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  3. Sesame Street Season 49
    Sesame Street's 49th season officially began Saturday November 17 on HBO. After you see the new episodes, post here and let us know your thoughts.

Elmo in Grouchland: Kinda disappointing.

Discussion in 'Sesame Street' started by peyjenk, May 12, 2008.

  1. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    So I watched The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland for the firstt time the other day, and I have to say that I was pretty disappointed. I grew up loving Follow That Bird, and so was expecting something like that; witty and mature but still cute and sweet. Instead, it was basically an hour-and-a-half Elmo's World segment.

    In hindsight, I should have expected to be more disappointed. I wish they had included more of the other SS characters (human and Muppet). I was so excited with Maria, Gordon, Big Bird, et al went down the tube, but then they just got stuck in jail for the rest of the movie! All of the scenes with those characters really shone, but almost everything with Elmo just dragged. Elmo's a cute little guy, but I just don't think he's enough to hold together a whole movie.

    I'd type more, but the library is about to close. :)

    What did you guys think of it?
     
  2. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    Well, it isn't as great and sophisticated as Follow That Bird, but I will admit that it does have it's moments. Even with Elmo. I think we saw more emotional range in Grouchland than we had before then with him. He started to become more 3-demensional and there are some touching scenes. It also has a great lesson/message which Sesame Street has always been able to achieve in their scripts.
     
  3. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    I just watched it a gian recently and I thought it was pretty good. It was no FTB, but it was funny. My favorite part was Huxley's "Make It Mine" song.
     
  4. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I can't see how people would be dissapointed by a movie called "Elmo in Grouchland." it does deliver on it's promise... Elmo going to Grouchland and having an adventure. If you're not expecting at least 75% of screen time of Elmo, then you really have to rethink your opinions about it.

    Comparing this to Follow that Bird (what I call the ghost 4th Muppet Film, since technically it only counts as a Sesame Street Movie), is like comparing TMM to MFS.... well, okay, I suppose more like TMM to MTI. It's not a bad movie for what it is, but it was never meant to be quite another FTB.

    Personally, the only thing I really felt disappointed with was SW not paying or whatever to get Kermit a brief cameo somewhere.

    I feel the film, as an Elmo project is pretty good. I refuse to call it an Episode of Elmo's world, because... well... Elmo doesn't really do anything in EW but talk about subjects. We get no character emotion, no range of action, basically we don't get to know anything about Elmo.

    In fact, I feel that we need more projects LIKE EIG, and less like EW. Here, we saw Elmo for what he really is. A little kid with character flaws (his "Mine" phase with the blanket). He learns a valuable lesson and becomes richer for the experiance.

    Sure, we don't get nearly enough SS characters in it, focusing on new characters. But I feel that's basically because Frank was unable to do more than Grover's Cameo. And I'm guessing Jerry was busy at some point in the movie (you can tell, due to the voice change in Fat Blue). So, basically we get more of the SS only performers (I wonder if this was due to MFS being filmed... they seemed to come out just a season apart) like Carol, Marty, and Kevin.

    Though Dave Golez's cameo as the giant Chicken monster was amazing. i really wish he'd work more with the SS characters on occassion.
     
  5. dabauckham

    dabauckham Well-Known Member

    I kinda liked "Elmo in Grouchland." Certainly a lot more than I thought I would. The concept of a "Grouchland" amused me, and I agree with everything DRtooth and others said about it. It's infinitely more interesting than Elmo's world, and has a lot more character development.

    We would likely all agree that it can't hold a candle to FTB, but, all things considered...well, it was cute. At least they didn't make a movie focused on Oscar and slap a picture of Elmo on front of the DVD to sell more copies. :rolleyes:
     
  6. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    One other thing that was disappointing, the fact it didn't perform as well as they thought it would. I forget, didn't this movie just do fair at best? Since then, we haven't had a real Sesame Street Theatrical movie (not counting Kidtoons release of SS:Dinosaurs or the upcoming Abby in Wonderland).

