Big Bird is sent to live far from Sesame Street by a pesky social worker. Unhappy, Big Bird runs away from his foster home, prompting the rest of the Sesame Street gang to go on a cross-country journey to find him.
A tug-of-war between Elmo and his friend sends his blanket to faraway Grouchland, a place full of grouchy creatures and the villainous Huxley. Elmo embarks on a rescue mission, learning important lessons about sharing and responsibility.
Central Park sure looks like a happy, colorful place in this Sesame Street special celebrating 25 years of educational music. With people performing music and dance all over the place, Telly Monster, Prairy Dawn and Big Bird make like Mickey & Judy and decide to put on a show. While the monster and the little girl are off to look for singers, dancers and musicians, Double B is set to sort out the Lala-ers. After getting special musical guests En Vogue and Ladysmith Black Mambazo out of the way, we can settle down and enjoy a compilation of Muppet music. This includes a medley of Ernies' odes to his Rubber duck, the best of Grover's monster hits and even some puppet free songs set to animation or footage of humans and other animals.
Back at BB's La-la line the Count is counting the various clips and his American cousin Mumford the magician turns the la-la-ers into quakers. While this paper thin storyline quickly begins to bore, there are more than enough musical numbers to make you see past the minimal mainframe. Naturaly 'It's not easy being green' is featured and in a clip so old that Kermit almost resembles his old lizard form from "Sam and Friends". Grovers' 'Monster in the Mirror' number is a bit less engaging without every celebrity guest they had chipping in during the early nineties alternate version, but still a lot of fun. Unfortunately, barely used orange monster Frazzle's appearance is cut from the 'Fuzzy and Blue' number, but at least Elmo only gets one song of his own.
As the show progresses the songs get deeper and more meaningful, culminating in the very profound 'We are all earthlings'. Luckily fan favorites the Yib-Yib-Ahah Martians make a surprise appearance. Ladysmith Black Mambazo returns and the entire cast shows up for a group rendition of 'Sing a song' during the grand finale. The only character missing was Don Music, that Guy Smiley lookalike who used to bang his head on his piano when he failed to rhyme a lyric. Then I realized Don got banned long ago for being a bad role model. Some guys never have any luck.
8 out of 10
PS: According to Muppet Wiki, there are two versions of this special. The first was released on home video in October of 1993 and features all the classic Sesame Street songs mentioned above while the second was broadcast on PBS in 1994 and focused more on music from the celebratory season 25.
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