It's Sesame Street Saturday again, and once again we welcome our good friend and guest reviewer Shane Keating for his review of the Sesame Street DVD Elmo and Abby's Birthday Fun! Also, check out our new Sesame Street Saturdays logo!
Elmo and Abby’s Birthday Fun!
Shane Keating (Oscarfan on Muppet Central Forum) - Hey everyone! Got a birthday? If not, what the heck are you?! If so, you’ll love “Elmo and Abby’s Birthday Fun!”; a 40 minute DVD all about birthdays! (What were you expecting? Bar mitzvahs?)
Like all of the Sesame DVDs out this year, the program stars none other than Elmo (shocker, huh?). However, this time Abby Cadabby joins him in a lesson about how birthdays are different in various places. So, let’s start the darned thing already!
As we begin, we find Elmo in the arbor setting up for Dorothy’s 2nd birthday party. I’m guessing that means that this particular fish has lived that long, unlike the others in the past decade. Abby poofs in and is fascinated by the fact that fish have birthdays. And apparently, Dorothy is actually 100 in “fish years”, which would make our normal days seem to her like the summer solstice in Antarctica.
After learning about the real world’s birthday traditions, Abby thinks it would be great to teach Elmo about the birthday traditions of Fairy Tale Land. So, she transports Elmo and herself to Fairy Tale Land to attend Little Red Riding Hood’s party. It’s here, in my opinion, that the DVD actually picks itself up and becomes more entertaining.
Once at the party, Elmo is introduced to Abby’s fairy tale friends – Little Red Riding Hood (who calls everyone “Grandma”), Jack (a klutz from all the stories involving someone named Jack), and Hansel and Gretel (who toss bread crumbs every chance they get). Elmo even gets to wear some floral head gear. (Even more organic than those paper hats no one wears any more.) Unlike real life birthday parties, at a fairy tale party, everyone gets a birthday wish. Stupid non-fiction world we live in!
When the time for games comes around, they all agree to play “Fetch a Pail of Water”, where they have to…fetch a pail of water (it caught me by surprise). Jack uses his birthday wish to make Elmo run faster to catch the pail. Take that, The Flash! Then they play “Pull Out the Plumb” (based on “Little Jack Horner” for you non-nursery rhyme buffs). They all stick their hands into a giant pie to find a plumb. I’m not sure where they got the pie, but I’d like to report the bakers for putting a tennis ball, a 35 pound barbell and even a monster inside the pie! Hansel, Gretel and Abby use their wishes to make Little Red get the plumb. “What a good girl am I!” she exclaims (which is favorite line from the video for some reason).
Next, it’s time to dance! Break out the iTunes and boogie down! Oh, but wait, this is fairy tale land, where they “dance gracefully around the maypole”. Elmo shows them a birthday dance song, which involves some kids jumping up and down, flailing their limbs. The perfect dance when you’ve had an overload of the sugary cake!
As much fun as they are having, Elmo realizes he has to get back home or else he’ll miss Dorothy’s party! Abby can’t send him back and she also has used up her wish so she can’t use that either. Everyone has used their wishes too, except Little Red, who selflessly uses her wish to send him home. Once back, we’re “treated” to an Elmo’s World episode all about birthdays! It’s like the gift you get from a relative you hate, but you don’t say it out loud.
One would expect when they buy a Sesame Street video to see a slew of clips from the show. Such is not really the case on this DVD. Only a couple of segments make the release, including Kingston Livingston’s performance of “A Cat Had a Birthday”. And what really seems like a waste is that most of the clips are used up in the first 10 minutes. To compensate, as a bonus feature, the street scene from episode 4170, from 2008 is included as well. A lot of the newer Sesame videos have included a bonus insert or two, but it’s not often we get a whole street scene.
So, is this DVD worth getting? I’d say yes. Sure, there’s there is a lot of Elmo and not many other characters in it, but the fairy tale scene is entertaining enough for you to share with your kids!
Buy Elmo and Abby’s Birthday Fun! on DVD today!