Let's talk a little education. In 1969, Joan Ganz Cooney created a preschool television program called Sesame Street. It first aired on the Public Broadcasting Service (better known as PBS) and was the only educational show to feature Jim Henson's muppets. Jim Henson himself created the muppets before the series itself came out in the 1970s and he and his staff would eventually work with Joan Cooney and her staff at Children's Television Workshop. Jim Henson became a legend as time went on and even brought loveable characters such as Kermit the Frog, Big Bird, Miss Piggy, Cookie Monster, and Bert and Ernie. Unfortunately, he passed away due to toxic shock syndrome in 1990 during the productions of his new projects ending his puppeteering career after 36 years. However his legend and Muppets will still live on even in the future 25 years after the death of Jim Henson himself may he rest in peace. Anywho, out of all of the famous Sesame Street characters that we come to know and love, (i.e. Ludwig Von Count, Big Bird, Mr. Snuffleupagus: my all-time favorite, Oscar the Grouch,) probably the most famous and infamous character to come out of the show was Elmo. The little red monster who was originally introduced in 1979 as baby monster. Kevin Clash who joined Sesame Street in 1984 was a very talented puppeteer and he put all his effort into his character as well as Elmo's personality. Even giving him and Elmo their own TV segment in 1998 called "Elmo's World". And as a kid and long-time watcher (1998-2009 to be exact) Sesame Street as well as the Elmo's World segment was my favorite PBS show growing up; alongside Arthur, Dragon Tales, Cyberchase, Clifford, and Between the Lions. Now, my perspective on Elmo in general? Well, I've heard of better ideas to base a movie on.
"The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland". From the people who brought you "Muppets From Space" and the real bad "Buddy", along with the Creators themselves, Children's Television Workshop, This movie brings the last of only 2 movies Sesame Street ever made. And, of course, Elmo is the main focus. Is this film going to live up to educational show itself or is it going to blow and get a thrashing slap in the face? Well, there is no time to waste, so let's start procrastinating; This is "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland".
So, after your typical production logo, our film starts off with the narrators of the movie, Bert & Ernie! "Hi, there everybody! Welcome to the movie. Hey, we're so glad you came!" Hey, I'm glad to be looking back on this little flick! Wow... I wonder how this is going to affect me at the end... Actually Ernie & Bert are not narrators. They are just here to stop parts of the film mid-way to basically waste 30 or 60 seconds of the film's running time. But, it shouldn't really hurt anything it has to offer, so I don't have problem. "Now, this in this movie you're about to see is all about Elmo. In this movie, Elmo is going to ask for your help. He wants you to talk and play along." Hey! My review, my video, I get to do what I want here, thank you. So, the movie actually start off in the sky we get the formation of our film's title looking nothing like the trailer or the movie case. As we come to the room of small boy, but it just happens to belong to a boy named-- .... NO. That's a much different story. In actuality, this is Elmo's room. Not from 1998, but from the film itself. As Elmo, is awaken by... the strangest of alarm clocks I've ever seen. "Elmo's up! Elmo's up! Elmo-el--" ELMO!! Chill! It's just the audience. "Wow! Hello, everybody! It's so nice to see you. HA-HA-HA-HA!" Ha,ha, it's nice to see you too, Elmo, only here it's on film instead of on TV. Anyways, he wants to show his favorite in the WHOLE world, Elmo's Blanket. That's it? A freaking blanket? Y-y-you can't seriously be talking about a blanket, right? Actually yes, Elmo's best friend is in fact: Blanket, I'm not even kidding; a freaking blanket. And it's pretty obvious once he starts looking for it. Um, your Blanket is right there on your bed if you're looking for it. NO, actually, he's looking his "best friend". But, he has a hard time looking for him, because "Elmo" doesn't know that "Blanket" is right behind him. Yeah, that's part of Elmo's personality. He constantly avoids pronouns and always refers to himself in the third person. He has a little word that we call illeism. Illeism is the habit of (like I said) referring to oneself in the third person. Strictly speaking it refers to excessive use of the pronoun he, because it derives from ille. A bunch of the Shakesphere books and plays do this. But, back on topic. Elmo eventually find Blanket with the film audience's help and reunites with him. "Oh, Blanket, Elmo's so glad he found you. Elmo doesn't know what to do without his best friend." Well, you have been seen without it multiple times, so I don't know for sure if that counts. This little bonding eventually leads to our first song. I will admit this is very catchy later on, but this first half I find OK at best. It's nothing special to me, but to have me sing along with the other young kids who are watching. Speaking of which, Elmo spills orange juice on blanket so he takes to the Sesame Street laundromat. However, when trying to start the washer, something is obviously wrong. This malfunctioning washer eventually fixes itself and then starts the second half of the musical number. The rhythmic beat of the washer gets everybody dancing along including myself. Immediately everyone else starts making their own rhythm at the laundromat. Including using their wrenchs and custom bongos made out of buckets. As the song goes on, Elmo gets his blanket washed and cleaned in the drying machine. And I guess the song gets everyone's laundry done. However, Ludwig Von count slips on a banana peel, sending Elmo flying, but landing safely outside Hooper's store. The song doesn't really end; it just stops abruptly with no reason whatsoever.
