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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Sesame Street: Elmo's World: Elmo Explores
Sesame Street: Elmo's World: Elmo Explores
Shout Factory // Unrated // October 2, 2018
List Price: $14.98 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Ryan Keefer | posted October 22, 2018 | E-mail the Author
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The Movie:

As my young son grows from infant to a lively toddler, we were looking for ways to entertain him recently. Having seen the Sesame Street magic work on him before, I wanted to see if I could press my luck with a "spin-off" of sorts from the franchise, featuring one of its popular current cast members, such as it was.

It's going to date me a little bit when I first wrote this because Elmo (the furry red baby…monster?) first appeared in 1985 and dang, I thought he didn't appear until like the last decade or so, go figure. Anyway, Elmo has a long-running segment that is called "Elmo's World," aimed at toddlers and covers things like Father's Day, families, calendar seasons and the like. Running about 12-15 minutes in length, the format is simple; Elmo intros the topic, a cell-phone named "Smarty" pops by to provide more information on same, Elmo "chats" with a speechless neighbor named Mr. Noodle, sometimes with Mr. Noodle's family members, to find out more about how they address said topic. Early versions of the Noodle family on this disc were played by Bill Irwin (from the "Don't Worry Be Happy" music video) while recent incarnations are largely done by Daveed Diggs (Ferdinand)

The show lays out what it's about quite easily and gearing it towards youngsters as the Sesame Street folks have, they know how to do it. At the length of each segment, they seem to realize that if it goes longer kids will tune out, shorter segments will serve to be a little confusing. There's an introduction, explanation, exercise and a cool-down of sorts when Elmo does the dance party and asks the viewing kids to do their own.

The only maybe remotely startling moment for me as a parent was seeing "Smarty." Our family is trying to limit screens (he says, after letting his kid watch AN HOUR of Elmo), so seeing a iPhone-esque character was disappointing. Though they only really show the positive of a phone? In this case, passively inferring the power of inquisition or information with it. So it's jarring, albeit briefly, and the little one next to you doesn't seem to mind. Moreover, he tends to enjoy watching Mr. Noodle and the Noodle family, so ima need Irwin et al to come over for my kid's birthday next year.

This is a different variation of the Sesame Street universe for my house, and my son took to it nicely, laughing audibly and frequently at the Noodle antics. He's a chatty two-year old and hopefully the things he saw over the course of a couple of different settings kicked in and helps to benefit him further in his life, along with the lessons my wife and I give him.

The Disc
The Video:

All are presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen and look fine. I mean, I wasn't aware of them when they first aired so I don't know what they could have looked like before, but the colors are fine and the image is generally clean without noise or artifacts, looks like the source material was kept in good shape.

The Sound:

5.1 surround which doesn't get much to do here, given the target demographic. But sound effects are fine, there are a couple of brief moments of channel panning when they go around Elmo's room, and dialogue sounds good.

The Extras:

Three older episodes of Elmo's World are included, focusing on music (14:26), pets (14:31) and drawing (14:02), along with two episodes from another show called "Furchester," which looks more at older characters; "The Count's Vacations" (11:04) look at the noted vampire (whom my son thought was scary) and on a "Space Alien Party" (11:04) with those two puppets whose mouths are the puppeteers hands. Hard to describe but if you've seen them you know.

Final Thoughts:

All in all, Elmo Explores is good on two fronts for the young Elmo devotee in your house; if you haven't seen Elmo grace your house before this is a good place to start, but the disc also expands the universe ever so slightly to show you some other characters in the supplements, so you can go (or get back) into Sesame Street with relative ease. While I want my son to explore a variety of different stimuli that is fun and educational, I'm not going to begrudge him if he wants to wear this disc into the ground either.

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