Top Ten Sesame Street Animation Inserts
Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Sesame Street is perhaps best known for its Muppets, but the show also has a large number of great animated inserts as well. The following is a list of my top ten Sesame Street animated inserts. Note that this list does not include The King of 8 or Ladybug Picnic, two inserts that fans may expect to see in such a list. That is because while they are good, I do not care for them as much as other people may.
10. Henson S Claymation
A clay animated segment from the first episode featuring a snake named Sam, a skunk named Sissy, several soldiers, and other S words. Jim Henson provides the voice of Sam the Snake (not to be confused with Sammy the Snake) and some of the soldiers.
This was one in a series of clay animated letter segments from the first season, featuring the voice of Jim Henson. This S segment is the only one I’ve seen, and I feel it is underrated. It is a shame, because this cartoon is good, and I imagine that the others (which focus on such letters as Q and U) must be good as well.
9. Wanda the Witch
Another segment that premiered in the first episode, "Wanda the Witch" told the story of the title character who walked a pet weasel to a well to get water to wash her wig. It was animated by Tee Collins, who also animated the similar "Nancy the Nanny Goat" segment.
8. Pinball Number Count #2
I know, you may be thinking, how can I pick only one individual Pinball Animation segments? Well, this one show the ball traveling through a carnival setting, and I like the haunted house part of the carnival that gets glimpsed for a few seconds.
7. The Alligator King
Bud Luckey did several great, memorable animated number segments for Sesame Street, including "Martian Beauty," "Ladybug Picnic," and others, but I think that his best is "The Alligator King." In it, an alligator king who is feeling down offers to give his crown to one of his seven sons, whichever one can cheer him up.
Side Note: I’ve been thinking, a couple of decades later, the video game Super Mario bros. 3 introduced King Koopa’s seven kids, and they are reptiles like alligators. Hmmm, could Nintendo have been inspired by this Sesame Street animation?
6. Suzie Kabloozie and the letter F
The late-1990s introduced us to Suzie Kabloozie and her cat, Feff, who were both voiced by Ruth Buzzi. The segments were animated by Mo Williems. I believe that this segment is the first one, since at the end Suzie changes her cat's name from Jeff to Feff.
The plot tells the story of Suzie Kabloozie, who hates the letter F, until she gets her wish for all F items to disappear. Suzie Kabloozie would go on to appear in several segments for over a decade.
A funny parody of the song “Feelings”, sung by a mouse about four different felines with different emotions (happy, sad, angry, and surprised).
4. The Nobel Ostrich
Animated by Bruce Bayard, The Nobel Ostrich is very much done in the style of a nature documentary, but animated. This cartoon talks about the ostrich, and features a cameo by an animated Big Bird (and I also spotted a mouse who resembles Mickey Mouse).
3. Jazz #7
I think Jazz #7 is my favorite of the Jazz Numbers animated segments from the first season. I really like the look of the wizard with the 7 on his robe and head. But of course the main highlight is what appears in all of the Jazz Numbers segments: the spies and race cars.
2. Typewriter: N-Nose
The animated talking typewriter is probably a character most fans remember when they think of Sesame Street animation, and the N-Nose segment is one of the best ones. The typewriter types the letter N and then the word “nose”, and a large nose appears, sneezing him off-screen. Other great typewriter segments include “M-Magic”, “U-Umbrella”, and “A-Airplane."
1. Teeny Little Super Guy: Crossing the Street
The Teeny Little Super Guy is an animated illustration on a moving plastic cup, and the cast are also cup illustrations that can move, and they often use kitchen appliances as props. One of my favorites of the Teeny Little Super Guy segments is one in which Teeny Little Super Guy’s friend RW gets a red hat for his birthday (a red lid is used for his hat), but then the wind blows it off his head and into the street, leading to Teeny Little Super Guy giving RW a lesson in street safety.
One thing that’s a bit odd: RW’s hat is just a lid, not an animated hat drawn on his head, but the Teeny Little Super Guy does wear an animated hat within the illustration.
Honorary Mention: Geometry of Circles
I’d like to give honorary mention to the “Geometry of Circles” segments, with music by Phillip Glass. It’s a bit hard to describe the difference between them. They all feature a black background and involve one or more circles, often with certain patterns.
The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier