for years and hadn't noticed him there).

For a long time, I had thought I saw Forgetful Jones in the opening scene, as well as when Big Bird leaves Sesame Street, behind a crate or table in front of either a fire station or police station, appearing to play cards with a police officer. But then several years ago, Terry Angus said that he performed Biff in the opening scene, and that it's hard to really see him. After I saw that, I rewatched the scene and thought I mistook Forgetful Jones for Biff (they're both made from the same AM pattern, both wear hats, and are both way far back, a little difficult to really see). But then last week I noticed that it was Forgetful all along, and Biff had been somewhere that I hadn't noticed before. In both scenes, Biff is working in a manhole right by the Fix-It Shop, a little around the corner of there.

Does anybody else find it a bit weird when Ernie and Bert are away from the others when the gang is at the fun fair? They're at the ferris wheel, looking for Big Bird, while the rest are inside a tent. It's almost as if they thought it'd be hard to find Big Bird, though the area does look small enough, and if there was any splitting up at all, shouldn't more characters have split up? Pretty much everyone else (with the exceptions of Oscar and the Honker, who are sleeping in Oscar's car) happens to know where Big Bird is. I guess they might have sent Ernie and Bert elsewhere so Jim Henson wouldn't need to spend a lot of time on the set when he would have likely had other things to do as well. It's not a case of "shoo out the clowns" because there is a bit of humor in this scene (The Count counting the keys, Cookie Monster trying to get Sid's cookies, Super Grover struggling to bend the bars).

If Miss Finch had caught Big Bird and started to bring him back to the Dodos, I wonder if she would have taken him there, or if Big Bird would have explained why he ran away and convinced her that Sesame Street is a better home for him. Somehow it seems better that it was Maria who convinced her and better that she was convinced on Sesame Street than farther in the country, but it would be interesting to know whether she'd be reasonable if Big Bird told her this stuff.
 

MuppetSpot

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
2,525
Reaction score
1,508
The one thing that confused me was why didn't Jerry performed or dub the vocie of Herry in the final shot. Also who did Herry, I want to say maybe Richard but, who knows.
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
37,911
Reaction score
11,432
I guess because it wasn't that big of a difference in the voice, and because Herry seemed to be slowly phased out as a character by that point: sure, he was like one of Jerry's signature characters in the 70s, but he seemed to slowly yet progressively be phased out starting in the 80s and into the 2000s, probably because of his commitment to other shows like TMS, FR, and other Muppet projects - after all, this is why we eventually also stopped seeing Ernie and Bert, and other Jim and Frank characters actually on the street and more exclusively to inserts, because that's just about all Jim and Frank could devote their time to as Jim started working on more and more projects.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,369
Reaction score
2,458
I guess because it wasn't that big of a difference in the voice, and because Herry seemed to be slowly phased out as a character by that point: sure, he was like one of Jerry's signature characters in the 70s, but he seemed to slowly yet progressively be phased out starting in the 80s and into the 2000s, probably because of his commitment to other shows like TMS, FR, and other Muppet projects - after all, this is why we eventually also stopped seeing Ernie and Bert, and other Jim and Frank characters actually on the street and more exclusively to inserts, because that's just about all Jim and Frank could devote their time to as Jim started working on more and more projects.
I feel like Herry continued to be a major character throughout the 1980s and 1990s, despite barely appearing in either of the movies.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,369
Reaction score
2,458
I've noticed that in the end credits, there are about five or six people listed under "stunt performers". Aside from Big Bird jumping from a moving truck, what else would have required stunt performing? I assume a stunt double filled in for Gordon when Big Bird jumped to his car, and it is known that Noel McNeil (who is not credited under stunt performers) performed Big Bird when he ran from the plane.

I think I might have said this somewhere on the forum before, but I've noticed one of the stunt performers is listed as Lex Byrd. I assume Byrd is pronounced as Bird. Wouldn't it have been something if he was the stunt man inside Big Bird when the bird had to make the jump?

So the Sleaze brothers find a spot that seems fit for setting up their carnival and decide to just set it up. Could they have legally just set up a carnival where they please? Wouldn't they need a special permit or license from the state or town? Technically, we don't know that they didn't get the proper permits, and we don't know what extent of the law they follow, so maybe they did illegally set it up without any thought (though surely the authorities would notice if a carnival was suddenly set up into town).

When Big Bird flies to Illinois, we see a few random cities listed on the states in the map. I assume they are all made-up cities, but I wonder if there was any meaning to any of the names (like Hickville in Ohio, or Farmers City in Illinois). Since the town appears later in the film (and is mentioned much sooner), it's a shame they didn't have Toadstool written on the animated map.

I wonder if part of the scene where the gang makes their plans to find Big Bird was cut. Bob tells everybody who's driving what to do, but doesn't say anything about Ernie and Bert's plane or Super Grover. Drawings of those are on the map from the start so it's not like they decided to find Big Bird after everyone else made plans.
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
37,911
Reaction score
11,432
Hicksville is usually a nickname given to a small, rural town where most of the residents are country bumpkins.
 
Top