|CHARACTERS • HOME VIDEO|
SOUNDTRACK • MORE
|Released||August 2, 1985|
|Written by||Tony Geiss & Judy Freudberg|
|Music||Van Dyke Parks and Lennie Niehaus|
see also: songs
|Studio||Warner Bros. Pictures|
Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird is the first feature-length film to star characters from Sesame Street.
The plot involves an organization of birds called the Feathered Friends sending Big Bird to Oceanview, Illinois, to live with a bird family called the Dodos. However, after deciding that he isn't happy with them, he heads back to Sesame Street, not realizing that it will take more than just three hours to get back home.
Big Bird's road trip makes the news, and his friends on Sesame Street team up to find him. Also searching for him is overbearing social worker Miss Finch, who wants to return him to the Dodos. Big Bird's travels include a ride with a truck driver and an easy going day with farm children Ruthie and Floyd. He has a less friendly encounter with Sam and Sid Sleaze, crooked carnival operators who cage him as an act. In the end, Big Bird's friends find and rescue him and the bird returns to his true family and home, on Sesame Street.
- The street set used in this movie is a rebuilt version of the show set, made to look more realistic. The expanded street includes a bakery, a clinic, a grocery store, a fire station, an auto body shop, a music store, a barber shop, and a bookstore. A sign above the Fix-It Shop touts a "local restaurant around the corner."
- The Dodo family's home address is 35 Canary Row, Oceanview, Illinois.
- The movie was filmed on location in Ontario, Canada, and at Toronto International Studios. Thus, in addition to the regular Sesame Street puppeteers, many of the performers from Fraggle Rock were used for the film.
- The movie was also filmed shortly after production wrapped on Sesame Street’s 15th season, but released in the summer following Season 16.
- It is noted as Martin P. Robinson's first filmed performance of Telly Monster (following the departure of Brian Muehl). Fred Garbo Garver also plays Barkley for the first time, continuing the role through Season 24, and Pam Arciero performs Grundgetta.
- In addition to its own storybook adaptation, the movie inspired five storybooks: Big Bird's Day on the Farm, Big Bird Visits the Dodos, Big Bird Joins the Carnival, Count All the Way to Sesame Street, and Welcome Home, Big Bird which takes place after the movie.
- The aircraft that Big Bird flies on from Sesame Street to Oceanview, Illinois is a Fokker F27 Friendship.
- A widescreen DVD presented in the film's original 1.85:1 screen-aspect ratio was available for the first time in 2009, when a 25th-anniversary Deluxe Edition DVD of the film was released. Previously, all region-1 copies of the film were presented full screen 1.33:1.
- Just before Big Bird's entrance roller-skating down the street, he is visible through the Fix-It Shop window waiting for his cue for just a moment or two before he skates home.
- The turkey truck driver's license plate reads "GOBBLE."
- The scene with Big Bird running from Ernie and Bert's approaching plane is a spoof on a visually similar scene from the Alfred Hitchcock film North by Northwest, in which Cary Grant's character hides in a cornfield after a crop duster attack. The subsequent pesticide cloud, in this version, is replaced by Bert's falling bottlecap collection.
- Richard Hunt puppeteered the Count for the film while Jerry Nelson dubbed over the voice.
- The "first draft second revision" of the screenplay was written on April 3, 1984.