    I have to say, SS looks gorgious on the big screen. A higher budget saw that SS is the big, busy street that they all intended. While not as impressive as the opening and ending shots of FTB, you really see SS more as a street than a staged TV show.
     
  7. BEAR

    BEAR Well-Known Member

    I have to agree with you here.
     
  8. Ilikemuppets

    Ilikemuppets Well-Known Member

    I thought is was okay. It was pretty good. Though they did a good job!:)
     
  9. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    I completely agree. SS really works well on the big screen... the colors really pop and the whole neighborhood comes to life. I wish they would (could?) do more ventures into that medium.
     
  10. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    I said it before... a movie focussing on Grover. A Super Grover superhero parody movie would be perfect this day and age (with Marvel diving into their more obscure reserves... and succeeding recently).
     
  11. frogboy4

    frogboy4 Inactive Member

    One Arena Not Suited For Elmo

    :grouchy: An Elmo film was a bad idea because the limited number of kids that target age that can actually go to a theater and sit still that long. The furry fella doesn't have enough of a following from us nostalgic older Sesame fans to warrant a trip to the theater either. This Elmo film appears to have been made for Elmo. If only he could buy enough tickets. It only grossed $17M domestically.

    :wisdom: Follow That Bird allowed the entire cast of characters to shine, however there was very little Oscar even - and in a story about Grouchland! Now they have made a limited release Abby-themed picture.

    For a Sesame Film to work (and one really could) it needs to be an ensemble effort. And why take a trip far away for most of the film when it's the perfect chance to broaden the world of the street creating sets for nooks and alleys we haven't seen before?

    :super: A Sesame film centered on monsters would be good because it gets Grover, Cookie and many others in the mix along with Elmo, but my feeling is that the red guy would still push them aside. Films are for viewers a little older than the Sesame crowd and need to be made a little more appealing to that target in order to bank any sizeable box office.

    Off the top of my head these are the types films I would green-light before Elmo in Grouchland…

    Ernie and Bert’s Global Vacation (they can visit international Sesame casts while life goes on back home), Super Grover: Monster of Mystery, Oscar’s family reunion, Sesame Street’s Monster Movie (that focuses on all of the monsters).
     
  12. peyjenk

    peyjenk Well-Known Member

    Thanks, Jamie, for articulating everything I meant but could not find words for in my original post. :)
     
  13. Drtooth

    Drtooth Well-Known Member

    The problem is this... it was an idea that sounded so good, that it wasn't as good as it turned out to be. Think about it. Tickle Me Elmos were selling left and right. he was starting to have his own segment on SS... a film seemed like the next step, right? But what you stated is exactly the problem. Older fans were turned off by Elmo, and the younger audience would be running around the aisles. It's more of something that would have warrented a DTV type release. I wouldn't doubt it did much better in video sales than Theatrical box office reciepts.

    Seems to me, if the film came out a couple years later, it may have been a slightly bigger success. You know, when the full fledged Elmo-centric SS was in full swing. Not to mention, this was a time before they recast any of Frank's roles. So we missed quite a few of his characters, and he just didn't record as much dialogue as he did in MFS (where he recorded Piggy, Fozzie, and Piggy all appearing onscreen at the same time).

    Had, let's say, Grover followed Elmo into Grouchland (as Super Gorver, in some attempt to save him) I feel there would be a lot more to the script. And had they had scenes in SS where characters were waiting for Elmo to get rescued, all gathering around worrying about him, and the others that ventured into Grouchland (FTB style), there would have been the potential to see a lot more favorite faces.

    I will say this... I think Mandy's performance as the villain in the picture holds up well to other villains in muppet movies... I'd say he fits right up there with Doc Hopper, Charles Grodin, Tim Curry as Long John Silver, the Sleeze Brothers, and Mrs. Finch (who isn't so much a villain, as an antagonist- there is a difference).

    But Vannessa Whatever as the Queen of Trash seemed bookended in.
     


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