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Follow That Bird Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Classic Sesame Street' started by BEAR, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member

    Okay, there may have been a similar thread created for this but I thought I would start a new one.

    I absolutely adore this film. It was sooo well done and the writing, performing, art direction/camera work, and authenticity are great. I wish that there have been more Sesame Street films like this. Elmo in Grouchland pales in comparison to the first film. It just looked too cartoony. Whereas FTB captured the same sort of (Muppet) reality that the first Muppet films did. Did that even make sense? All the characters were well used and they seemed to make the best of everyone. They never underwrote the Muppet characters, they all got a chance to shine on screen in some way. Also, I loved the Count's car! I want it so bad. hehe. Even the familiar Muppet characters that aren't in the main focus of the film can still be seen and recognized on the street. I noticed so many old pals that I never noticed there before til i watched yesterday. Two-Headed Monster, Sherlock H., Mumford and so many others were in windows or in crowds of people and part of the overall atmosphere. Herry and Grungetta only had a line each but atleast they had their brief cameos. One thing I wondered about though. I wonder why Luis didn't have a bigger role in it. Gordon, Olivia, Linda and Maria had the biggest roles in the film as they were the humans that went on the trip, and atleast Bob had a very significant role as the sort of planner/organizer. Susan and Luis were there and had some lines but not in the film much at all. Surprising. I would expect Susan to maybe have more to do. Aside from Willy (Who said nothing), Luis is the one who was just sort of there. He probably had the least amount of lines. Of course all the human cast were wonderful regardless of their role size. For most of them it was probably their first feature film experience. The acting of the Muppets were also very impressive. It went way beyond what we are used to seeing on tv for an hour a day. They seemed to have more depth. More emotional. (Of course this movies plot is beyond numbers and letters) Especially Big Bird of course, but even Oscar showed parts of his character that we aren;t used to. When Big Bird says goodbye to him, Oscar almost looks shocked "Thats the nicest thing you've ever said to me." and then he brushed his forhead. Also, look at the close up of him in the scene where Bird leaves. He looks down and sort of cocks his head to the side. Ever wonder what he was actually thinking about? The subject matter of race is also hinted at in the movie. One of the main themes. Acceptance and being okay with living in a world where everyone is different. Birds don't have to live with other birds to have a family. Sesame Street is the best family anyone could have. Incidentally, Bert and Ernie in the plane was histerical. Loved it, but why did Bert have to bring his bottlecaps with him?

    What did you all think of the movie? Lets talk about it!
  2. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    yeah, 14 years is a long gap. I know that Elmo In Grouchland wasn't that successful, but how successful was Follow That Bird? Was it just as successful as an average Sesame Street production?

    Technically, all of the characters were not there. Even counting all characters who were on the show at the time the movie was made, Chris And The Alphabeats, Slimey, Guy Smiley and Fat Blue weren't there. I'm not sure if Lefty was still making new appearances at the time this movie was made, but he wasn't there. But you are right about how all of the main characters in the movie got a good enough amount of screen time.

    Actually, Grungetta had two lines. She talks when big Bird first comes back to sesame street (when the boy at map put big bird on sesame street), and when maria says that they have grouches, she says, "ah, leave us out of this!".

    Actually, Willy did have a line in the first street scene. Big Bird says, "Hi, Willy!" and willy says, "Hi, Big Bird!". Also, in the scene where Luis is observing the boy at the map playing with the fake vehicles on the map (ironically, one of the scenes where Luis had a line), Willy is pushing his food stand outside Hoopers Store, and it sounded like somebody was saying, "get your willy weiners here!". I would assume it was Willy saying that (Although I am not sure if he actually called them "Willy Weiners"), although the voice sounded a bit different from how it sounded at the beginning (but that was a real short line, so it's hard to remember the voice), and the voice sounded a bit like a richard hunt characters voice.