- Muppet Performers
- Caroll Spinney, Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Kathryn Mullen, Jerry Nelson, Martin P. Robinson, Bryant Young, Fred Garbo Garver, Cheryl Wagner, Patricia Leeper, Gordon Robertson, Jeff Weiser, Shari Weiser, Tim Gosley, Noel MacNeal, Robert Stutt, Lee Armstrong, Nikki Tilroe, Robert Mills, John Pattison, Frank Meschkuleit, Terry Angus, Matthew Pidgeon, Stephen Brathwaite, Tom Vandenberg, Francine Anderson, Ron Wagner, Martine Carrier, Karen Valleau, Michelle Frey, Gus Harsfai, Patricia Lewis, Charlotte Levinson, Carolanne MacLean, Peter McCowatt, Brian Moffatt, Myra Fried, Jani Lauzon, Sandra Shamas, Kevin Clash, Pam Arciero
- Sesame Street Cast
- Linda Bove as Linda
- Emilio Delgado as Luis
- Loretta Long as Susan
- Sonia Manzano as Maria
- Bob McGrath as Bob
- Roscoe Orman as Gordon
- Alaina Reed as Olivia
- Kermit Love as Willy
- Human Cast
- Dave Thomas as Sam Sleaze
- Joe Flaherty as Sid Sleaze
- Alyson Court as Ruthie
- Benjamin Barrett as Floyd
- Richard Campbell as Boy with apple
- Liston Bates as Rescue Boy
- Tawny Richard as Rescue Girl
- Adrian McCalla as Kid at map
- Tanya Marie Cook as Tanya
- Shawna Stoll as Airline Announcer
- Voice Actors
- Sally Kellerman as Miss Finch
- Laraine Newman as Mommy Dodo
- Brian Hohlfeld as Daddy Dodo
- Cathy Silvers as Marie Dodo
- Eddie Deezen as Donnie Dodo
- Cameo Guest Stars
- Paul Bartel as Grouch Cook
- Sandra Bernhard as Grouch Waitress
- John Candy as State Trooper Nelson
- Chevy Chase as Newscaster
- Waylon Jennings as Truck Driver
- Muppet Characters
- Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, Ernie, Bert, Kermit the Frog, Cookie Monster, Grover, Count von Count, Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster, Miss Finch, Mommy Dodo, Daddy Dodo, Donnie Dodo, Marie Dodo, Madame Chairbird
- Background Characters
- Grundgetta, Osvaldo, el Gruñón, Grouches, Bruno the Trashman, Barkley, Herry Monster, Gladys the Cow, Elmo, Two-Headed Monster, Sherlock Hemlock, The Amazing Mumford, Biff, Sully, Buster the Horse, Forgetful Jones, Simon Soundman, Dr. Nobel Price, Poco Loco, Maurice Monster, Prairie Dawn, Red Bird, Ferlinghetti Donizetti, Mr. Honker, Old McDougal, Honkers, Slimey, Anything Muppets, Sesame Street Monsters, Board of Birds, Peligro, Granny Monster
- Producer: Tony Garnett
- Executive Producer: Joan Ganz Cooney
- Music Coordinator: Jeff Moss
- Associate Producers: Pat Churchill, Martin G. Baker
- "Sesame Street" Muppet Consultant: Kermit Love
- "Sesame Street" Character Design: Donald Sahlin, Kermit Love, Caroly Wilcox
- New Character Design: Michael K. Frith
- Additional Muppet Design and Construction: Caroly Wilcox, with Rollie Krewson, Edward G. Christie, Richard Termine, Joanne Green, Mary Dennis Kannapell, Maria McNamara, Kay Stuntz, Norman Tempia, Jane Tschetter, Marian Keating, David Velasquez, Muriel Stockdale, Tom Keller, Cheryl Blaylock, Bob Flanagan, Robert Marty, Jan Rosenthal, Matthew Stoddart, Susan Moore, Christopher Lyall
- Muppet Special Effects: Larry Jameson, with Fred Buchholz, Leigh Donaldson, Tom Newby, Richard Loveless, Daniel Nauke, Faz Fazakas
- New York Workshop Production: Will Morrison, with Faye Kreinberg and Cathy Sherrill
- Toronto Studio Co-ordinator: Richard Termine, with Sherry McMorran, Jean-Guy White, Suzanne Hudson, Rob Gardner, Noel MacNeal
- Special Assistant: Debbie Spinney
Wendy's featured the characters on a series of cups and Kids Meal boxes. A promotional tie-in with Coronet was also established which featured the characters on paper towel packaging and as part of a Sweepstakes in the summer of 1985.
- "EP#6: Martin P. Robinson/Jerry Stories (Paul Rudolph)/'Little Red'", Below The Frame with Matt Vogel, September 2, 2020. (01:05:13)
- see Talk: Telly Monster
- Noel MacNeal interview
- Script to Screen: Follow That Bird (1985)