Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
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Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days (DVD)
Relive your favorite Sesame Street moments with this one of a kind Sesame Street Collection! Everyone remembers the familiar words to the Sesame Street theme song, and the even more familiar tune, but how much do you really know about the world's most famous street? When did Elmo first begin speaking in that world-famous falsetto? Can you name the musician that sang Slimey into space? Which Muppet was most distraught by Mr. Hooper's passing? Who is the voice behind Abby Cadabby? Can you guess which clip was voted the fan favorite in an online poll? Find the answers and much, much more packed into this special anniversary DVD set, which includes clips from all 40 seasons, interviews with cast and crew, including Jim Henson, as well as amazing behind-the-scenes peeks at how Muppet magic is created.]]>
Sesame Street has been educating and entertaining kids for 40 years. But the kind of TV programming for children that we currently take for granted didn't exist until Joan Ganz Cooney and Lloyd Morrisett dreamed up the concept of curriculum-based, educational children's television in the late 1960s. By 1969, lots of research, consultation with educators, and testing had culminated in Sesame Street--a show that was groundbreaking not only for its educational content, but also for its integrated cast and realistic setting. Amazingly, the show hasn't really changed all that much in 40 years--it still maintains its focus on educating kids and helping them understand and deal with things they're likely to encounter in their real lives. It accomplishes those goals with great characters, skilled puppetry, and the latest technological advances in animation. Summing up 40 years of Sesame Street programming in about five hours is no easy task, but this two-disc set is a great compilation of "best-of" memories, arranged by season. Classic scenes with Ernie singing "Rubber Ducky" and Kermit crooning the moving ballad "It's Not Easy Being Green" are obvious favorite choices, as are recurring segments such as the "Pinball Machine Count" (sung by the Pointer Sisters), "Ladybug Picnic," "Monsterpiece Theatre," and Cookie Monster attacking pile after pile of cookies. Scores of famous singers, actors, and sports stars have guest starred on Sesame Street over the years. This compilation includes performances by Lena Horne, Henry Winkler, Mr. (Fred) Rogers, James Taylor, Smokey Robinson, Pee-wee Herman, Marilyn Horne, Tony Bennett, Robert De Niro, Olamide Faison, Alicia Keys, Matt Lauer, David Beckham, and Neil Patrick Harris. In addition to an assortment of typical Sesame Street segments featuring everyone's favorite characters, both Muppet and human, there are also several hugely memorable episodes, including when Big Bird learns that Mr. Hooper has died and isn't ever coming back, Luis and Maria's wedding and the birth of their first child, Snuffy's first appearance before someone besides Big Bird, and the time a hurricane blew away Big Bird's nest. Other favorite segments like "Elmo's World," "Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures," various alphabet and counting songs, and a star-filled rendition of "Sing, Sing a Song" are also included in the compilation. Among the bonus features are optional pop-up facts and "Behind the Street" scenes; interview footage with actors/puppeteers, producers, and puppet designers/builders; TV montages; a fan-favorite scene; and a preview of "Abby's Flying Fairy School," a segment that features Sesame Street's first-ever CGI animation. Whether reliving childhood days watching the show or sharing it with a whole new generation, everyone will be thoroughly entertained by this great collection of Sesame Street programming. --Tami Horiuchi
Over 50 minutes of ultra-rare, never-before-seen backstage footage, interviews, and surprises
Pop-up facts covering the entire history of the show
Segments from all 40 seasons
24-page commemorative booklet
Sneak peek at all-new CG animated segment "Abby's Flying Fair School"
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1. Sesame Street Opening -Opening theme from the very first season.
2. Henson #1 Song -A song all about the Number 1, where Jim Henson falls down a flight of stairs carrying 1 wedding cake.
3. Rubber Duckie -Ernie sings his renowned tune to his rubber duckie in the bathtub.
4. I Love Trash -An early clip from the series where an orange(!) Oscar sings his favorite tune about trash.
5. Batman Up/Around/Through -Animated educational clip from "Batman" cartoon.
6. If I Knew You Were Coming -Ernie sings this old show tune while baking a cake for an impatient Cookie Monster.
7. Bein' Green -Kermit the Frog sings his melancholy theme alone in his swamp.
1. Bert & Ernie Banana In Ear -Ernie has a banana in his ear, driving Bert nuts.
2. Henson Queen Of Six -Stop-motion animated segment about the Queen of 6.
3. MAD Song -Some hippie Muppets sing about feeling angry.
4. Sorting Song With Cookie Monster -Cookie Monster sings "One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other" song with plates of cookies.