Anywise, afterwards Elmo and Blanket decide to go home; but come across Zoe who is sadden because she wanted to go to the zoo with her father, but he had to work. Well, you have to put business before pleasure, you know. "Elmo has an idea! Since Zoe can't go to the zoo, Elmo will bring the zoo to Zoe." "Huh?" So, Elmo performs some animal acts that the zoo has, such as a lion and monkey, and that cheers Zoe up a bit. Then she comes across the blanket. Be careful, that's very delicate fabric. But because Elmo for some reason starts being an ass, he refuses to let Zoe use the blanket. This results in Tug-of-War give Blanket a tiny rip. "Zoe! Look what you did!" I didn't mean to, It was an accident!" "Zoe's not Elmo's friend anymore!" "I'm not your friend" Who said Elmo was your friend? I didn't hear any of two say you were friends except-- "Thanks, Elmo. You always make me feel better." "You're welcome Zoe." That was it. I didn't hear anything else after that. Back on topic, here is the first of funny scenes when Telly Monster comes along and is not able to stop his roller blading. He ends up with the blanket, which start an all over the place chase after Elmo's "best friend". Cookie Monster get a dizzy-doozie at The Furry Arms hotel, Grover turns into his heroic doppelganger, and Blanket ends up taking a little flight in the sky all while Elmo is clearly not giving a shit about anything else happening. Eventually, it all ends when Blanket lands on, sneezed and thrown into the trash can by Oscar the Grouch in the process. Oh, and Elmo, Telly and Super Grover collide crashing into one another all while Big Bird is just watching for no reason at all. "Look out!" Um, Sesame Street Paramedics? We have a 3-in-1 crash caused by insane geniuses who made this movie. Everyone on Sesame Street find out about the commotion and according to Big Bird, the blanket-- "fell out of the sky, Oscar sneezed in it, and put it in his can!" When Elmo hears this, it causes him to faint. Don't worry, he's fine. Well, he was until he flipped out and greedily start forcing Oscar to give his blanket back. He's probably not home right now, Elmo. You need to calm down a take a little break. "Don't worry, Zoe. Elmo's just a little upset right now." Bob's right. He is going to need some time alone for a little while. Zoe tells everybody she never meant to ruin Elmo's blanket, but-- Elmo's decide to put that aside claiming it's no big deal because all he cares about is Blanket; HELLO?, YOUR FOLKS ARE ONLY TRYING TO HELP YOU!! I don't think you are ready yet to keep searching yet! So, Elmo flies into the garbage can only to discover that Oscar's home is actually much bigger than expected... wow, for a small can like yours, Oscar, I don't know how you are able to out from that big a height. Elmo does find Blanket, but he doesn't know that this door is actually a gateway to another world. Both Blanket & Elmo fly out the door and-- Hey, go back to Elmo! Why'd you stop the film? Ernie informs Bert as well as us that the portal Elmo fell into takes him to a place called Grouchland. As they let the film continue, Elmo and Blanket end up on different paths to the end result. We come to a garbage dump we are introduced to the grouches who are dirty monsters living in a place smelling like dog crap as we enter our next musical number!! This compared to the previous one earlier in the movie, is also kind of catchy, however "Welcome to Grouchland" is a lot more fun to listen to the first time around. In my opinion, Grouchland is probably every childhood boy's dream come true. The only problem is that the Grouchland citizens are pretty much jerks. After the song is over, Elmo gets the impression that Grouchland sounds like fun. However-- "FUN?! You obviously don't appreciate Grouch culture! Let's send him some... greeting cards; air mail." And Grouchland's "greeting cards" are full of spitball, jokes and insults. Luckily for Elmo, he doesn't know how to read yet.
