The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland
Elmo loves his fuzzy, well-worn blue blanket more than anything in the whole world. Elmo's blanket gets sucked into colorful, swirling tunnel into Grouchland, the yuckiest place on earth. Elmo goes on an adventure to Grouchland to retrieve his blanket.
Release Date: October 01, 1999
Writer: Joey Mazzarino, Mitchell Kriegman
Director: Gary Halvorson
Producer: Brian Henson, Martin G. Baker, Stephanie Allain, Marjorie Kalins, Alex Rockwell
Cast: Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams, Ruth Buzzi, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Emilio Delgado, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Sonia Manzano, Fran Brill, Jerry Nelson, Kevin Clash, Martin P. Robinson, Roscoe Orman, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Joey Mazzarino, Alison Bartlett-O'Reilly, Loretta Long, Bob McGarth, Carmen Osbahr, David Rudman(less)
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In sympathy for the anxiety the villain may cause little viewers, Bert and Ernie often stop the action to explain the frightening things happening in the story. The audience is also encouraged to help the little monster by talking to him (You can do it Elmo!), and there are frequent interruptions in the plot for musical numbers (kind of like the TV show). These are all nice gestures, because Huxley is too scary for the intended audience and the blanket is of too little consequence for every one else. Besides, without their inclusion the plot could have been accomplished in a quarter of the time.
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.
Really fun Elmo adventure teaching kids about sharing and greed. Elmo comes to understand that even if something is his and he doesn't want to share, he shouldn't be mean to his friends. Some of the jokes are aimed at the parents who are watching with their kids. There are some scary parts, but Ernie and Bert interrupt the story to reassure the kids watching that everything will be ok.April 14th, 2013 · Details
This is a great Sesame Street movie. The movie is well done and even little kids can watch it. Sesame Street has done a very good job making it.December 11th, 2011 · Details
Grouches, teenagers and adults may not like "The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland." But that's OK because the film wasn't made for them anyway.
Actually, this live-action musical/adventure knows exactly what its target audience is — young children, or even more specifically the young fans of TV's long-running "Sesame Street" series — and what's more, it isn't afraid to play to them almost exclusively.
That may make it a more dicey proposition for parents and older children — and teens will likely find it insufferable. After all, it is too precious for words and a might overloaded with saccharine sentiment. But it's cute, diverting fun for the young 'uns, and one that features a good message to boot.
(Though it should be noted that the film does feature that bugaboo of kids movies, the flatulence joke — even though it is a brief throwaway gag that may go unnoticed.)
The story revolves around adorable, red-furred monster Elmo (voiced and performed by Kevin Clash) and his quest to be reunited with his beloved blue blanket, which he loses during a squabble with his best friend, Zoe (Fran Brill).
A brief tug of war between the two pals sends the blanket floating and whirling down Sesame Street, where it lands next to Oscar the Grouch (Caroll Spinney), who blows his nose on it, throws it in his trash can and tromps off.
Needless to say, the already despondent Elmo is beside himself. And rather than waiting for Oscar to return, he decides to take matters into his own hands — as he hurls himself down the larger-than-it-seems trash can in search of his blanket.
But it not's that easy, as both Elmo and the blanket are sucked through a vortex into Grouchland, "the land of a thousand stinks." Once there, Elmo finds his pleas for help falling on the deaf ears of the, well, grouchy residents and worse, the blanket falls into the possession of the greedy Huxley (Mandy Patinkin), a bushy-browed villain who isn't going to give it up very easily.
As mentioned, it is a message movie. But director Gary Halvorsen and a pair of screenwriters avoid making it too heavy-handed, instead concentrating on the comedic and musical elements of the story. And even though the majority of the jokes are directed at youngsters, there are at least a couple of gags than can be appreciated by older audiences.
Also, the songs are catchy enough, and filmmakers made a wise choice in casting Patinkin, who really chews the scenery in his showy role and gives the film's best performance. (He also shines on what's probably the best of the musical numbers, "Make It Mine.")
"The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland" is rated G but does contain some mildly vulgar gags and some flatulence humor, as well as some slapstick-style violence.June 30th, 2000 · Details