Today on The Muppet Mindset, we're visited once again by guest writer Shane Keating, Muppet Central Forum's Oscarfan. Shane brings us great reviews of two recent Sesame Street DVDs, "Elmo Loves You" and "Bedtime with Elmo."
Bedtime with Elmo
Shane Keating (Oscarfan on Muppet Central Forum) - It’s time for bed! So grab your blankies, dollies and the new Sesame Street home video, “Bedtime With Elmo”. Running nearly 50 minutes, the program stars Elmo (of course) and his father, Louie, who’s recently just started to appear outside the “Talk, Listen, Connect” initiative series.
The video takes place on Sesame Street at nighttime, which makes for some very nice shots and angles of the street. However, we mostly stay in Elmo’s bedroom for the video. This is where the main plot takes place. It’s Elmo’s bedtime, but he doesn’t want to sleep. His dad then makes tireless efforts (pun intended) to get his son to sleep. Abby Cadabby briefly poofs in to overcome her fear of the dark.
Plot-wise, that’s really all I can say about the DVD. When it comes to the main storyline of it, it’s pretty uneventful. All the scenes, while full of nice tips for kids and parents about going to sleep, are pretty dull. There are occasionally things kids would enjoy (like corny jokes and a pretty bland new song), but parents really won’t.
However, the segments that appear in the video are nice. In a similar manner to the classic episodes of Sesame Street, the main story line is shown with various segments about sleep appearing in between each scene. My personal favorites include Ernie and Bert’s song about the importance of sleep and a sweet lullaby by Humphrey to his daughter, Natasha, singing “Goodnight” to each of her body parts (naming a few she doesn’t have in the process). I don’t understand why the videos can work in this format, and yet the actual episodes can’t. One segment I was surprised to not see was Joe Raposo’s “Everybody Sleeps”, or at least Suzie Kabloozie’s version (“Every Kitty Sleeps”). Plus, despite the fact that he’s practically retired, Herry Monster makes not one, but two appearances in the video.
Another interesting scene is the inclusion of Ernie and Bert’s song, “Imagination.” The performance included is the remake shot in 1998. However, the song features new Claymation sequences during each verse, which somewhat further push the idea of imagination. The animated scenes were done by the Italian animation studio, Misseri Studio, who also produces “Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures.”
One bonus segment is included on this DVD release. It’s a clip of Adrea Brocelli singing an opera lullaby (“Time to Say Goodnight”, to the tune of “Time to Say Goodbye”) to Elmo. Although it’s a pretty good song, having more features included would’ve been nice.
When it comes to plot, the DVD doesn’t offer much. But, the segments included make up for the dull plotline. So, is it worth it? I’d say yes. I mean, it’s a DVD. You could easily skip the scenes if you find them uninteresting.
Order your own copy of “Bedtime with Elmo” on DVD today!
Elmo Loves You
Shane Keating (Oscarfan on Muppet Central Forum) - Just in time for Valentines Day (unlike this review), it’s “Elmo Loves You!”, the first Sesame Street DVD of 2009. Just hearing the title will make most fans moan that the DVD will be all Elmo. They’d be blatantly wrong, as many other favorite characters are featured throughout the program, running around 40 minutes.
Elmo brings his art supplies into the garden with the intent of making a card for a special someone. But what will he put in it? That’s what he spends half of the video figuring out. Rosita joins him in figuring out what to put in the card. Grover also appears with them, being as helpful as he usually is (meaning not at all), so he goes off to interview people about love.
Once Elmo finishes his card, it is taken up by the wind! Rosita and Elmo chase after it, but with no luck. Super Grover makes his attempt at retrieving the card and saves the day (by accident, of course).
The video follows the “magazine” format of earlier Sesame Street episodes; having segments appear between the scenes. Among the segments included are a handful of adorable and classic bits featuring Grover asking kids about love, Cookie Monster pouring his heart out in a spoof of “You made Me Love You” and celebrity appearances by John Legend and Trisha Yearwood. The DVD also features a newly produced song titled “Love Sign”, a song about saying “I love you” with American Sign Language. It’s nice to see some sign language on the show since Linda left in 2003.
So, in conclusion, “Elmo Loves You” is a great DVD to teach your children about love and other emotions, with great songs and sketches. Some may complain about the Elmo overdose, but they’ll enjoy the classic moments throughout.
Order your own copy of "Elmo Loves You" on DVD today!
Special thanks to Shane for today's articles! Check back tomorrow when Kelly Masters' (RedPiggy) fan-fiction articles return!