The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland is the second and final Sesame Street movie. Unlike Jim Henson’s Muppets, they’re more meant for TV. I was 4 years old in 1999, so my enjoyment of Sesame Street is linked to a certain 3 year old red monster named Elmo. Although I missed the mass hysteria of Tickle Me Elmo, I do have fond memories of Elmo’s World. Years later, I understand the frustration seasoned fans must of had for Elmo.
I’ll never forget the circumstances of how I saw The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland. Since my older brother was in school, my mom decided to just take me to see it. Needless to say my brother wasn’t happy about that. Outside of a few fragments, I have next to no memories of the movie (until rewatching it). Elmo in Grouchland is done in the style of a “gone missing” story. An Elmo movie was inevitable, but your enjoyment of it depends on how much you like Elmo.
The short and simple story is Elmo searching for his beloved blanket after being a little possessive of it and yelling at Zoe. He learns a lesson about sharing by the end. As the title suggests, Oscar the Grouch is just as important. As Elmo falls into his trash can that magically takes him to a rotten world called Grouchland. Mandy Patinkin is the cartoonish villain, Vanessa Williams is the Queen of Trash, and Big Bird, Cookie Monster, and Grover are there too. Meanwhile, Bert & Ernie talk directly to the kids. Songs are harmless, the tone is light, and Elmo in Grouchland is just fine for Elmo fans like I was.