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"THE ADVENTURES OF ELMO IN GROUCHLAND"
(1999) (Elmo, Mandy Patinkin) (G)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Minor Moderate *Mild None
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild None Moderate None None
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Minor None None Mild Minor


QUICK TAKE:
Children's: Elmo tries to retrieve his favorite blanket from a greedy man who stole it after the little red Muppet inadvertently falls into Oscar the Grouch's hometown, Grouchland.
PLOT:
In the pleasant neighborhood bordering Sesame Street, Elmo (voice of KEVIN CLASH) is a friendly little three-year-old red "monster" who loves his comfy blanket, and will do anything to make people happy. When his friend Zoe (voice of FRAN BRILL), is upset that she didn't get to go the zoo, Elmo cheers her up.

Yet when she wants to hold his blanket, Elmo gets upset. As the two get in a tug of war over it, they don't see Telly (voice of MARTIN P. ROBINSON) who accidentally skates into it, sending Elmo on a wild chase trying to retrieve it. The blanket, however, gets away from him and lands near Oscar the Grouch (voice of CAROLL SPINNEY) who uses it to blow his nose and then throws it into his trash can.

Elmo learns of this and, impatient for Oscar to return, jumps into the can and ends up in Oscar's home. While retrieving the blanket from a lever on a wall, however, Elmo and his blanket get sucked through a colorful tunnel into Oscar's hometown of Grouchland.

There, he meets various characters, including Grizzy (voice of STEPHANIE D' ABRUZZO), as well as the greedy Huxley (MANDY PATINKIN) who, along with his assistant, Bug the bug (voice of JOSEPH MAZZARINO), steals Elmo's blanket and claims it as his. Elmo obviously wants to get it back and with some help from Grizzy, sets out for Huxley's castle to retrieve it.

Meanwhile, Elmo's friends on Sesame Street are concerned about their friend, and so set out to help him. When they arrive in Grouchland, however, Big Bird (voice of CAROLL SPINNEY), the Cookie Monster (voice of FRANK OZ), Oscar and several of their human friends are arrested and put in prison.

With his friends unable to help him, Elmo continues his quest to get his blanket back, a journey that leads him through various adventures, including a trip to Da Dump, ruled by the Queen of Trash (VANESSA WILLIAMS), while contending with Huxley and his minions, the Pesties, who try to stop his quest.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
If they're fans of Sesame Street or the Muppets, they probably will, but older kids will probably want to avoid this film like the plague.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: G
For not containing material that would warrant a higher rating.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • ELMO is a friendly little three-year-old monster who's a bit protective about his blanket, but proves his worth by facing many challenges to retrieve it from Huxley.
  • MANDY PATINKIN plays the greedy Huxley who has a penchant for stealing things and then claiming them for his own.
  • VANESSA WILLIAMS plays the Queen of Trash who gives Elmo a challenge he must meet to get her help.
  • ZOE is another young Muppet and friend of Elmo's.
  • GRIZZY is a young inhabitant of Grouchland who breaks tradition and helps Elmo in his quest to retrieve his blanket.
  • BUG is Huxley's right-hand assistant who eventually goes against his greedy boss.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    The following is a brief summary of the content found in this G-rated film that's aimed squarely at kids. A few scenes could possibly be a bit unsettling or suspenseful to the youngest of them (and are accompanied by a moderate amount of action or comic oriented "tense" music), but such scenes are far less "frightening" or suspenseful than comparable ones found in Disney's animated features and don't last very long. Older kids probably won't find any of it even remotely suspenseful, however.

    Beyond that, some brief scatological humor (bodily sounds played for laughs that kids may mimic), some similarly brief slapstick style violence (never with malicious intent, however) and a villain with a bad (cartoon style) attitude, the rest of the film's categories have little if anything that most parents would find objectionable.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • Some brief scatological humor is present in the form of a few farting or belching sounds from various characters in several scenes.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Elmo is somewhat stingy with his blanket and doesn't want Zoe to hold it. After she inadvertently causes him to lose the blanket, he tells her that they're no longer friends (he later apologizes for that).
  • All of the citizens of Grouchland are grouches (but in a lighthearted fashion -- just like Oscar the grouch on "Sesame Street").
  • Huxley has both for being greedy and stealing things that aren't his, including Elmo's blanket. His minions, including Bug, also have both for helping Huxley, although Bug eventually changes sides and goes against his old boss.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • It's possible, but not very likely that some of the film's adventurous scenes, such as Elmo chasing after his blanket or being sucked down a multicolored tunnel (not intentionally played for suspense) could be slightly suspenseful or unsettling to the youngest of kids if they don't understand what's going on. Older kids, however, probably won't find any of it even remotely suspenseful.
  • When Huxley's flying machine first arrives and the residents of Grouchland run away, the youngest of kids might be a bit unnerved by this.
  • Elmo takes a fun ride on an old mining car through a tunnel that could possibly be a little unsettling for the youngest of kids.
  • A trash creature briefly startles Elmo (and thus might do the same to kids).
  • We hear the thumping of giant footsteps on the ground (and see it shake) after Huxley releases a creature to take care of Elmo (that causes other characters to run away in fright). It turns out to be a huge chicken that then tries to peck at Elmo on the ground (but in a standard, chicken-like way). After Elmo convinces the chicken that he's not a worm (the reason for the pecking), the fowl sends Elmo flying through the air where he lands in a tree and briefly hangs from a branch high above the ground.
  • Finally in Huxley's castle, Elmo finds a giant, mechanical claw lifting him up in a basket with the presumed intention of running him under a huge stamp that we see going up and down. He never comes close, however, to being moved near that.
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • None.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Some Grouchland residents throw pieces of paper at Elmo.
  • Since the few instances of belching and farting sounds are played for laughs, some kids may be inclined to make the same noises.
  • The same holds true for a scene where Elmo asks the audience to help him blow one hundred raspberries in less than thirty seconds to meet a requirement by the Queen of Trash.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A moderate amount of adventure or comic-based "tense" music plays during several scenes.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • None.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • The Queen of Trash wears a somewhat low cut outfit that shows a bit of cleavage.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • None.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • That Elmo learns that it's important to share and to persevere at what he wants (a caterpillar tells him that he's got what it takes inside to achieve his goals).
  • Why Huxley is so greedy.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Elmo and Zoe get into a tugging match over his blanket, resulting in a small tear in it.
  • There's some slapstick style material including a character accidentally running into a waiter causing the glasses on his tray to fall to the ground and break, a character running into a lamppost, several characters crash into each other and end up in a pile on the sidewalk, Telly accidentally knocks down the Cookie Monster, Huxley spins his telescope around and knocks aside one of his minions, and a small bulldozer's scoop accidentally hits one of Huxley's minions on the head.
  • Some Grouchland residents throw pieces of paper at Elmo.
  • Huxley's flying machine sucks up Grizzy against one of its sucking tubes and then drops her to the ground.



  • Reviewed September 25, 1999 / Posted October 1, 1999

    Other new reviews available this week include:

    [Captain America: The Winter Soldier] [Draft Day] [Oculus] [Rio 2]

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