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Jan 182017
 

Sesame Street has yet another musical feature. Sesame Street: Sing, Hoot and Howl With The Sesame Street Animals focuses on songs about different animals with Big Bird as the host. Many animals come to a barn house called the Sing, Hoot, and Howl Club and request animal songs. Even though a wolf, who looks a lot like Jackman Wolf from Sesame Street Rock and Roll, plays piano the songs are all featured in segments.

These segments are from Sesame Street Old School, though most of them use live footage to coincide with the song, like Hardworking Dog and Stardust. These kinds of segments used to be hard for me to follow because they tend to run long. Looking back now, these segments are pretty good. One thing’s for sure. You will never find clips like this on Sesame Street today.

Still I prefer the songs that were performed by Sesame Street characters. Some of those include Proud to be a Cow by Gladys the cow, Cluck Around the Clock by Chrissy and the Alphabeats, and Baa Baa Bamba performed by Luis (Emilio Delgado) and some animals.

The subplot is mostly about the lion trying to request a song, but keeps getting interrupted by other animals giving their requests, especially Gladys the cow. Eventually, the lion gets his request but had to use his loud roar to scare everyone to make it happen.

One song that was really beautiful was We are All Earthlings, performed by a group of animals. Elmo also sings with the group with an unknown character that sounds much like Gobo Fraggle.

This was a good feature with another creative theme. I guess it goes to show that animals love music as much as people do.

Jul 292015
 

Sesame Street: Learning About Letters is pretty straightforward. Big Bird hosts a feature on every letter of the alphabet and Telly monster provides different things that start with each letter. Sometimes it’s a couple of things, but mostly just one.

There are also segments about the different letters, but unlike The Alphabet Jungle Game, only some of the letters get segments while the others only get a quick run-through. I thought that felt too fast, but the reason was probably to make sure the feature doesn’t run too long.

Some of the classic segments include Cookie Monster singing C is for Cookie, Ernie and Bert singing about the letter L, and Cookie and Harry monster singing about foods that start with M.

When Telly gets to the letter E, Oscar reveals the four elephants living in his trash can. This used to confuse me. How could Oscar fit an elephant in that trashcan of his, let alone four? Plus, only the trunks are revealed. So that makes me wonder how big these elephants actually are.

Another classic clip called Sign Alphabet features the whole alphabet by zooming in on each letter that’s found on random signs or graffiti in the city. This brings me back because I used to like looking at the city signs when I was a kid. I didn’t know what a lot of the signs meant, but I liked the big letters on them.

After finishing the alphabet, Luis (Emilio Delgado) reads a story called The King Banishes the Letter P. This is about a king named Peter the persnickety that was hit by a ping pong ball and bumped into his pet porcupine. That upset him so much that he banishes everything that begins with the letter P, which was more than he bargained for. This story was nice and reminds me of some of the classic old Muppet fairytale specials that feature King Goshposh.

Overall, this was a good feature. I would’ve expected at least a few more segments, but this works very well for a Sesame Street alphabet feature.

Sep 112010
 

Whether you’re a fan of the classic Sesame Street material, or of the more modern version, Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days has it all. As difficult as it is to confine that many seasons on one two-disk set, each chapter features only a handful of the most popular segments of that season. Some seasons show more than others do.

Let’s start with disk one, which features seasons 1-20. Most of the earlier segments were not on either Sesame Street Old School disk set. Some of which I’ve never seen before, but I do remember certain songs like Rubber Ducky and I Love Trash because I used to have some of the record albums when I was a kid.

One of the classic Bert and Ernie segments featured is the first time Ernie removes Bert’s nose, which is used to complete a clay bust he made. I used to wonder if Ernie’s nose came off just as easily. If not, I don’t understand why only Bert’s nose is detachable, unless he had some kind of cosmetic surgery.

Super Grover is a classic reoccurring segment. He’s a good flier, but his landings are something else. Now Super Grover comes to people’s rescue, but all he does is talk too much and the victim figures out the problem without Grover’s help. Grover has similar issues when it comes to teaching others about anything. It’s like the pupils always know more than he does.

Here’s something I learned recently on this disk set about Telly monster. On his first appearance in season ten, he was Television Monster, complete with antennas and spinning eyes. It’s definitely different from the Telly monster I remember.

And let’s certainly not forget the Two-Headed monster. They don’t speak English, but they sure know how to read words. The Electric Company would’ve liked this character.

Some classic scenes on this disk set include when Mr. Hooper (Will Lee) had passed away and Big Bird learns about death and loss, everyone discovering that Snuffleupagus was real after thinking that he was make-believe (It sure took them long enough.), and Luis (Emilio Delgado) and Maria’s (Sonia Manzano) wedding. “Don’t drop the rings, Elmo. Please, Elmo, don’t drop the rings.”

Disk two features segments from seasons 21-40. At around this time, the series was changing drastically. In fact, I’ve read that Sesame Street’s target audience went from preschoolers to toddlers. That’s why Elmo has become the more popular character now.

However, it’s not a total loss here. Some of the old characters are still around. Here are some new things discovered. Cookie Monster loves fruit as much as cookies, which for a time, was such a shock that even Matt Lauer had to cover the story. I can remember that this wasn’t the first time Cookie Monster tried to think healthy. Here’s a YouTube video I found of a classic segment of Cookie singing about healthy food. Unfortunately, it isn’t on this box set.

It’s also revealed that Count Von Count’s favorite TV shows are ones with numbers in the title, like Six Feet Under, Eight is Enough, and 60 Minutes. Who’d have thought?

This was a good compilation overall. One last item: One of the special features are interesting pop-up facts. I had no idea that the Pinball segments were sung by the Pointer Sisters.