    Luis also appeared in Elmo In Grouchland without any lines, and I wonder why David didn't appear in this movie. it seems like Luis also didn't appear in many of the early Sesame Street specials: Christmas Eve on Sesame Street, A Special Sesame Street Christmas, and Don't Eat The Pictures don't include him, although with the exception of a special sesame street christmas most of the main humans appeared in those specials (well, I gues that somebody had to watch the fix-it shop.... ).
  3. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    my thoughts

    I really liked this movie. some of my favorite parts include:

    *The grouch Anthem

    *the cameos by kermit the frog and chevy chase

    *anything with the sleaze brothers (one of my favorite parts with them is when they are pulled over, when Sid starts crying, the State Topper says, "Be a man", Sid says, "I don't want to be a man", and Sam says, "SHUT UP, SID, SHUT UP!")

    *I like ernie and berts upside-down world sequence

    *i like all of the scenes that take place on the street.

    *i like the grouch diner sequence.

    I think that Oscar and Cookie Monster both stole the show in this movie.
  4. MWoO

    MWoO Active Member

    What was great about the movie was that it was a big bird movie, but every scene did not have to include big bird. In Elmo in Grouch land it was as if every scene had to invclude Elmo in some way, many times alone.
  5. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Actually, in addition to too many elmo-centered scenes, I think that it also had too many sceens with Huxly and the pesties (although i do like both Huxly and the pesties).
  6. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member


    I won't disagree with this. Oscar definitely helped drive the film. Cookie Monster was just a great comedic supporting character. His little moments were always so great. The interactions between him and Gordon were hilarious. Eating the car? I can't believe he was eating the car!

    Also, thanks minor muppetz for a few of your (rather nitpicky, but appreciated) corrections. Grungetta did have one extra line. And I suppose you are right about Willy's line at the beginning, I just never hear him. I hear Bird saying "Hi Willy" but never the response. I hear Bob's response. As for Guy Smiley, Alphabeats, Lefty and Fat Blue not being in the film, I suppose that there just wasn't a place or need for them, not even in the atmosphere of the street. Why would Guy be there except to do a game show is what i would think. Also, I was basically referring to the main characters on SS at the time were put in the movie in featured roles and the less principle/secondaries on the show just had cameos or walk ons in the film. So happy that Barkley was in the movie. I loved that dog!
    Which reminds me...Bob probably stayed home because he had to take care of Barkley and watch over Hooper's Store. Luis probably had to stay at the fix-it shop, and Susan needed to stay behind as well. You need atleast one person to stay back at "headquarters".
  7. Daffyfan2003

    Daffyfan2003 Active Member

    That's a good way of looking at it, but what about David? Didn't he run "Hooper's" at the time?
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    This is one of my all-time favorite movies. What I don't understand is why they had to travel all the way to Canada to film the movie, on a different Sesame Street sound stage, when they had perfectly good set where they were in New York. BTW, it's been a while since I've seen this movie, but isn't John Candy in it as well?
  9. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member


    I dunno, but they rebuilt a different Street set other than the one used on tv. The new one would be better for making a movie as it looks more real and 3 demensional. They wouldn't use the tv set because it is procenium one sided street. This way they can show the whole neighborhood. A big cast, bigger set. Also, doesn't the FTB set look more real? I dunno about you, but if it were an actual place, that is what it would probably look like and on film it was beautiful!
  10. Ziffel

    Ziffel New Member

    I really loved "Follow That Bird" a lot too. I saw it back when it came out in '85 and then taped it off HBO and watched it again and then again a few years later, but haven't seen it since then. It's one of my older movies that I've been meaning to rewatch for a long time now.
  11. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member

    Isn't it a beautiful film. i mean, it just looks so good the way they made it. Very authentic. The on location shots are good too.

    The writing was also very smart. It never played down to its audience which is something Sesame Street had believed against from the beginning. It was a kids movie but there wasn't any reason why parents and adults couldn't enjoy it as well. It was treated and made like any other of the classic Muppet films. Obviously there was slightly less "edge". The comedy was great. One of my favorite parts was when Bird is on the plane and he starts singing really loud "LA LA LA LA LA!" and those two ladies in front of him turn around and give him a dirty annoyed look. Makes me laugh so hard. It makes me think of people who get irritated on planes or in restaraunts when another person;s child is screaming loud or misbehaving or just being annoying and everyone looks over at the parents with that bugged look. but the best part here is that Big Bird stops himself with a clearing of the throat *ahem*
  12. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    Cookie Monster should have ate the lock on big birds cage, or maybe even the bars. geez.....

