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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that everything is topsy turvy when Elmo ventures into Grouchland, so a certain understanding of what is (and isn't) acceptable behavior is needed to get the humor fully -- hearing the pleasure with which the Grouches tell each other to get lost is funny only if you know it's not really OK. There are a few mildly perilous/tense moments that could upset sensitive or very young viewers, and some kids may be concerned that Elmo doesn't seem to have any parents and could need some reassurance.
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What's the story?
In this Sesame Street adventure, Elmo's favorite friend, his beloved blanket, is tossed into Oscar's trash can. Elmo (Kevin Clash) goes in after it, only to find himself transported to Grouchland, where grouches cut off the flowers and keep the stems and you get put in jail if you ask for help. The Sesame Street characters all go to Grouchland to try to find Elmo, but by then Elmo is on his way to get his blanket back from mean Mr. Huxley (Mandy Patinkin), who takes everything he sees and has a big machine to stamp "MINE" on everything he takes.
Is it any good?
Sesame Street fans will love THE ADVENTURES OF ELMO IN GROUCHLAND, which has all of the wonderful Sesame Street trademarks. There are subtle puns for parents, delightful silliness for kids, and gentle lessons about cooperation, loyalty, sharing, and believing in yourself for everyone, all told with their characteristic warmth, good humor, and kindness. Even Oscar the Grouch (Carroll Spinney) admits that Elmo is his friend. And during the few moments of mild tension, Ernie and Bert appear to reassure kids that everything is all right.
Patinkin and Vanessa Williams (as the Trash Queen) provide some star power, but the real stars are the Muppets and the audience -- who are invited to participate in the movie at crucial moments.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about their own "special" toys and other transition objects. Why is it sometimes hard to share?
What do the characters learn during the movie? What makes a Grouch a Grouch? (It can be a lot of fun to spend a couple of hours pretending the whole family is in Grouchland!)
- In theaters: October 1, 1999
- On DVD or streaming: December 21, 1999
- Cast: Kevin Clash, Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams
- Director: Gary Halvorson
- Studio: Columbia Tristar
- Genre: Family and Kids
- Topics: Adventures, Puppets
- Character strengths: Teamwork
- Run time: 73 minutes
- MPAA rating: G
- Last updated: September 21, 2019
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