REVIEW: Sesame Street Alphabet Songs

Michael Wermuth – Alphabet Songs is the latest Sesame Street video release. It includes two segments for every letter of the alphabet, plus a number of segments about the alphabet in general. Although it’s titled “Alphabet Songs,” not every segment included is a song.

Among the videos highlights include “Sing the Sesame Street Alphabet,” which bookends the video, “Would You Like to Buy an O?” (how amazing is it that they included a Lefty segment on a children’s-market Sesame Street release?), the 1990s remakes of “C is for Cookie” and “La, La, La,” “Celebrity Lullabies” with Ricky Gervais, “U Really Got a Hold of Me” with Smokey Robinson, “Don’t Know Y” with Norah Jones, and a rendition of “The Alphabet Song” sung by Ray Charles. There are also a number of animated segments with Cookie Monster and Elmo, as well as some “Alphabet Pictures Presents…” segments with silent movie-style humor.

I am unsure whether I can get myself to recommend this video. There’s a lot of great material, but most of the best stuff was previously released on other videos (maybe if you don’t have all those other videos…). Of course, there are two segments (“The Question Song” and “Sammy the Snake”) that appeared on the long out-of-print The Alphabet Game video. But this video also has a LOT of forgettable animation and film segments, especially from the last few years. Maybe kids will appreciate them better than me. And it’s a shame this video doesn’t have any Typewriter or AlphaQuest segments.

The only bonus feature is the video Learning Letters with Elmo. I think this was an odd choice for inclusion, since it only came out two years ago and some of the segments on this release also appear as part of the main program (I would have included Learning About Letters or Do the Alphabet instead). Still, it was enjoyable (I hadn’t seen this video before). It features three street stories, plus multiple Letter of the Day and animated Elmo and Cookie Monster segments that originated on Sesame English. But for some reason, Learning Letters only focuses on three letters.

So in conclusion, I guess I’d recommend this for the shows current target audience. A full listing of segments is at Muppet Wiki, so if there’s any segments included that you’d like to have on video, get this one, though as I said earlier, most of the best ones had already been released on video (many of which are much better). I feel it should have had a few more Muppet segments, or a few more classic letter segments. And Sesame Workshop, if a “Numbers Songs” video comes out, please include some Baker, Jazz, and Pinball segments.

The Muppet Mindset by Ryan Dosier,

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