Question about "Follow that Bird"


Well-Known Member
Feb 14, 2007
Reaction score
The Muppets 2011 is not a film I would classify as "horrible". It received critical acclaim and performed reasonably well at the box office, grossing $165M worldwide on a $45M budget. However, I can see why some would consider it to be too sappy and wildly overrated. It definitely comes nowhere near the original trilogy.

I find the PG rating ironic, because this was quite possibly the tamest Muppet film to be released and yet is the first theatrical release to get one. Nowadays, studios are desperate to avoid the dreaded "G" rating and include the bare minimum amount of "adult content" to get their family films to a PG so they can be seen as something with a little bit of edge.

The content in the movie was nowhere near enough for it to get a PG. Every Muppet film that came before it (aside from maybe Muppet Christmas Carol) deserved a PG rating more than the 2011 one.
I didn’t really understand the PG rating myself, but eh. 🤷‍♂️

I remember seeing that and “Most Wanted” in my senior year of high school and second year of college respectively. Both really felt nice seeing them on the big screen and making a big comeback. “Most Wanted” definitely lead into that underrated TV series that I really think had more potential to grow had Disney not given it the axe after one season.


May 31, 2024
Reaction score
It’s a case where its American introduction series “Shining Time Station” was forced into the plot.

It could have easily just done fine as a made for TV movie exclusive to American audiences for “Shining Time Station” like how “Thomas and the U.K. Trip” was made exclusively for Japan during the production of season 3. You could film all the train stuff in the U.K. and the live action stuff in the U.S. and have George do all the voices for the characters and it could have done much better. I mean seriously, he had a GREAT range of voices for the characters in his narrations.

“The Great Discovery” is what honestly would have worked better for a theatrical movie, and it could have just as easily worked to continue with the more darker tones season 5 was going for.
I definitely did enjoy watching Follow That Bird. I did enjoy some scenes in The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (particularly the ones with Bert and Ernie), but it was just an average film for me.

When it comes to Thomas and the Magic Railroad, I have to admit I had no idea what Shining Time Station was at the time I originally watched the film. I also heard that many scenes were cut, and changes were made, after complaints from test audiences, which did also contribute to problems in the film. However, as I said before, it was still somewhat enjoyable for me, and its problems do not bother me as much as those in the Thomas & Friends fandom.


Well-Known Member
Mar 16, 2019
Reaction score
I had initially thought that Follow That Bird was released in July 1985, especially after learning about the CBC News interview with Big Bird to plug the film in July 1985. But apparently, the film was actually released to theaters very early in August that year. Back to the Future and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome were already dominating the box office for some weeks by that point, and they continued to dominate when Follow That Bird was released.

I did see the CBC News clip a week or two ago, and it was fascinating to see Big Bird appear on a program produced in Canada.