But enough of that! Enter the movie's villain, Huxley! This guys steal anything that he can get his on! Including Elmo's greeting card, a jelly donut, and even a little girl's doll... or at least the little girl herself. "Hey, hey, put me down you rotton Huxley!" Over the top yell in 3,2,1... "STOOOOOOOOPP!!!!" "Did someone say stop?"
Uhh, I didn't do it!! Once the car door opens up, we get the actual appearance of Huxley in the flesh. "All right. Who said that? Which one of you dares to question my evil ways?" All the Grouches point to Elmo, who obviously gave his awesome yell away. Bug, Huxley's right-hand man, also says Elmo said Stop. "It's not nice to take things that don't belong to you." Right. It's rude, unfriendly and downright not fun. But, when it comes to Huxley, it all belongs to him. Don't believe me? If he touches it, a certain thing is automatically his. "Bug! You see this tennis racket? This Hammer? This velvet painting of Elvis! I didn't really want it, but! Ping! I own it. If you never really wanted an Elvis painting why did you take it anyway? Oh, what a shocker. Elmo's blanket was also taken from him. "EHHH!! You're wrong! You see, I didn't borrow this blanket. I didn't rent this blanket. Heck, I never even had a 36-month lease on this blanket." And like I said, he automatic make something his, because you can't question his evil ways! Anywho, Huxley takes Blanket hostage and for some reason names him Wubby. Well, whatever. Huxley departs taking Elmo's Blanket with him. "Stop the movie, Stop the movie, Stop the movie!" Oh, hello again you two, skip them!! Back to the movie, where Elmo is seeking help to search for his blanket. But all grouches refuse because they're grouchy, I guess. So, it's seems all is pretty much lost for Elmo, until-- "Hey, you're the girl with the doll!" Shh! Hey, keep it down! You don't want to blow anyone's cover do you? The girl with the doll's name is Grizzy! Elmo asks Grizzy why Huxley take everything the grouches own and the answer the only to keep it from happening is working together but, all grouch citizen hate it, so Grizzy briefly helps Elmo out. Back to Sesame Street where Telly is looking for Elmo. Everyone at 123 finds out that Elmo is gone. At first everybody thinks after Elmo got the Blanket from Oscar's Garbage Can that he only went home, but-- "Actually, the worrywart's right." "WHAT?!!" "Yep, Elmo got sucked down to a door in my can to Grouchland, USA." "Oh, this is terrible! What are we gonna do? What are we going to do?!" Wow, Telly you are being very over-the-top today! So, Maria and the Sesame Street get a plan to go to Grouchland and get Elmo back! Meanwhile, we cut to Bug who I guess is spying Grizzy and Elmo overhearing them talking about getting to Huxley's castle far far away from Grouchland. However, overconfident Elmo declare he's able to get his blanket back before nighttime. But he's runs the risk of never going home again if Huxley catches him. Well, in the meantime, a weed named Stuckweed gives Elmo the confidence to take his very first step to his journey... in SONG!! This one is all right. A catchy beat, but it's not my favorite of the movie. So, with the new-given confidence Stuckweed gives to Elmo, he begins his journey to Huxley's castle! "You better watch out, Mr. Huxley! Elmo's gonna get his blanket!" This comment gets Huxley and his men laughing like hogs!! "Boss, hey boss!! Didn't you hear the little guy? He's taking his first step! Shouldn't we do something? Now, that we have that out of the way, back to the topic. Huxley and the Pestie are figuring out what to do with Elmo. The first evil plan is trapping Elmo in a tunnel. But, first some comic relief. "Bug. What are you doing?" "Just having a little snack. Hard to do your evil bidding on an empty stomach." "Oh, sure. Listen. Bug, listen good. Are you listening?" Over the top yell #2 in 3,2,1... "GET BACK TO WORK!!!!" Wow, you guys just love being over the top, aren't you?
