Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland

Movie review by
Joly Herman, Common Sense Media
Sesame Street: Abby in Wonderland Movie Poster Image
Abby chases a red rabbit into a fun fairy tale for all ages.
  • NR
  • 2008
  • 45 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Abby and her friends model very nice examples of grace and courtesy. She says things like, "nice to meet you," when she meets someone and "excuse me," when she steps in front of someone. Her friends are helpful and kind, with the exception of The Grouch of Hearts, who we expect to be, well, grouchy.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff

Besides cookies and milk and fairy wands, nothing of note.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Nicely avoids the questionable elements of the original Alice in Wonderland, by using rhyme as a device to help Abby grow taller or smaller.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this Sesame Street take on Alice in Wonderland includes some educational content and good manners. When Abby needs to grow small or tall, she does so by rhyming.

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What's the story?

Abby Cadabby thinks she wants to live in a fairy tale when she gets big. So her friend Elmo tells her the story of Alice in Wonderland, pointing to the pictures in a book as Abby drifts off into a dream. The next thing she knows, she is chasing a rabbit that looks a lot like Elmo down a rabbit hole, and the story begins to take shape. Only this time, instead of eating strange things to grow larger or smaller, Abby must create rhymes to shrink enough to get though that tiny door. There on the other side, she meets a whole slew of familiar faces, from the Counterpilar, the Cheshire Cookie Cat, the Mad Hatter, and finally The Grouch of Hearts, who has the very thing in his possession that prevents her from getting home. Or so she thinks.

Is it any good?

This is a good choice for young fans of the show. "Life's not always a fairy tale ... There's not always a happy end," sing Abby and Elmo, when Abby finds herself unable to get home to her real life. But the friends who appear on her journey help to teach Abby a lesson. She begins to understand that looking forward to the day when she's bigger keeps her from noticing the beautiful little things in life, like the dewdrops on leaves, the colors in the sky, and her friends around her. Moreover, she learns that she can wake herself from a dream, which introduces an interesting concept of self control for small viewers.

Other lessons that might benefit viewers are those typical in Sesame Street productions: counting, speaking a little Spanish, exhibiting grace and courtesy, sounding out words, talking about emotions, taking responsibility for one's actions, and promoting friendship. Sometimes Abby speaks in rather a shrill voice, which might be irritating to adults within earshot, but the music is catchy and there are several clever moments in this DVD.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what it means to be small and big. Do big adults forget about the small things in life, as Abby and Elmo suggest? Are little kids supposed to act like big grown-ups sometimes? Is everyone in your family just the right size?

Movie details

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