    I also feel that the set in this movie was better than the usual set.
  13. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member


    Yeah you would think if he can eat through a car, he can chew apart the bars on the cage in a flash. He was a little too interested in the Cookie;s though. Besides, you know how much noise he makes when he eats, maybe he would have been to loud eating the cage and waking the brothers up. Also, that was sort of Linda's shining moment of the film when she's the one who got the keys.
  14. GeeBee

    GeeBee New Member


    Well, the actor who played David, Northern Calloway, had been long deceased by the time Elmo In Grouchland was made. However, I have often wondered why David didn't appear in Follow That Bird which was in the mid eighties when Northern Calloway was still alive and very much a part of the show. David was the only thing missing in that classic movie, FTB.
  15. BEAR

    BEAR Active Member


    That's the movie that Minor muppetz was referring to in regards to David's appearance, not Grouchland. I know its hard to tell from the way it was written, but i got it.
  16. AAO

    AAO Member

    This Is My Favorite Film - Ever!

    I love this film! It's nothing but fun! Although I love "The Blues Brothers", this one takes the award. Big Bird has and always will be my favorite Muppet. Then, having him star in his own motion picture was ten times better! Everytime I watched this film I would get excited over the fact that the cast was "leaving" Sesame Street and going off on the road to save that big yellow bird. The only part I hated was that Snuffy couldn't join them. It would have been nice to have seen Big Bird and Snuffy on the run - like a buddy movie - Bob Hope and Bing Crosby films. The Sleaze Brothers, Dave Thomas and Joe Flaherty, were terrific. I had seen their work on SCTV. I especially love the part when they capture poor Big Bird while they're playing cards. If you listen, you can hear Ronnie Milsap singing "Working On My Attitude" on a radio in the background. But anyway, when Big Bird is begging them to let him out. I laugh everytime he says, "Don't I even get a phone call? I'll be really good." :p I just wish the DVD would have had better "special features". I mean, how hard is it to get a camera on Caroll Spinney and ask a few questions. I read his book "The Wisdom Of Big Bird", he could give us a lot more details on the making of this wonderful picture. I just hope a special edition comes out soon! I'd also like to see Miss Finch return to Sesame Street. Nothing too chaotic, but just to let us know where she's been since 1985! :D
  17. minor muppetz

    minor muppetz Well-Known Member

    At the time that this movie was made, all of the sesame street adults thought that Snuffy was Big Birds imaginary friend, and ironically they didn't see him for the first time untill a few months after this movie was released. You might have noticed that this movie didn't have any direct refferences to him being imaginary. the movies producers were probably aware that Snuffy would be revealed to be real soon and didn't want the film to be dated when it was released on video (although there was a book inspired by this film, Big Bird Goes To The carnival, which talks about Snuffy being imaginary). either that, or the producers weren't sure if this movie would be released before or after Snuffy was seen as being real.

    I agree. They also appeared as a pair of mountees in one of my favorite episodes of That '70s Show, titled "Canadian Road Trip".

    That song is listed in the song credits along with something called "All Together Now", which I beleive is the song that plays on Gordons car radio when Super grover flies into Gordons car.

    I agree. I wish I knew more behind the scenes information about this movie. This movie wasn't even mentioned in Sesame Street Unpaved, and was hardly mentioned in Jim Henson: The Works. is there somebody who worked on this movie who doens't want detailed behind-the-scenes information revealed?
    :mad:
  18. Gonzo14

    Gonzo14 Active Member

    i just noticed, this movie isn't completely Elmo-less, at the end you can see him poking his head out of a window
  19. Daffyfan2003

    Daffyfan2003 Active Member

    Well, I remember Snuffy stayed home to watch Big Bird's nest. But I see your point. If this movie were made today, he might have went along with the rest of the gang.
  20. AAO

    AAO Member

    Ronnie Milsap

    So, "Working on My Attitude" isn't listed at the end of the credits? I have the "Follow That Bird" soundtrack and it's listed as Ronnie Milsap singing that song. Alabama was singing "All Together Now". I love both of those songs. I've also heard there was a music video to Alabama's "All Together Now". I'm not sure, but that's what I've heard. :)


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