Back to the Sesame Street gang who have arrived in Grouchland. As the grouches find out that Oscar came back to his hometown, they pretty much scold him, because... they're mean and awful I guess. "Who says you can't go home again? Nobody,Oscar. No one would ever say that. Unless the citizens of the hometown you came from grew up in the back of a horse's ass, but I digress. The gang tries to ask for help from the citizens, but to no avail; until they ask a police officer. Surely, someone in the force ought to help you. "Oh, look, there's a police officer." " Let's ask him for help." Actually, NO! This lands them in jail because in Grouchland it's against the law to ask for help. (How the crap... derping hell does that work?) Anyway, back to Bug and the pesties who are setting up the first trap for Elmo. They turn the point of the arrow the wrong way to lead Elmo into a underground tunnel. They henchman wait until Elmo is complete inside the tunnel and because it's dark enough, the henchmen release the booby trap, leaving Elmo in the dark. So, Elmo ask the audience if he can still hear everyone due to pitch-black tunnel thus not be able to see us. "Elmo needs some light." Luckily, he awakens some fireflies which will be of use to him somehow. He ask the fireflies to help him get out of the underground, so they suggest the mine cart would help; complete with a hard hat and everything. As soon as he pushes the lever, it sudden turns into Mine Carnage from Donkey Kong Country. Leading to the end of the tunnel is a pile of rocks which the mine cart is able to break through. That shines light on Elmo. "Oh, yay! Oh, Thank you, Fireflies." Unfortunately, Huxley finds out about it, thus angers him, making him start to walk for some reason... "The boss is walking, the boss is walking! Ow! Hot rocks, hot rocks, dirty rocks. Should've worn shoes. Oh, the boss is walking!" And, because he's walking I guess, he's scares his own henchman, too. Wait for it. "GET BACK TO WORK!!" Once again, over the top!! So, after the walk, Huxley tries figuring out why Elmo's still trying to get blanket back. I don't think I need to explain this again, so moving along, this scene starts the song about how everything in Huxley's house belongs to him and him only. The song start pretty lame and boring, BUT!! After Huxley takes the tissue-- "Oh, I love it!" It turns into a kick-ass beat! Hey, I know it's a song about hoarding whatever is not yours, but you know what, I love this one. I really like it. What makes this song better is Mandy Patinkin's talented singing. I don't know how he can do it, but he can pull it off!! Especially the last the note of the song. It's official. Huxley is now over the top villain. After such an awesome song, Huxley prepare plan B of getting rid of Elmo by sending him to the Queen of Trash, where nobody has ever escape her dumped, but the planning is interrupted because Ernie and Bert. So, back to Elmo, where he comes across Bug in construction clothes in his homemade construction site. He claims to put in a new tar box for the path, but unintentionally helps Elmo for giving directions to Huxley's house, leading Elmo to say Bug is nice person and gives him a hug. Well, that was sweet. Bug's not a henchman I remember, so he resumes his work. Back to the Grouchland Jailhouse, where the Sesame Street gang is thinking about Elmo. However things get out of hand. "Maybe this'll cheer you up. A-B-C----" "Oh, no!! Let me outta here! It's torture!! Let us out, please!" "That's it. That's it! I can't take it anymore! I demand justice! I want a lawyer! Call the media!" "Telly, Telly, calm down!! Calm down, Telly! Let me get you some water. Hey! Can we get some water in here?" (splashes water in Gordon's face) Because Grouchland is full of assholes! Back to Elmo, where he comes across fog, soiled ground... and trash monsters. These guys plan to take to their queen because this foggy place is her kingdom.
