Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird (1985) This is one of those movies that when I tell people how good it is they automatically write it off because they think Sesame Street and they think counting and letters and it's all just for little kids. When in reality, this is a very funny - very fun - movie for the whole family that doesn't play down to children and can be totally enjoyable for adults as well. This was the first big screen outing for the Sesame Street gang and it's a perfect example of how to bring a small screen show to a feature film format. Big Bird moves away from his New York home on Sesame Street to live with an adoptive bird family in Ocean View, Il. Big Bird quickly learns that he's made a mistake and sneaks away in the middle of the night to walk home to Sesame Street. He figures it will take him about three hours, since it took two to fly there. When news of Big Bird's departure hits home, the Sesame Street gang splits up and sets out to find Big before mean Ms. Finch from the adoption agency does.
Unlike the second Sesame Street movie, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland, Follow That Bird gives almost equal screen time to all the major characters. Oscar, Cookie Monster, Grover, The Count and Bert and Ernie all have big parts in this movie.
The Muppet-filled movie has two of my all time favorite jokes in a movie, one involving a tossed salad at Oscar's favorite restaurant, the Don't Drop Inn. As with all great Muppet movies there are plenty of cameos by human celebrities including Chevy Chase reprising his Weekend Update role which is pretty much worth the price of admission alone. I've seen this movie 200 times, it was nice watching it with children for once. My kids loved it, and our Friday night viewing sparked a weekend of listening to the soundtrack album in the car as well as a repeat screening on Sunday. I love when even a 5 and 7 year old can let their guard down and watch something silly and fun instead of super heroes and giant lizards. If you don't have a kids, but have a fondness for Muppets and/or your ol' pals from Sesame Street - get yourself a copy of this movie, pull down the shades and get ready for an incredibly entertaining 90 minutes. If you have kids and they haven't seen this yet, do everyone a favor and watch it. Good times!
Of course, this epic is Rated G and contains nothing offensive or off-color. Over-sensitive parents of over-sensitive kids should know that there are some bad guys who are played for laughs but they do say things like "shut up" and "idiot" and they lock Big Bird in a cage. But the young viewing audience is always kept in mind, and this is a solid G.