Sesame Street Week: Day 6 – Sesame Street 40 Years of Sunny Days DVD Review

Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days
DVD Review

Ryan Dosier – What’s going on, Sesame Street fans? Are you having a happy, sunny day? If not, might I recommend picking up a brand new 2-disc DVD box set? No, not the “Death to Smoochy: ‘Kill Me Now” Edition”! Go buy Sesame Street: 40 Years of Sunny Days! This set is teetering on the edge of perfection and gives Sesame Street fans things they’ve been waiting to see for years; including a comprehensive collection of clips from each of the Street’s 40 seasons, rare, exclusive behind the scenes footage and interviews with the Sesame people, and a whole lot more. Let’s get started, shall we?

This set is separated into two DVDs. The first features clips from the seasons 1-20 (1969-1989) and the second features clips from seasons 21-40 (1990-2009). Both discs are jam-packed with all of the clips you would expect: “Rubber Duckie,” “People in Your Neighborhood,” “Bein’ Green,” etc. But also included are tons of wonderful surprises along the way including Forgetful Jones’ “Oklahoma” performance, Kermit’s “African Alphabet,” and “Law and Order: Special Letters Unit.”

The real highlights of these clips, however, are the inclusion of some of the biggest moments on the Street. Some clips from the Hawaii Episodes, Maria and Luis’ Wedding, Big Bird coping with Mr. Hooper’s death, Snuffy’s introduction to the adults, and an excerpt from the Hurricane Episodes are all included. Being able to have some of the Street’s most influential and memorable moments on DVD is a fantastic thing for all fans.

Some of the clips included seem extremely random such as “O-Orange Man,” “AlphaQuest,” and “Ooh What a Fabulous Party.” It seems like these could have been replaced by more well-known sketches that are surprisingly not included like “Alligator King” or the original “C is for Cookie.”

Although there are a few odd choices, each and every clip on this set is gorgeous and represents Sesame Street beautifully. From the very first clip of the theme song to the very last clip of the “D-Dance” song from the 40th Season, each one is just an awesome Sesame moment to relive over and over again.

It is truly a treasure to own this set and all of the wonderful, wonderful songs, laughs, and sunny days from 40 years of Sesame Street. It’s hard to pick out favorite clips here because they are all so chock-full of cloud-sweeping goodness. Whether you’re watching Elmo as The Lord of the Dance or Bert and Ernie building a snowman, you are sure to be in for a treat.

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest selling points of this set is its bonus features. Never before have fans been given such an in-depth, behind the scenes look at Sesame Street. There are interviews with Jon Stone, Caroll Spinney, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Jason Weber (puppet designer), Kevin Clash, and Jim Henson (all of whom I could listen to for hours), behind-the-scenes footage of the Muppeteers and the cast members rehearsing various scenes (such as a blue-screen shoot with Elmo, Two-Headed Monster “Telephone,” and “Hello, Hello, Hello” song), the making of the Muppet, Dr. Nobel Price, pop-up facts about Sesame Street, and a Fan-Favorite clip: “Bert and Ernie’s String-Tied.”

All of the bonus features are just incredible and there is enough here to make you watch both discs over and over again (as if the clips weren’t enough to do that). So many intricate pieces are included and there are even a few Easter Eggs I’ll leave you to find for yourself. I can’t praise the bonus features on this set enough and they alone are worth the price of the set.

Everything on this set is presented beautifully. The clips, the crystal-clear behind the scenes footage, the archive photos presented before various clips–everything is crisp, clear, and beautiful.

Another real treat are the menus on each disc. Every menu has a different song from that disc corresponding to it; even each “page” of the clip selection section has a different song from the season represented on that page. The main menus are all presented on a blacktop looking screen with various props (a Muppet bat, Rubber Duckie, etc.) on the screen.

Each of the two discs are included in a separate slim case with some interesting trivia bits included (and the misnaming of Oscar’s trash man, Bruno) on the back and some screenshots from some of the clips on the disc (much like the main box).

The set also includes a small, 24-page book which acts as a preview to Sesame Street: A Celebration – 40 Years of Life on the Street that is a very nice touch and will probably prompt more buyers to pick up the book.

There is absolutely nothing not to love about this set. Everything that is here is perfect and fantastic, sunny, Sesame Street fun. I only wish that there were more included! The clips and bonus features that are included are just fantastic, of course, but it seems that after 40 years more moments could have been included–but, again, there is probably enough Sesame Street out there to fill thousands of DVDs, and this two-disc set is most definitely some of the best of it.

Between the bonus features, the songs, the laughs, the hugs, the embraced tears, the over-arching retrospective of 40 seasons of the greatest children’s TV show ever, and the sunny days this set will bring you every time you watch it, the twenty dollar price tag seems like an extremely small price to pay. Especially when you consider that all twenty of those dollars will be going to Sesame Workshop to bring us more and more Sesame Street for 40 more years.

I can’t recommend this set enough, no matter what age you are. If you watched Sesame Street in 1969, then this set is for you. If you watched Sesame Street in 1979, then this set is for you. This set is for you if you watched the show in 1989, 1999, or 2009. This set is for any and every Sesame Street fan who wants to escape to their home away from home and hang out with Big Bird, Bob, Kermit, Elmo, Telly, Grover, Ernie, Bert, Mr. Hooper, and all of their friends.

Whether you’re watching Ernie croon “Rubber Duckie,” C-3PO sing a song about counting with Big Bird, Herry counting with John-John, Mr. Hooper surfing, or Bert and Ernie fishing, this set will be brought to you by the letters A-OK, and the number 1-derful. Be sure to put this set on your holiday wish list or pick it up for yourself wherever DVDs are sold!

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