"Kingdom? This looks like junk!" That little line starts up the next song! As we move along with the song, the queen of trash reveals herself played Vanessa Williams. I'm coming out and saying this right now. This is hands down, my favorite song in the movie. I mean, It's freaking Vanessa Williams! Who could not like her? She's a talented actress and singer and played in so many other movies before this one. But, this song alone is masterpiece of children's movie musical numbers ever. Now, let's move on. After the song, Queen of trash is angry because Elmo "trashed her dump". I don't understand wording sometimes. Anyway, the trash monsters claim is a trespasser when really he's only trying to get to Huxley's castle to reclaim his blanket. "Cause it's mine." "You certainly sound like Huxley." "No, Elmo doesn't! Elmo's not like Huxley. No, no! It's Elmo's blanket! It's mine! Mine! MINE!! MINE!!" Wow, now that I think about, that sounded a lot like Huxley's voice coming out of Elmo! So, to prove it, the Garbage Queen makes him do "The Ultimate Challenge" by giving the majesty a 100 raspberries in 30 seconds. Cue the Jeopardy music! So, with the audience's help, Elmo's succeeds the never-completed ultimate challenge, frees himself from trash kingdom and apologizes to the Queen for insulting her dump. Give Elmo a round of applause everybody. He has learned a lesson about thinking twice before speaking. Good job. Back to the Huxley bunch, where they playing ping-pong or at least Bug is. But that's cut-short when the ball goes into a mouse hole. "I told you. This time I'm keeping it." "Hey, bug! That was the last ball. Hey, let's try boxing." So, bug decides to be a boxer. Then, Huxley looks over to his TV where finds Elmo continuing his journey. "Bug, stop playing games. Come look at this." "Huh? Wow! Would you look at that? Boy, that Elmo's something, huh? What guts! What spunk What hootspa!" "Bug! You are really beginning to bug me." Was that supposed to be a pun? Either way, that joke wasn't funny. So, I guess blanket kinda has tricks up his sleeve despite just you know just being blanket. But, Huxley decides he's had enough toying around with Elmo and decides to release his secret weapon. A giant chicken named Tiny!! Back to Elmo who is just nearing Huxley's castle when, of course, the giant chicken appears. "Hey! You dinner! Stop running away from me! I'm trying to eat you." "Leave Elmo alone! Elmo doesn't want to be eaten!" "Will you stop jumping around so much? You making me gassy!" "Leave Elmo alone!" (Belches) "You see what I mean? Now stand still like a piece of corn." So by trying to avoid the chicken, Elmo climbs up a tree. Uh, Elmo a giant chicken like him is able to pick up a tree too. Elmo convinces Tiny, he's not a chicken by singing "I'm a little teapot". But, it kind of backfires. This sends Elmo flying once again. "Wow, not quite what had in mind, but effective nonetheless. Now, we find Elmo hanging on the limb of a tree. "This is not fun." No, it's not. Hanging on a tree is definitely not fun. Luckily Elmo lands safely on a rock. As the sun goes down, Elmo still misses his blanket, and it leaves him very discouraged. "Wait, wait, stop the movie again!" Aghh. What now? Ernie explains to Bert to that good thing can still because we're not done with the movie yet. "In fact, i'm sure good things will happen. Because, who would want to see a movie with a sad ending, Bert? You have a good point there, Ernie. Not many people would like that. In fact, I don't want to end this movie on a sad note either. I digress though, back to the movie. A hooded grouch-figure enter the jailhouse to reveal herself to Zoey & Maria as Grizzy from earlier in the film. Zoey gets excited and see that Grizzy is helping Elmo. "So, where is he?" "He went to Huxley's!" "What? Huxley? First this guy ruined my beautiful Grouchland and now he's messing with my fr--" ... "Oscar, were you going to say friend?" "No, I was going to say french-fried fish heads." (Scoffing) Wow, what a jerk.
