Case Number 16577: Small Claims Court

SESAME STREET: ELMO AND ABBY'S BIRTHDAY FUN

Genius Products // 2009 // 47 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Clark Douglas // June 10th, 2009

The Charge

Everyone loves birthdays!

The Case

When it comes to DVDs like Sesame Street: Elmo and Abby's Birthday Fun, it becomes a bit pointless to provide any critical analysis. Parents aren't particularly interested in the artistic merits of a 45-minute Sesame Street DVD special. If you're a parent, odds are you just want to know what this DVD is all about and whether it's going to keep your kids quiet while you try to finish up some things around the house. So, I've decided to provide you with a condensed version of the special included here. For your reading pleasure, here is a brief summary.

Abby: Elmo, what is all this stuff? A hat? Ribbons? Sparkly things? What is this for?

Elmo: These are party favors!

Abby: You're doing a favor for a party?

Elmo: HAHAHAHAHAHA! No! Elmo is throwing a party for his pet goldfish!

Cue a song about the birthday party of Fido the Goldfish: "We're giving fishy presents, and making fishy masks, pretending that we're swimming underwater!"

Elmo: Yay! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Abby: Let's play pin the tail on the donkey! I will magically make a tail to pin on the donkey! Oops, I accidentally made a snail instead of a tail!

Elmo: HAHAHAHAHAHA!

Cue a song about birthday parties which freely blends a combination of English and Spanish lyrics. "Time to play with your piñata, muy bien, very good!" Naturally, this is accompanied by images of Hispanic children partying. This is immediately followed by a brief video about a girl in India demonstrating just how children in her country have a birthday party. We later see a similar video featuring children from Uzbekistan.

Elmo: I want braids! Give me braids, Abby!

Abby: Okay! Oh, no, I accidentally gave you a giant bun!

Elmo: Aaaghhh! Get it off me, Abby!

Abby: Sorry, sorry! Phew, it's gone now.

Elmo: Hey, let's go to fairy tale land and have a party with Little Jack Horner and Little Red Riding Hood.

Several minutes of completely incomprehensible fairy tale-inspired chaos ensues. The kids will like it, because there are lots of characters yelling in silly voices. Why is Elmo chasing a bucket of water? Who are those Swedish people? Why don't they talk like the Swedish Chef? Does the Hensonverse have no sense of continuity? A talking tennis ball is popping out of a pie? What the hey?

Elmo: Let's sing!

Cue a song about the joy of having a birthday: "It's your birthday! It's your birthday! It's time to do the birthday dance! Don't eat too much! It's your birthday!"

Elmo: Yay! HAHAHAHAHA! Elmo wants to go home now.

Abby: Okay. Here you go. Oh no, my spell didn't work!

Elmo: Oh no! How will I get home?

Red Riding Hood: I will send you home, Elmo. Poof!

Elmo: Yay! Elmo is home! It's time for Elmo's world! La-la-la-la, la-la-la-la, Elmo's world! Elmo blah-blah-blah-blah, Elmo's world! HAHAHAHAHA! Let's talk about birthday parties!

Cue montage of children enjoying birthday parties.

Elmo: Let's go talk to Mr. Noodle! Hey, Mr. Noodle, wrap a present for us! Yay, good job, Mr. Noodle! That's not enough presents, though. Little girl, wrap a present for me! Yay! Little baby, wrap a present for me! Oh, I forgot, babies can't wrap presents! I want to kiss you!

Elmo kisses the baby for a while.

Elmo: How many elephants would it take to blow out the candles on a cake? Oh, they would probably just destroy the whole cake. HAHAHAHA!

Oscar the Grouch: I hate birthdays.

Elmo: Hey, let's check my e-mail! Hey computer!

Computer: Hey, Elmo! Hooray for birthdays!

Elmo: Wow, I love getting e-mails!

Cue a video about a kid and his father making a birthday cake together, followed by a cartoon about birthdays.

Elmo: Let's have a conversation with a birthday cake! Hey cake, do you like being a cake? Let's have a flashback to the day I was born!

Elmo's Mommy: He is so beautiful! His name is Elmo! HAHAHAHAHA!

Elmo: Well, we're just about out of time for today! Bye-bye!

The DVD transfer is a typically clean and colorful affair, conveying this cheerfully-lit production with sharp clarity. The 2.0 stereo gets the job done. Basically, this disc is pretty comparable to every other recent Sesame Street disc. Extras include a 13-minute segment from Sesame Street featuring the birthday party of Baby Bear, some parental tips on how to turn the DVD into a learning experience, and a downloadable workbook.

Personally, I think this particular Sesame Street disc is a bit less useful than many of its predecessors, primarily because the birthday theme makes it something that will probably be viewed only once a year (if that much).

A side note: There is a preview on this DVD for a forthcoming special called Elmo and the Bookaneers (undoubtedly written by William Wallace) starring Tina Fey and Elmo. Yes, you heard me. Tina Fey and Elmo. Just think about that for a minute and let it soak in.

The Verdict

Guilty.

Review content copyright © 2009 Clark Douglas; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 72

Perp Profile
Studio: Genius Products
Video Formats:
* Full Frame

Audio Formats:
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)

Subtitles:
* None

Running Time: 47 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* Bonus Segment
* Parent Tips
* Workbook

Accomplices
* IMDb
http://us.imdb.com/title/tt0063951/combined