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  4. 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.

Sesame Street Special "The Magical Wand Chase"

Discussion in 'Season 48' started by Phillip, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Special - The Magical Wand Chase
    HBO Premiere: Saturday November 11, 2017

    This Saturday don't miss an all-new one hour Sesame Street special on HBO. "The Magical Wand Chase" will premiere on Saturday November 11 at 7 pm eastern, 6 pm central.

    It's up, up and away as Elmo, Abby and friends take to the skies above Sesame Street in colorful hot air balloons. When a playful bird snatches Abby's magic wand, the pleasant ride instantly becomes a high-stakes adventure. The chase is on as Grover, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Rosita and the rest race through new neighborhoods, meet new friends, and discover new and different cultures that lie just around the corner. Will our heroes find the wand and still make it home in time for dinner?

    "The Magical Wand Chase" features guest star Elizabeth Banks.



    If you saw "The Magical Wand Chase", please like this post and share your thoughts below.
  2. ConsummateVs

    ConsummateVs Well-Known Member

    I'm glad everyone is out of the house right now so I was able to watch this special in peace without any interruptions.

    So, what were my thoughts on it? Well, I liked it. It wasn't quite as great as I thought it would be (while I wasn't expecting some big cinematic feature film, I was kinda hoping it would be more like Follow That Bird), but I still enjoyed it. I liked the bits with Grover and Cookie Monster the most. I would have liked to have seen more characters in it (like Ernie and Bert), but it was nice to see Rosita in a major role. I also really liked how we got to explore more of the other areas around Sesame Street. So overall, it wasn't amazing, but it was still good.

    Also, on a side note, I'm starting to like Abby Cadabby more and more now. I used to not care for her that much, but she's grown on me now.
  3. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    This special was alright. I was kinda hoping for characters besides the core seven though. This is the very first Sesame Street special with Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson voicing Big Bird and Oscar.
  4. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    So no more Caroll Spinney anymore then? :( :cry:
  5. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't jump to conclusions just yet. If his voice isn't heard in the season 48 premiere next week, then I'd say he's retired. Which is for the best, Caroll's Big Bird and Oscar voices haven't sounded very good lately.
  6. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    I would love to see the new season, but do not get HBO sadly.
  7. somethingofafan

    somethingofafan Well-Known Member

    I seem to recall one of the Below the Frame videos stating that he is involved in Season 48. Haven't heard about 49 yet.
  8. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Oops. I thought the special was next week instead of this week. Welp, that's one on me.

    As for Caroll, I don't know how far in advance this special was made, but he's clearly not in too good of shape right now. As I said, when I met him last month at the Knoxville Fanboy Expo, his voice was really soft and weak, and more often than not, his wife Debi, or one of his chaperones would finish his sentences for him whenever he'd lose his train of thought. Even during the Q&A panel when the cast was speaking about how they got onto SST, Debi had to remind him of specific little details about how Jim came to hire him for Big Bird and Oscar. Someone had mentioned he had a pretty nasty fall a while back, and I noticed he had a number of scrapes and bruises across his face (and some of his teeth even look chipped). I think we can assume that age is catching up to him at this point. :(

    The only thing I remember hearing was that he was going to try to keep going until at least Season 50, but I'm not so sure if he can even make that far.
  9. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    Kinda felt a little rushed. The 43 minute runtime contributed to that. A little more music would've been nice too. I liked the opening song though and yeah, Muppets look great in the real world. And the credits sequence was nice, with all the main characters who weren't in the special getting a little cameo.
  10. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member


    Caroll was on set with his fellow muppeteers a few weeks ago, so I would assume he's still involved in some capacity or perhaps just visiting the set. As for the voices, I would still take Caroll's over Vogel. I don't think Vogel is right for Big Bird anymore. Caroll needs a new understudy. Vogel's BB is too deep and nasally to the point that it's essentially an entirely different character. Even Vogel has acknowledged the fact that the two sound very different and has stated that his Big Bird is not Caroll's Big Bird. When Matt Vogel was younger he could do the voice, but now it just sounds too rubbery, deep, nasally and cartoonish (if that makes sense.)

