1 The Muppet Mindset: Confusing Things About "Follow That Bird"

Jun 25, 2013

Confusing Things About "Follow That Bird"

Michael Wermuth, Jr. - Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird is such a great movie, but it has many things that I am a bit confused about, or at least things that really get me thinking and wondering. Some are continuity errors, some are things that would have ended the movie sooner. Anyway, here are some things I am confused about Follow That Bird.

First of all, when Big Bird gets a postcard from Mr. Snuffleupagus about him planning to come and visit, and the Dodo's laugh, Big Bird thinks they won't allow Snuffy to visit because he's not a bird (and since this came out just before the adults finally saw him, I can't quite tell if they actually believe Big Bird), which is what makes him leave. But then the Dodos never exactly say that Snuffy can't visit at all, though when Big Bird says he wants to go home if Snuffy can't visit, they never point out that they didn't say that.

And now for a continuity error... Supposedly, Big Bird runs away later that night, and it's getting dark outside. It's also dark on Sesame Street when they watch the news report, which I assume is a live broadcast, but during Kermit's news report it's clearly daytime. I know that Illinois and New York have a one-hour time difference, but would it be significantly darker in New York than Illinois? And even if it were, Big Bird is seen watching the news report outside and it's as dark there as it was in New York, and Big Bird couldn't have gone too far by then (plus, as I said, it was dark when Big Bird left). And Miss Finch is interviewed at the Dodo's house, but is shown leaving, and shortly after Big Bird watches the report she just barely misses him.

Big Bird's letter to the Dodos said that he expected to get back to Sesame Street in three hours. That's at night time, then after the sun comes up and he's still heading home he still thinks it'll take three hours, being shocked when the truck driver tells him it's more likely to be three weeks. Big Bird should have known that it'd be more than three hours if it's daytime and he's still on his way home, unless he couldn't tell time. Or maybe he found some place to sleep.

Miss Finch and the Sleaze Brothers are all on their way to find Big Bird, but they know that he's on his way to Sesame Street. Why not just head for there, assuming he's in the right direction? Of course, we don't know that they weren't planning on that. After all, Miss Finch does show up on Sesame Street as soon as Big Bird finally returns.

In the first scene at the Sleaze Bros. Fun Fair, they have a big set-up and seem to have a staff, yet they also seem to be a traveling fair, with their supplies in a truck (which couldn't possibly hold everything) and they just set-up where they please. And after they set up in Toadstool it seems they are the only ones working at the fun fair.

A few more quick things to point out or question: What happens to Ernie and Bert's plane? After their big number they are seen with the others at the gas station and fun fair but we never see the plane at either place. Cookie Monster spent so much of the movie eating Gordon's car, so why don't they get him to eat the bars of Big Bird's cage? And finally, Sam Sleaze thinks he'll be rich with Big Bird in the fun fair, I guess he's not familiar with all the residents of Sesame Street that could make the place more money. In fact he saw other large talking birds AND a frog reporter on TV, why not go after them?

Anyway, that's a lot to question about such a great movie, so I guess it all can be forgiven. Though I must still wonder how they made that nighttime/daytime error regarding the news report.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier, muppetmindset@gmail.com


  1. You'd be surprised how many movies make the mistake about night time and day time. The Dark Knight Rises had motorcycles driving into a tunnel during the day, and when they came out, it was night. And it didn't show them stopping for a few hours.

  2. Maybe Kermit's news crew has powerful artificial lighting!

  3. I like your point out of the live report on TV. I can't believe I didn't pick up on that!

    Maybe the Sleaze Bros. crew quit on them. Wouldn't surprise me.

  4. I can answer the staff question.

    Many travelling fairs are made of up of a family or small company and then hire locals to help set up when they arrive at a new location. My guess is they hadn't hired anyone local yet or were in such a hurry they figured they could do it themselves.

  5. Maybe the scene where everyone finds out Big Bird is missing actually took place the next night and Kermit's news segment was prerecorded.

  6. I always wondered about Ernie and Bert when I was little, but that thought hasn't occurred in a while, so...
    Hugs and Giggles~Maria Gayle K.