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Discussion in 'Sesame Merchandise' started by Phillip, Nov 1, 2012.
Three specials much better than A Special Sesame Street Christmas... just sayin'.
Well, to be fair, I think I would rather watch A Special Sesame Street Christmas than a full hour of Elmo's World.
But yes, I'm quite happy to own the other two. I can finally retire my VHS copies.
Come to think of it, I don't think I've ever actually seen the Elmo's World holiday special. The year it aired was the year I stopped watching current Sesame episodes on PBS my local station only showed it once, therefore I missed it. Can't imagine I'm missing much.
I remember seeing it years ago. Bert and Rosita do a nativity play, which is kind of interesting (I think Cookie Monster was one of the three wisemen, who brings cookies to the baby... then eats them... ), but hey, you can see that on YouTube.
Elmo also visits Santa at the end, and I think they sing a song.
Aside from all that, I can only recall typical Elmo's World fare.
In my own humble opinion, they will NEVER top Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. The Elmo's World Holidays special is pretty cool, because it explores other holidays like Hanukkah and Kwanzaa (a good lesson of other celebrations and cultures), as well as featuring Kelly Ripa who I thought played her role and well (and wasn't bad to look at either). Elmo Saves Christmas was pretty cool, (loved Lightening the Reindeer as well as the tree selling bits with Grover) BUT...A Special Sesame Street Christmas, I hate to say it, was very lackluster. I bought it from Amazon and watched with my family, and we all agreed that it wasn't as good as the others. I wanted it because I collect all of the Sesame and Muppets DVD's, and I know you all have posted your thoughts and background information on this special so I won't be redundant...but I have it, I may watch it again, and most of all I am glad it was released.
The fact that they're brave enough to do the Nativity story in a kid's show and make it work (sorry, Animaniacs... it would have been so much funnier if you spent the short harassing King Harrod) makes it more than just an Elmo's World extended episode to me. Though I hate how all the Hanukkah stuff was recycled in the new Shalom Sesame series. Plus, at least there was that minor plot of Elmo not knowing what to get Dorothy. EW never has a plot. That's why it's so off.
True words, man. There's something very special about CEOSS... it even incorporated Muppet/Kid talk spots and had multiple intersecting plots. Not to mention the character development on Oscar. To have him basically tease and yell at Big Bird through the entire beginning, and genuinely be the most concerned that he's missing? That's Oscar to me. Elmo Saves Christmas is very good as well. Not quite CEOSS, but you have what could very well have been Kermit's last reporting gig on the series. Christmas Countdown is kinda schizophrenic, but has some genuinely fun moments. I refuse to acknowledge A Sesame Street Christmas Clipshow Carol since it seems like a wasted concept... but at the very bottom for me is Very Special Christmas. All because it was made by people who didn't understand Sesame Street and wanted a generic variety special attached to a popular show. Even (bite my tongue) the Star Wars Holiday disaster had more care to the source material.
Ha ha...The infamous Star Wars Holiday Special!! At least that show introduced the world to Boba Fett. I had almost forgotten about A Sesame Street Christmas Carol...what was that? Good call man!!
Even as an atheist, I have to admit that it took guts to do. Although it's not the only modern children's show to tackle it (Barney and his friends once sang "O Little Town of Bethlehem" with a nativity set, and the Wiggles' Christmas videos are chocked full of religious songs), it's certainly worth noting.
I remember quite disliking Elmo's Christmas Countdown - It just felt like another excuse to say "LOOK, YOU KNOW WHO THESE GUEST STARS ARE!!" and not to give any real spotlight on the magic of the Muppet characters in it. (I've seen A Special Sesame Street Christmas several times since my last viewing of Christmas Countdown, so I can't say how the two compare, though I can't imagine that they'll stay equal)
Elmo Saves Christmas isn't nearly as good as Christmas Eve, but having watched it recently (From the Happy Holidays set I bought last week) I can say that it is a pretty nice Christmas special.
I have no plans to even look at A Sesame Street Christmas Carol.
I am also glad they did the nativity story. People can be far too anal-retentive about avoiding religious symbolism in holidays. Though I think Christmas Eve on Sesame Street did it even better, basically teaching Big Bird about the concept of faith in a more subtle way.
And all that stuff is canon! And it still has a better understanding of the source material than Sesame Street Christmas. The only thing they got right was Oscar being grouchy.
It has that same celeb over Muppet shortcoming that Very Special had, and the unfortunate tone that seems heavily on warp speed. But I'll give it two things over Very Special... it has all the Muppets in it and I like the celebrities and use of them much better. Some of the skits were actually quite cute. I liked the "I Want a Snuffelupagus for Christmas" bit. The thing that bugs me about Very Special is Leslie Uggams hijacks the special, first of all, and even then, we get one of the Smothers Brothers (which is essentially like getting just Larry from the Three Stooges) and a not singing Michael Jackson before he was famous as a solo artist. That's not to say I don't think Christmas Countdown was kinda screwed up, though. I HATED Charles Blitzen basically trolling Ben Stiller Muppet every 5 seconds, and the ugly storybook backdrop instead of the actual street... it was an eye sore all over.
That's the funny thing, Very Special is too darn quiet, Countdown is too darn loud. Polar opposites of what's wrong with each other.
Another big problem I have with A Special Sesame Street Christmas: who is this special aimed at? Sesame's primary target audience at the time was obviously the 3-to-6 demographic despite the best efforts to get parents to watch the show with their kids. But this special has nothing to indicate little kids would enjoy this. I doubt little kids want to sit through five-minute love songs that have nothing to do with Christmas...
I don't see too many things appealing to an adult, either.
That's another thing. Christmas Countdown was very juvenile, but at least it's supposed to play to juveniles. Anne Murray coming on to Big Bird? I don't think anyone wants to see that, kid or adult. This was a complete misfire.
That said, I really wish whoever owned this special owned Out to Lunch. THAT deserves a release much more.
In the book "100 Dumbest TV Moments", there's a quote by George Lucas saying that the special is not cannon, "period". I wonder if he's changed his mind or if he's gone back-and-fourth over the years on the subject (like how he often says the whole original trilogy was originally written as one script but has also admitted that that's not true, and wikipedia points out that the original Star Wars script only has a few minor things not in the first movie that appear in the sequels).
^Toughpigs review. Apparently, the reviews on the back are completely fake. not much of a surprise there.
Let me just point something out quickly, John - I talk about that in my upcoming review. I've already written that specific section, so don't go around crediting yourself when it comes to air.
By the way, happy (belated) birthday!
That certainly explains why somebody would say "Oscar and MJ - Love it!" when Michael Jackson takes up... What? 50 seconds of this special?
If you check the DVD's Amazon page, it's has extremely positive reviews by people who only seem to review releases from the distributor of this release. Makes you wonder...
We're being Chris Bores'd here, eh? Now... HOW did this company obtain the rights to this thing again?!
Because it seems they own everything this Bob Banner guy produced. My guess is that Sesame Workshop never owned this special, so it was completely up to Banner to release. Once this Legendary Pictures Alliance or whatever they are called got the rights to his stuff, they came across this.
A Special Sesame Street Christmas is a "fun, new and exciting Christmas CD for everyone!" eh? Yeah... no it isn't. That like saying that vampires sparkle, or that (ware)wolves can change at will. Not buying it, guys.
My free replacement copy has shipped. Hopefully, it doesn't come to me horribly damaged like the last one did.
Fair enough. But still, with all of that copyrighted music (Especially with "You Needed Me" being the regular studio recording), I'm surprised this is seeing any light at all on DVD...
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