After a week’s worth of viewing this tape, I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Our daughter, age 18 months, is an absolute Elmo fanatic, and we have many, many Elmo and Sesame Street tapes in our collection. We were excited to see this one come out, because she also loves cowboys/cowboy music, like “Riders in the Sky” (singing cowboy group) and so do we! The Riders don’t appear on this tape, but the guests who do seem to fit the bill just fine!
Overall, I think we’ve had a positive reaction to it, but it does make me understand why “Elmo’s World” segments are only about 15 minutes long. That’s about how long you really want to hear Elmo do his high-energy exploration of any one subject. This tape is a really, really long Elmo’s World, more or less–and it can seem to go on and on and on. Smaller viewers and less patient parents may get that “when’s it going to end?” feeling. However, you can see why they had to make it long–you get lots of cute extra things like footage of Elmo riding a real pony, songs like “Home on the Range,” a segment about Pecos Bill (with a mustached Elmo as Bill), etc. Too many to fit in 15 minutes! You also get a couple visits with “Cowboy Noodle” etc. If your kid is a wannabe cowboy, and also an Elmo fan, this is like heaven!
The Sesame Street folks also tack on a few extras, which I believe are included in the total running time listed on the tape. One is the “Monster Clubhouse” segment you may have seen them run on Sesame Street. Four brand-new monster characters have a fun little meeting in their clubhouse. No, your child won’t learn much, but it’s silly and cute. I find it a tad too high-energy, and the character voices are a little annoying. The second “bonus” is a short segment of Baby Bear and his hero (which he drew with crayons), “Hero Guy.” It’s extra fun for the kids, but I can’t help but feel that the Sesame Street people know they have a captive audience, so they use new tapes as a set-up to get you hooked on their new ideas/segments/shows. I don’t think either of these add-ons is exciting enough to be a stand-alone, but there’s no ballot included in the video box. ; )
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Somewhere around 20 months my son became an Elmo junkie. I bought a some of the Elmo’s World tapes that each have 3 episodes on them, which he really enjoyed and watched over and over AND OVER again. After about six months, as might be expected he tired of them. But…he was given this tape for Valentine’s Day by his grandmother and it is all he wants to watch now. The style is actually one longer episode of Elmo’s World about the Wild Wild West that includes not just Mr. Noodle and Mr. Noodle’s brother Mr. Noodle, but Miss Noodle as well. A number of the other Sesame Street characters show up in a segment about square dancing too. Once that portion is over there is a “Monster Clubhouse” segment and a “Hero Guy” episode with Baby Bear. I honestly think these additional parts truly add interest to the usual “Elmo’s World” fare.
This one is extra special. It is not from the Sesame Street Elmo’s World segments. It is specially made and it seems like it too. My 18-month-old and I really enjoy it. There is real horses out west and Elmo even rides a horse (how did they do that?), puppet horses and many other puppets doing a square dance. All the Noodles, including Miss Noodle, riding their horse Macoroni and doing a really cute western dance in which Elmo joins them. And a good singer, Travis Trent, singing a song about Pacos Bill in which Elmo plays Pacos. It is a cute story too. It has all the things from Elmo World, like the drawer, the shade, the e-mail, the TV and the Noodles, but it seems extra special and it is. After the show there is a Monster Clubhouse show and a Baby Bear segment. A must have!