Video Fitness

Elmocize

I have a two-year-old, and thought that Elmocize would keep her busy while I worked out to my own tapes. That hasn't quite been the case. Plot for Elmocize: Elmo and his friends try to get Monte interested in exercise because it will make him feel good. There are segments on bending, stretching, and hopping, and there is a segment that is done from a chair (Tara from the regular Sesame Street is included throughout the tape in her wheelchair). My daughter loses interest in the segments that don't actually have muppets in them, particularly those segments without Elmo. She loves the rest of the tape, but comes looking for me when the scene is sans-Elmo, so it doesn't do the trick of keeping her busy when I am working out. She doesn't like the parts of Sesame Street without muppets, either, so that may be a good indicator for interest level in Elmocize for your own child. My daughter loves, loves, loves doing Elmocize with me, but then she loves doing any exercise tape with me (she is so cute doing little baby squats when I try to do the Firm with her around!) All in all, it is a cute tape with a really positive message about how great it feels to be fit and strong, and about how much fun finess is. As if that wasn't enough, Elmocize is absolutely charming for parents. This tape will not annoy you, I promise. And this is from a mother who loves Sesame Street, but is easily annoyed with other children's programming.

Pilar
3/10/97

Collage describes this video for ages two to five years. I would include up to eight years old, as there are older exercisers (up to 10 years old). The focus is on how exercise is good for you and makes you feel good. Monty, the host, is at first reluctant to begin exercising (he says he does not do exercises and does not have time. Elmo and friends convince Monty to try anyway. Songs focus on hopping, jumping, working out in a chair (also includes a wheelchair-bound child), and a song for elbows and knees. Cyndi Lauper also sings "Twister Sisters", a song about twisting. Animated characters include a centipede, and a dancing cat. Monty ends up a very happy exerciser. This is an excellent video for all family members to participate in. Maria now chants "Elmo, Elmo" and dances through some of the video.

Elmo is the motivating influence throughout the video. Monty is the host, and reluctant to engage in any form of exercise. Elmo is very enthusiastic and encouraging. Other Sesame Street characters lead the exercises.

Nancy Webb and Maria Webb (age 20 months)
3/17/97

It may seem a little strange to be seeing a review for a Sesame Street video here, but I bought this video for my 2 1/2 year-old daughter so Mommy and daughter could get up and dance together. I want my daughter to participate in exercise and I thought this would be a great way -- for her to have her own exercise tape in the giant stack of Mommy's tapes.

I must admit, this is really a fun tape. According to the College video guide it is 28 minutes. It is filled with songs and movements for your children to follow. Elmo provides some exercise guidelines and tells kids it's cool to exercise and get strong.

Some of the songs include, "workout in a chair," "The Benny Hop," and Cyndi Lauper sings "Twister Sisters."

I have a fun time watching my daughter jump around with me and she takes it to day care often by the request of her sitter.

I thought parents might appreciate getting a review about this tape because I would definitely recommend it for younger children.

Julianne
8/26/97

My daughter begs for this one. She'll eat all her breakfast and all her dinner just for the privilege of seeing "Se-me Stweet." It's not a full half-hour workout, but more of an introduction to the joy of being active and fit for fun. The children are all superb little movers and shakers. One little girl with spiral-permed hair is destined for a dance career, if that's what she wants. WOW! The story is that Elmo's trying to get Monty the journalist to write a positive story about exercising. In classic Sesame Street style, the action cuts back and forth between "live" songs and workout segments, and things filmed elsewhere. You see kids playing outside in an urban neighborhood, jumping and dancing on a beach to a song reminiscent of "Shotgun" by Junior Walker and the All-Stars, my favorite (and I know I'm dating myself here!). Courtney's favorite scene is in a gym where kids tumble and get acquainted with equipment. This has inspired me to sign us up for a "Mommy and Me" gymnastics class here in town. The live action segments include "Workout in a Chair," the Benny Hop (with the ugliest rabbit I've ever seen), and a "twist" song featuring the neon-haired Cyndi Lauper. She's actually toned down her wild look and demeanor, but is as endearingly goofy as she was in the 80's. She just looks as if motherhood has mellowed her out a bit :)

Courtney loved this tape from the get-go. It took me a couple of plays, but now when it's time to Elmocize, I'm right in there jumping, twisting, and bending along with her. One warning: you don't want to do this one right before bathtime at night unless you want your kid staying up till 10pm :)

Grade: A

Instructor comments: Well, gee, what can I say here? Most of 'em are puppets. Not exactly hardbody aerobic animals:) Elmo was all the rage last Christmas. I'd personally rather watch Bryan Kest myself, but Courtney loves him :) The Asian gal who leads the "workout in a chair" and participates in the Benny Hop is a SS regular who's always perky and enthusiastic when we see her on PBS. She'd make a great preschool teacher if she ever gets tired of TV.

Melissa Cooper (and Courtney Cooper, age 2)
9/30/97

I bought this video as a gift for my niece, she's a little over 3 years old. I gave it to her oh about a month ago. I just saw her last night. I walked in, she saw me and says (picture this cute little 3 year old voice) ELMOCIZE and jumps up and down! My sister-in-law says she watches and does this tape constantly. I said to my niece, you're exercising now???!!!, wow, now, will you be having the light salad dressing, or the fat free? "Yes, she said, exercising". (she also chose the light dressing). I'm glad I bought it, she seems to really like it, so if you're thinking of buying it for a gift, its a good idea.

Sheila
8/13/98

I thought this video would be the perfect first exercise tape for my son Lucas, who's almost a year and a half. He may be a little younger than the target demographic, but he adores Elmo, so I traded for this one on the exchange.

My son enjoys the video a lot, particularly the Benny Hop, but like a few of the other tots whose moms have reviewed this video, he loses interest in the non-Muppet segments. I can't say he really "exercises" to it yet, but as I said, he's a little too young to understand the point.

I also have to review this one from the parent's perspective, however, and I'm afraid I found it lacking. Sesame Street has produced some fabulous kids videos with great writing and catchy songs that kids and parents can listen to over and over and not get (too) sick of. Alas, Elmocize isn't one of them. The writing didn't have the usual sparkle--where are all of Elmo's cute little puns and one-liners that make his squeaky voice bearable to the parents?-- and the music ranged from uninspired to cringe-worthy.

As long as my little guy likes this one, it will have a place on my shelf, but as soon as he tires of it, it's outta here!

Wendy Niemi Kremer
wendy@videofitness.com
6/26/00

Very disappointing for an exercise video! This is basically like an episode of Sesame Street. Very little exercising and tons of ads before the actual production starts, too.

Cathy

4-09-05



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