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With: Kevin Clash, Mandy Patinkin, Vanessa Williams, Sonia Manzano, Roscoe Orman, Fran Brill, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, Dave Goelz, Joey Mazzarino, Jerry Nelson, Carmen Osbahr, Martin P. Robinson, David Rudman, Caroll Spinney, Steve Whitmire, Alison Bartlett, Frank Oz, Ruth Buzzi, Emilio Delgado
Written by: Joseph Mazzarino, Mitchell Kriegman, based on a story by Mitchell Kriegman
Directed by: Gary Halvorson
MPAA Rating: G
Running Time: 73
Date: 15/09/1999

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Grouch Love

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The adorable little red monster from Sesame Street, Elmo (Kevin Clash), stars in his first feature movie, directed by Gary Halvorson. Elmo's favorite thing in the world is his blanket, and so he's very upset when Oscar the Grouch sneezes into it and throws it into his trash can. So, like Pee-Wee Herman in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985), Elmo sets out on an odyssey to get his beloved possession back. He soon finds himself in Grouchland, where the greedy and evil Huxley (Mandy Patinkin) takes everything he wants, including the blanket.

The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland is dialed down to a younger audience than the Muppet movies, but it still has enough humor to sustain adults' attention, especially for the brief running time of 77 minutes. Bert and Ernie are on hand, "narrating" the film. Bert runs out every so often to stop the film, and wonder aloud why all these bad things are happening to poor Elmo. Elmo himself seems to have the power to win any heart, like a little puppy. His innocently squeaky voice and sweet soul melt even the most rigid cynics.

This is a sweet movie that asks its audience to learn to share while we're having fun. Aside from Oscar the Grouch it co-stars Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Grover, Zoe, the Count, and Vanessa Williams as the Queen of Trash.

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