The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland

June 20, 2007

I recently watched Elmo in Grouchland for the first of what may eventually be hundreds of times. It wasn’t that bad…but I’ll get back to you after viewing 793.

There’s not much plot – Elmo loses his favorite blanket and goes to Grouchland to find it. Yes, Grouchland is Oscar’s homeland – a place full of multicolored pastel grouches. Grouchland is also inhabited by two non-grouches – Mandy Patinkin, the evil blanket thief, and Vanessa Williams, the queen of trash. Mandy Patinkin was great…but I’m not sure what the purpose of Vanessa Williams was. All she did was wear a diaphanous gown and sing a song about trash.

I want to spend a few minutes talking about my son, the Elmo-holic. When Elmo hit the scene in the 90s, I scoffed at Sesame Street’s seemingly blatant attempt at Marketing to smaller children. How could they just add another muppet – blasphemy! I scoff no more. Let me tell you – Elmo is the best thing out there. I’ve been paying attention to what’s available for toddlers and pre-schoolers for a while – it’s a veritable wasteland. Barney’s full of feelgood hippie bullshit. The Teletubbies are only entertaining if you’re stoned (trust me on this one). The Wiggles are…well…Australian. Veggie Tales are super Christian – I won’t touch them with a 10 foot pole. Dora is alright for girls, I guess. So, having grown up on Sesame Street, Elmo is the logical choice. My kid did not give two fucks for Elmo a year ago. Then his Grammy got him one of those wild giggling, fucking maniacial, vibrating extreme Elmos. He still didn’t give a shit – in fact, I think he was scared of it. So we started him on a steady diet of Sesame Street. I bought him Elmo clothes, Elmo shoes, Elmo dolls, Elmo bandaids, Elmo books, Elmo diapers, Elmo crackers, Elmo DVDs, Elmo Bubble Bath…I’m telling you, I got this kid hooked on EVERYTHING Elmo. I am like the Pablo Escobar of Elmo. My reasoning is this…first off, Elmo keep the other fucks, like Barney, out of my house. Second, Elmo gives me control – I can use Elmo to get what I want out of my kid. He may not want to change his shirt right now, because it has just the right mixture of boogers and strawberry jam – it took him hours to get it that way. But I pull out an Elmo shirt – he’s naked in about 3 seconds. Elmo is the Great Persuader. And most importantly, I do a really killer Elmo voice…

I can’t believe I reviewed a fucking Elmo movie. This is probably the end of what little credibility I may have had left. I need to redeem myself – I wonder if Netflix carries Faces of Death?

Year – 1999
Rating – G
Runtime – 73 minutes
Genre – Sesame Street
Director(s) – Gary Halvorson
Writer(s) – Mitchell Kriegman
Actor(s) – Elmo, Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams, Carroll Spinney, Kevin Clash
BOB Rating – Two BOBs
Favorite Quote – "How about that Elmo? What guts! What spunk! What chutzpah!" - Bug