    I think Jacobsen does a good Oscar, but I'm sorry, I don't buy Vogel as Big Bird. It doesn't feel like the character should feel. Feels more like Barney and less like a 6 year old.

    Perhaps Noel Macneal or Peter Linz? (who have both performed Big Bird when Spinney and Vogel were not available.)
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  11. antsamthompson9

    antsamthompson9 Well-Known Member

    Look at it this way: The reason Matt's Big Bird sounds like it does now is because, he has to keep the illusion that Big Bird's still played by one person. Once Caroll's done completely, Matt's Big Bird will sound a lot better. When he sang in this special, it was great. He didn't even need auto-tune like Caroll needed in the Meet Julia episode.
  12. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    I've often felt that Matt's Big Bird sounds much like Caroll's did during the period where Caroll was transitioning Big Bird from the country bumpkin he was during the first season to the more childlike character we know today.

    And man: with that short hair and those glasses, Eric is unrecognizable!
    HiHo3892 likes this.
  13. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member

    I doubt that when Caroll does stop playing his character that Vogel's Big Bird will
    Right. You could certainly make that argument, but is it right for the character development wise? I just think he would be better off in the hands of another performer. Big Bird has a distinct, instantly recognizable quality to him and while, yes there will always be an adjustment period for the public to accept the new performer as the character. I have never bought into Vogel as Big Bird. Personality wise, something is way off.

    With a character like Prairie Dawn or Bert or Oscar, even with the new performers, I still feel like this is the same character we've been watching for over 40 years. With Big Bird, I don't get that same connectivity. And that's vitally important.

    Matt is a fantastic performer, I just honestly don't think it's the right fit for him anymore.
  14. D'Snowth

    D'Snowth Well-Known Member

    Well, up until Matt, Caroll was wanting Noel MacNeil to be Big Bird's understudy, but Noel couldn't get the voice right, which I can kind of understand, because Noel's is a particularly distinct voice that I can imagine would be difficult for him to do a Big Bird voice.
  15. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member

    I honestly don't believe Matt's Big Bird will change all that significantly once Caroll stops. Say what you will about that Julia episode, I still think it was better to have Caroll come in and record for Big Bird than have Vogel do the voice. Yes, I acknowledge that it sounded a bit weaker. But the point is, it was distinctly Big Bird and without a doubt Caroll can still do the voice (even if he can't do it as well as he used to) better than Vogel can now.

    Big Bird is iconic. And for an episode of such importance, introducing a new character to the street, teaching children about autism. I think to drive the point home it's better to have a recognizable presence of a character like Big Bird. Having the original Big Bird just establishes a sense of familiarity for children to accept a new character on the street and be open to learning about something like autism.
  16. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member

    Right. I could be wrong but I believe Noel supplied Big Bird's voice briefly on the tonight show phone booth? (6:07)

  17. MikaelaMuppet

    MikaelaMuppet Well-Known Member

    Oh god. Caroll singing with Auto-Tune.

    Way to ruin a show.
  18. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member

    I would watch the actual episode before jumping to conclusions.
  19. Oscarfan

    Oscarfan Well-Known Member

    This is a phase we haven't really reached before with the performers. We've seen character voices evolve as the performers get older (i.e. Frank as Piggy or Grover). But, no one has gotten to the point where their age was detrimental to the performance; they either retired or passed away (unfortunately).

    We all want the performers to keep going for as long as they can, because we fear change because we're obsessive. Caroll is a treasure and I love him, but even when he can't physically perform, the voices have suffered. BB doesn't sound young at all and Oscar's lost some of his deeper tone.

    EDIT: And in that Fallon clip, it's Matt's voice.
  20. HiHo3892

    HiHo3892 Active Member

    I thought Caroll did fine as Big Bird in the Julia episode. Not as good as he used to, but still distinctly Big Bird.

    And I completely agree. My point is even with Caroll's voice for his characters being weaker. I still believe it sounds better than Vogel doing the voice. Vogel just isn't the right fit for the character anymore. I honestly think he would be better off in the hands of another performer.

    Big Bird just doesn't feel like the same character as the original performer the way Grover, Oscar, Elmo, Prairie Dawn, etc do.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017

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