1. Mad Painter #5 -An absent-minded painter looks for the perfect place to paint a Number 5.
2. Bienvenido Song -Bob and Louis sing a song half in English and in Spanish about going to a party.
3. Lady Bug Picnic -Popular animated segment about twelve lady bugs who have a picnic.
1. Harry & John-John Count -Harry Monster and a child count to 20.
2. Talking Loud/Talking Soft -Some Muppet kids in a classroom demonstrate talking in a loud voice and a soft voice.
3. Remembering Bread, Milk, Butter -Animated segment where a little girl runs to the store for her mother and remembers her shopping list all by herself.
4. Kermit News Sleeping Beauty -Kermit covers a news story about Prince Charming coming to rescue Sleeping Beauty, with unexpected results.
5. Bert & Ernie Bert's Bust -Ernie has constructed a statue of Bert, but it's missing a nose...
1. Fat Cat -Some Muppets sing a rhyming song, where one of the singers keeps going berserk with the rhymes.
2. O-Orange Man -Animated segment where a man discovers an orange and proceeds to drink from it, draining all the color from the fruit.
3. Lena Horne: How Do You Do? -Lena Horne sings a song to a shy Grover about introducing himself.
4. Doin' The Pigeon -Bert demonstrates how to preform his favorite dance.
1. Super Grover: Exit -Super Grover becomes trapped trying to rescue a child, who doesn't really need his help finding the exit to a playground.
2. Typewriter: N-Nose -Animated segment where a typewriter who sings "Nooo-nooo-nooo-nooo-nooo-nooo" is sneezed away by a large nose.
3. Invisible Ice Cream -A shady character tries to trick Ernie into buying fake ice cream.
1. Pinball Animation #7 -Popular animated segment of the classic Pinball machine sung by the Pointer Sisters, featuring the Number 7.
1. People In Your Neighborhood -Bob et al sing the popular song about the people you meet in your neighborhood.
1. Fonzie On/Off/On -The Fonz from Happy Days demonstrates "On" and "Off" with a jukebox.
2. Clips from Hawaii -Rare scenes from when the cast went to Hawaii, where they tried to get Mr. Hooper to go surfing, plus Snuffy being dropped onto the Island by helicopter.
3. I-Beam -Scenes of an I-beam being forged at a steel foundry.
1. Telly Plugs In -Rare very unusual first-ever segment with Telly Monster.
1. Star Wars: One You Go Beep -R2-D2 and C-3PO visit the Street to help Big Bird with his numbers.
2. Kermit News: Foot Snuggies -Kermit interviews a Dr. Nobel Price at his lab, where he has re-invented the sock.
3. Geometry Of Circles -Abstract animated segment of a colorful pattern being drawn onto a circle, to the sound of avant-garde vocalization.
4. Monsterpiece Theater: Me Claudius -Some Muppets give examples of the word "Me", and features Elmo with a very strange voice.
5. Martians: Radio -The "Yip Yip" aliens arrive on earth and discover a radio.
6. Me Lost Me Cookie At The Disco -Cookie Monster sings a song about a cookie he mislaid at a Disco.
1. Hello Hello Hello Song -Big Bird and the cast address the viewing audience singing a song about saying "Hello".
2. Dancing Dog Imagines -Animated segment where a child is afraid there is an alligator under his bed, but it's just his singing, dancing dog fooling him.
3. Two-Headed Monster: Telephone -The Two-Headed Monster demonstrates using a Telephone.
4. Bring Your Own Can Night -Oscar tries to sneak his friends into the movies, hiding all of them in his trash can.
5. Mister Rogers Returns -Mr Rogers (of Mr Rogers' Neighborhood) discusses the concept of imagination with Big Bird.
1. Making Crayons -A girl gazes into an orange crayon, which leads to a music video of crayons being made at the Crayola factory.
2. Diana Ross: Believe In Yourself -Diana Ross sings to Big Bird a song about having confidence.
3. Bert & Ernie: Fish Call Quiet/Loud -Ernie demonstrates to Bert his unorthodox method of catching fish.
4. Madeline Kahn: Friendship Song -Madeline Kahn teaches a song to some of Big Bird's little feathered friends.
1. Honker Duckie Dinger Jamboree -Ernie sings a lively tune at a farm with his Rubber Duckie, along with some Honkers and Dingers.
2. James Taylor: Jellyman Kelly -James Taylor sings to a bunch of kids about a man who loves to eat jelly.
3. Bert & Ernie Snowman -Bert has to explain to Ernie that his snowman will not be lonely when they leave the park, as it is not alive.
4. We All Sing The Same Song -Kids sing a song at a playground about the differences and similarities between people.
1. Teeny Little Super Guy -Super Guy helps his nephew become less nervous about starting school.
2. Just Because -Rare segment where the cast explains Mr. Hooper's death to a confused Big Bird.
1. Peanut Butter Factory Song -A girl wonders how peanut butter is made, which leads to a music video showing peanut butter being made at a factory.
