When you’re a parent, you really want your kid to grasp the concept of language fast. Why? Mainly when they become mobile you can control them by remote control. You can tell them things instead of constantly having to get out of the recline and pull them away from the stairs or toilet. You also want them to be able to read words so they know what not to touch like your lunch. Naturally the first place to start getting the toddlers to understand reading words is recognizing alphabet letters. You can go the old School House method of just showing them the letters and screaming out the words they start. But that rarely goes over well. The smartest way to introduce your kid to letters is the same place that gave you a clue what the strange shapes really meant: Sesame Street. If you are lucky enough to be a stay at home parent, there’s a joyful fun in introducing your kids to the old neighborhood. You’ll point to the buildings and tell them about Mister Hooper and other characters that were around during your childhood. Mostly your kids will care about what Muppets and humans are currently on the screen. They will also catch on to the concept of letters with the Letter of the Day. But what if you need more letters in a day? Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection gives you all 26 letters (yes, there are only 26 letters in the alphabet) in one special.
The two hour compilation features different little bits about letters from all over the 50 years Sesame Street has been on PBS (and now HBO). This is great since the odds are that you’ll see a few familiar bits from when you were a kid. You’ll also get to see the stuff that happened after you were sent to kindergarten and were no longer at home when Sesame Street aired. There are plenty of famous people dropping by to help the Muppets. Maya Angelou drops an H on Harry Monster. Ricky Gervais screws up a lullaby to Elmo. Sia sings about S. Smokey Robinson gets a hold of U. The good part about Sesame Street is that the show is aimed at kids, but they make little jokes to keep the parents entertained. There’s a tribute to ZZ Top during Z.
You are given the ability to start at five different points in the alphabet so you don’t have to always hear A in the beginning. You can flip to the letters that the kid is having issues with understanding. The tricky P & Q can be a focus. Sesame Street: Awesome Alphabet Collection is educational, entertaining and a touch of nostalgia for the grown up in the room. Here’s Josie to talk about what Sesame Street did in her understanding of letters:
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The footage varies depending on the age. The older clips are 1.33:1 and a bit wavy as old standard video can be. But old fans watching with younger fans will get a rush out of seeing Sherlock Hemlock on the case. The audio is Dolby Digital Stereo. The sound levels are fine for little ears. The special is subtitled in English and Spanish.
Elmo’s Amazing Alphabet Race (13:52) has the monsters running around Sesame Street trying to find words that begin with all the letters. It’s a spoof of the Amazing Race series.
ABC Activity Pages can be printed out for kids.
Shout! Kids and Sesame Street Workshop present Awesome Alphabet Collection. Starring Elmo, Ernie, Bert, Norah Jones, Maya Angelou and Cookie Monster. Running Time: 120 minutes. Rated: Unrated. Released: May 7, 2019.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.