"All right, so the little stinkball is my friend. Oh, I gotta go do something about this!" So, Oscar convinces all of grouches not only ridding of their own selfishness, but to fight for their belongings and stand up for their trash! "Because... "when they take our goo, we gotta do! Yeah, that's right! we gotta do!" "When they take our goo, we gotta do!" "When they take our goo, we gotta do!" "When they take our goo, we gotta do!" I love goo! When they take our goo, we gotta do! Let's teach those punks a little of what we know! So, the officer frees the Sesame Street gang and all of the grouches aids on their quest to save Elmo! Meanwhile, cut to the morning when Elmo has passed out. A mean-spirited caterpillar wakes him up and scolds him for taking his 'spot'. "You're in my spot! Get outta my spot now!" "Oh,oh, Elmo's sorry." "Oh, don't cry. I can get a new spot." "Elmo's not sad about that." So, Elmo tell the caterpillar about not getting his blanket back and the caterpillar gives him advice to look deep inside his heart to know Elmo is really brave. "You proved it by getting this far! Just look inside." "Yeah, you're right! Inside! Elmo can do it! Elmo can get to Huxley's house!" So, thank to Mr. Caterpillar's advice, Elmo sets off to Huxley's castle! Meanwhile, Huxley wakes up for his breakfast claiming "victory" for "Tiny the chicken for defeating Elmo." "No!" "Yes! And the Wubby is mine for keepsies! ♪ The Wubby is mine for keepsies, The Wubby is mine for keepsies, The Wubby is mine for keepsies, for keepsies, for keepsies! ♪" ♫ You are an asshole, You are an asshole, You are an asshole, an asshole, an asshole. ♫ "Poor Elmo." "I don't what's so special about this stupid blanket. Why didn't he just get a different one?" "Maybe he loved that blanket." Yes, bug. He does love it. Why do you think Elmo calls Blanket his best friend? The calvery has arrived! "Elmo wants his blanket back, now!!" "The little piece of macrame lives!" You watch your language, Huxley! Elmo successfully reclaims his blanket but the pesties have him cornered. At least he escapes by having a slight fall into a basket. But "Dr. Claw" catches Elmo in the basket and takes him to Huxley. "Hey, you let Elmo and his Blanket go!" "I don't think so, you and your blanket are both mine now." PING! Just as Elmo faces the fate of never seeing his friends again, the Sesame Street and the Grouchland citizens appear in time to rescue Elmo. "What? Grouches Cooperating?!" "How are you going to get out of this one, Huxley?" "I got a plan." "Yeah, what?" "I haven't even figured it out, yet." "Not real villainous, is it?" Not so over-the-top villain now are you, Huxley? "They may save you, you annoying red monster. But they can't save your wubby!" "No, no, no, no! That's not a Wubby, that's Elmo's blanket!" But I guess the car, vaccum thingy takes the blanket away from Huxley, and Dr. Claw goes into overdrive. Oh, you him hanging again. Whoopie-doo!! "That's it!" With his newfound idea, Elmo jumps from the claw, spring the basket up, and captures Huxley. However, excitement is cut-short, because Blanket was taken by Bug. He goes against Huxley and gives Elmo his blanket. "Thank you, Bug." "You're welcome, Elmo." How-- How could you do this to me? I thought we were friends. No. You're a greedy, selfish villain, and no one wants to be friends with a greedy, selfish villain." Huxley tries to ask Bug for another chance to give back all of the stuff he stole from Grouchland, but continues to fail because even now Bug realizes the error his own evil ways, too. So, Elmo thanks everyone in Grouchland for helping him get Blanket back into his arms safe and sound and says he is lucky to have friends like the Sesame Street gang. And Elmo is hailed as a hero by Grouchland. "Let's hear it for Elmo!" "Let's go back to Sesame Street!" "I know a shortcut. Ready, guys?" So, we all go back to Sesame Street... or I guess Blanket give us a ride back I guess, and the blanket lands back into Elmo's hands.
"Oh, Zoe, um, Elmo's sorry for hurting your feelings. Can we still be friends?" "Well, yeah. Friends Forever. "Yeah." "Wow. I can hold it?" "Sure, what can happen? Ha-ha-ha-ha!!" And we get the reprise of the first musical number that has never ended with everyone on Sesame Street singing and Dancing along. "Elmo just wanted to say thanks for helping. Elmo couldn't have done with out you. Elmo loves you. Bye-bye!" Good-bye, Elmo! It was nice looking back on this little flick with you guys and I had fun reviewing it. "See Bert? Just like I told you, Elmo got his Blanket." "Yeah, it's a happy ending." "Hm-hmm. And thank you all for helping." "Oh, yeah. You deserved a big round of applause." "Oh, yeah. Everybody clap for yourselves." Well, as an adult, I had a bunch of fun watching this so, I give myself a hand. And that's "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland". This movie was pretty good. It's been what? Like 15 years since this movie came out? And I like it. It stand up pretty well to Sesame Street seasons I grew up with and even on it's own. I mean, Yes, there are some over-the-top and annoying moments and Grouches themselves don't get a whole lot of screentime. But, aside of all that, it's a really enjoyable movie; not just for the kids or first-time watchers, but also the watchers of the original seasons. The acting is great, Elmo himself is annoying but still a lot of fun, Huxley is just over-the-top badass, and the songs are pretty good, too.
Overall Ranking 7/10
Watching: Sesame Street
Eating: French Fries