2. Smokey Robinson: U Got A Hold On Me -Smokey Robinson tries to elude a clingy Letter "U" while singing a song to the tune of "You Got A Hold On Me".
1. Elmo's Make Believe Trip -First-ever full-length segment featuring Elmo, where he prepares to leave on an imaginary trip.
2. Batty Bat Song -The Count sings about how he learned to dance and count.
3. Snuffy Is Seen -Rare segment where the cast sees Snuffy for the first time, who up until now had only been seen by Big Bird.
1. Put Down The Duckie -(Celebrity Version) Hoots the Owl explains in a song to Ernie that he must put down his beloved rubber duckie if he wants to play the saxophone.
2. Sing Your Synonyms -Maria and Louis visit a museum and learn that although they use different words to describe what they see, they have the same meaning.
1. Pee Wee Herman's Alphabet -Pee Wee Herman says his creepy lowercase alphabet.
2. Maria and Luis Get Married -Rare musical segment showing the cast attending the wedding of Maria and Luis.
3. African Alphabet -Kermit et al sing an African-style alphabet.
1. OOOO-KLAHOMA! -Kermit directs a stage musical where lead singer Forgetfull Jones keeps singing the wrong vowel.
2. Meet The Baby -Rare segment where the cast meet Maria and Luis' newborn daughter, Gabby, at the hospital.
1. Monsterpiece Theater: The King And I -Grover (as the King) dances with a lowercase Letter "I".
2. AlphaQuest: Letter R -A girl wanders into a hall of doors and opens the door to the world of the Letter "R".
3. Monster In The Mirror -Grover sings the "Wubba Wubba" song. (Note: the version on this DVD is NOT the Celebrity version.)
4. Elmo's Song -Elmo shares a song he wrote with Big Bird and Snuffy.
5. Grover's Restaurant: Most Important Meal -Grover explains a food chain to a frustrated customer.
1. Cecille The Ball: I'm Gonna Get To You -An orange ball with big lips sings about various ways to get around.
1. Does Air Move Things? -The voice of Maria asks a man in a wind storm if air can move things, just before he blows away.
2. What's The Name Of That Song? -The cast sings a song where no one can completely remember the words, much to the chagrin of Oscar.
1. Oh What A Fabulous Party -Wacky animated segment about some kooky characters at a party.
1. Marilyn Horne: C Is For Cookie -Opera singer Marilyn Horne sings "C Is For Cookie" with operatic flair.
1. Arrested Development: Pride -The group Arrested Development sing a song about having pride in who you are.
2. Dance Theater Of Harlem: Five Birds -Big Bird counts 5 Swan-Lake style ballet dancers.
3. Luxo Jr.: Front/Back -The Pixar lamp demonstrates "Front" and "Back".
4. My Name Is Zoe -Song where Zoe introduces herself and spells her name.
5. B Is For Bubble -Song showing kids blowing bubblegum.
1. The Spin Doctors: Two Princes -The group The Spin Doctors visit Sesame Street and sing a song about Zoe's play date with Elmo and Telly to the tune of "Princes".
1. Fay Family: To Market -Segment featuring anthropomorphic dogs acting out the rhyme "To Market To Market".
1. Tony Bennett: Slimy To The Moon -Tony Bennett sings about Slimy the Worm's journey into space to the tune of "Fly Me To The Moon".
2. Count Me In -Song about how unique and special people are, showing people of various ethnicities dancing and celebrating.
1. Patti La Belle: Gospel Alphabet -Patti La Belle sings a soulful alphabet with Muppet friends.
1. The Goo Goo Dolls: Pride -The group The Goo Goo Dolls sing a song with Elmo about all the things he's proud of to the tune of "Slide".
2. Celebrity Sing -Various celebrities sing the tune "Sing".
1. Robert DeNiro: The Actor Prepares -Robert DeNiro explains to Elmo how an actor mentally prepares for a role by imagining.
2. My Nest, My Home -Big Bird is distraught when his nest is destroyed after a hurricane hits the Street.
3. Elmo's World Games: Mr. Noodle -Mr. Noodle and his brother show Elmo how they jump rope.
1. Bird On Me -Paper cut-out style animated segment where a hippo laments about some birds who won't get off his back.
2. Destiny's Child: New Way To Walk -The group Destiny's Child sings "New Way To Walk" with Zoe, Grover and Elmo.
3. Fire On The Street -After firefighters put out a grease fire at Hooper's Store, Elmo is too frightened to go back in.
1. ABC Hip Hop -Miles, along with Elmo, Zoe, Telly and others and sing a hip-hop version of the alphabet song.
1. TJ: Me And My Chair Song -Animated segment where a boy named TJ sings about how his wheelchair helps him get around.
2. Elmo's World: Lord Of The Feet -Elmo's pet fish Dorothy, imagines Elmo riverdancing.
3. Six Feet Under -Count Von Count watches his favorite TV program "Six Feet Under", where he counts six feet under a table.
