Sesame Street - Elmo's Magic [Import]
The irrepressible little red star of Sesame Street sizzles in Elmo's Magic Cookbook, but he's not the only celebrity to wave a wooden spoon here. It all begins when the tummy-rumble-inducing book the tape takes its title from is dusted off from its attic-dwelling days. First, it "alakazams" Jean, the ingredient-providing Julia Child of genies, onto Sesame Street for a primer on churning out a champion batch of ice cream (and one that, in one of a number of characteristically superb running gags, nearly causes Telly to collapse from arm fatigue), and then bam!--everybody's favorite Crescent City culinary whiz comes by to create the perfect pizza with the gang. Chef Emeril Legasse does one better than sprinkle the parmesan and pile on the pepperoni with expected panache--he also peels away the mystery of where cheese comes from. When Legasse leaves on a minestrone emergency, another apron-ready star steps in. This time it's singer Heather Headly, here known as Pocket Queen. Elmo, no dummy, is at first resistant to the queen's suggestion that together they cook up some pockets. When she takes him on a video tour of pocket-eating cultures, however (think China's dim sum), he warms to the idea, and what results is a scrumptious-looking summer roll. Each of the video's cooking segments is intercut with food-related bits from the show--Grover's hilarious gig as a hopeless waiter is one. In addition to a handful of recipes ripe for kid collaboration, this tape serves up customary Sesame-style excellence. No future foodie's video shelf should be without it. --Tammy La Gorce
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Top Customer Reviews
That being said, this is another of the variety of Sesame Street videos that uses contrived setups, bad puppetry, celebrity appearances, and educational drivel to spoon-feed information to toddlers like they were so many fois gras geese. Ugh!
Yes, there's loads of Elmo for fans. There's also a blue-screened flying puppet to push the contrived plot forwards. The REAL Sesame clips are few and far between; most of the plot takes place in the kitchen set, and the songs are all "new." To top it off, they have Broadway star Heather Headly appearing to make Vietnamese Summer Rolls, and sing a heartrending song about trying new foods. What does Heather Headly have to do with food? Why aren't her considerable talents used in a video about music or singing or acting?
So - don't buy this. Buy "Let's Eat" if you're looking for a fun Sesame Street video about food.
For one thing, cooking is a subject that not all kids are going to take to. I suppose the idea behind the tape is that kids should learn that they CAN cook (with help). The treats Elmo and his friends prepare include kid favorites like pizza and ice cream. But some kids probably just want to eat these things, and couldn't care less about how to make them. They might find the tape a little dull.
Also, the kids on this tape are just adorable, but a little older than the usual Sesame Street crowd (I'm guessing they're about 7 or 8). Obviously, they needed kids who were capable of doing the cooking-related tasks on the video, which leads me to believe that three or four year olds might not be able to "cook" as well as Elmo and his friends do here. But slightly older kids who wish they were Emeril and haven't outgrown Sesame Street are a perfect audience!
The musical numbers here are a bit grating, but not as bad as all that. If you can get over the annoying voice of the Genie character who helps our friends in the kitchen, and ignore the unfunny food puns, you'll get to see Emeril give a brief lesson in pizza-making. To me, it looks like he'd rather be somewhere else, but maybe this is his usual expression.Read more ›
Yes, I find Genie a little annoying. But, the little girl in this video is destined for a career in the entertainment field. She is really good. Of course, Heather Headly is enchanting.
I think the only down side is that my daughter also tries to BAM her food sometimes at the dinner table!
Most recent customer reviews
My kids favorite video. We have worn it out. We used this to suggest more veggies and we do pockets all the time. It is great for suggesting new foods. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Marcia Morris
My daughter got this as a present, I'm not sure if I would have thought of buying it myself, and was greatly surprised! Read morePublished on Jan. 1 2002
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