Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird



Big Bird finds his true home in this warm tale.
Parents recommend
  • Review Date: March 25, 2009
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 1985
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Friends become family in this heartwarming film. The Sleaze Brothers are not such nice guys, locking Big Bird in a cage and making him sing for money!

Violence & scariness

Locking Big Bird in a cage is sad, but not violent, per se.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable

The Sleaze Brothers yell at each other, saying "Shut up!" Sam Sleaze says "Check the gams on that butterball," when he sees Big Bird for the first time.


True Value hardware sign. The Sleaze Brothers are out to make money at all costs.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that little ones might be confused about why the "Feathered Friends" take Big Bird away from his home on Sesame Street and place him in a home with another family. The social-worker-as-villain concept might seem a bit odd to anyone who has adopted a child, but Big Bird does end up in his rightful, colorful place: on Sesame Street.

What's the story?

The Feathered Friends, a group of birds who advocate for their own kind, have discovered that a young bird named Big Bird is living without bird parents in a place called Sesame Street. They send a social worker named Miss Finch to \"rescue him,\" and place him in a home with a bird family. Big Bird initially thinks this is a great idea, and he says goodbye to all of his dear friends, only to find that when he moves to Illinois, he is to be part of the Dodo family, who call him Big Dodo. He soon realizes how very unhappy he is with this new family and tries to find his way back to Sesame Street. He meets interesting people along the way and learns who his true family really is.

Is it any good?


True to the Jim Henson-era Sesame Street productions, this feature is filled with laughs and great cameos. Chevy Chase, John Candy, Dave Thomas, and Merle Haggard all bring their talents to the colorful cast. If only the social worker wasn't such a dodo herself, this feature would be close to perfect. But a happy ending to an epic journey is satisfying every time. Great choice for Sesame Street fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what a family is. Does every family look the same? Can friends be family, too? Why is Big Bird tempted to live with the Dodo's? Is Miss Finch a bad person? Is she helping Big Bird, or harming him?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 26, 1985
DVD release date:March 24, 2009
Cast:Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, Jim Henson
Director:Ken Kwapis
Studio:Warner Home Video
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, Puppets
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird was written by

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Parent of a 6, 10, and 14 year old Written byKako January 18, 2015

Charming Sesame Tale!

This movie, based on Sesame Street (around the time of Noggin's "Sesame Street Unpaved"), is great! It was touching and creative, as well as funny and entertaining. Unlike the episodes, it follows one story.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Kid, 11 years old January 11, 2015

I Love Big Bird!

This movie was really good and awesome! It was intense at some parts and I didn't expect that (the episodes are less intense). I felt really bad for Big Bird when they paint him blue and force him to sing! Poor Big Bird!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Parent Written bySGA123 September 4, 2014

Safe watching with a parent

A couple of scenes require some discussion (why does the social worker's face look angry? etc...) but this movie is definitely appropriate for a 3yo. The songs are catchy for kids, the message is great (families don't all look the same), and it definitely holds my 3yo's attention.
What other families should know
Great messages


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