1. Alicia Keys: Dancin' -Alicia Keys and Elmo sing a song about how they love to dance to the tune of "Fallin'".
2. A Cookie Is A Sometimes Food -Hoots the Owl sings to Cookie Monster about making healthy food choices.
1. Abby's Arrival -First-ever segment featuring the fairy-in-training Abby Cadabby.
2. Matt Lauer Interviews Cookie Monster -Matt Lauer interviews Cookie Monster asking him why he choose to eat fruit over cookies.
3. Law & Order Special Letters Unit -A Muppet version of Law & Order has trouble searching for a missing Letter "M".
1. Can't Say The Alphabet Enough -Gabby, Maria and Gina sing the alphabet "Dream Girls" style.
2. I Love Every Part Of You -Rosita teaches Gina some Spanish words in a song.
1. Feist 1234 -The Canadian music artist Feist sings about her favorite Number 4 with Muppet friends.
2. The Golden Triangle Of Destiny -"Texas Telly" has an Indiana Jones-style adventure learning about shapes.
3. David Beckham: Persistent -David Beckham guest stars in a segment with Elmo about the meaning of the word "Persistent".
4. Plain White T's -Animated segment where the group the Plain White T's provide the singing voices for some singing Letter Ts to the tune of "Hey There Delilah."
5. Neil Patrick Harris: The Shoe Fairy -Neil Patrick Harris sings a song about being the Shoe Fairy.
6. Bert & Ernie's Great Adventures: Penguin -Clay animated segment where Bert and Ernie trek to Antarctica and look after a penguin egg.
1. Guess The Seasons Song -Abbey, Rosita and Zoe sing about the seasons of the year.
2. D-Dance -The Muppets do their own version of the iPod silhouette ad.
(The following section of this review may contain spoilers, as it describes the Easter Eggs and more.)
Special Features Disc 1:
1. Pop-Up Facts
2. Behind The Street
3. TV Montage
4. Fan Favorite: Ernie has a series of strings around his fingers, but can't remember what any of them are for.
6. Easter Egg: Slow camera pan of original set.
Special Features Disc 2:
1. Pop-Up Facts
2. Behind The Street
3. Bonus Behind The Street Scenes
4. TV Montage
5. Preview New Segment: Abby's Flying Fairy School
7. Easter Egg: Time-lapse footage of present-day set being constructed.
Bonus 23-page booklet with info and facts of the history of the show.
I do have one minor problem with this DVD set- it is not closed-captioned. I myself am not hard of hearing, but I did want to simply read some of the lyrics of the songs, just for fun. I turned on the captioning on my TV set, and there were no captions. Nor is there a "language" menu on the DVD set to activate any captioning, either. The carton makes no mention of captions, either. So if your audience is hard of hearing or deaf, you may want to skip this DVD set. It's a shame it's not closed-captioned, which is pretty surprising, for an educational DVD.
I was also disappointed that some of the segments I remember most do not appear on this set ("The Telephone Rock" song; "The Word Is No" song; "Elmo And The Lavender Moon" song; "I'm A Little Airplane" song; "Monster In The Mirror" (Celebrity version); Elmo's "Imagination" song; "The African Animal Alphabet"; "I Don't Want To Live On The Moon" song; "Under The Street" song; etc.) But I realize that an entire collection featuring EVERY segment ever produced might be about 12 discs and 60 hours long!
I think they include pretty much all the popular ones here; not everybody has a TV memory as good as mine! But I'm hoping that CTW will someday release a Definitive "Ultimate Fan Collection"- that would be great.
Until then, we'll be more than satisfied with this memorable, very well presented DVD set.
I wish they had included longer pieces of material. I realize it's 40 years worth of a show, but I would have happily paid a little more money for a larger collection of material - it's all packed onto 2 DVDs with very little bonus material.
I would have liked to see some behind the scenes stuff with Jim Henson and the rest of the Muppeteers, like what is on the DVD of The Labyrinth.
Mr. Hooper had already died by the time I was born but I must have seen old re-runs of the show at some point because I remembered the character. It's very touching to see that Big Bird still has the drawing of Mr. Hooper in his nest, I hadn't noticed that until recently. Sesame Street has always found ways to teach, entertain and help kids understand weighty issues, I think the way they dealt with the death of Mr. Hooper and the hurricane that destroyed Big Bird's nest were poignant and appropriate - I admit, both made me cry.
In all, it's still a great collection well worth the price, I just wish there were longer clips and more of them - maybe for the big 50th anniversary of the show they'll expand upon this set.