Sesame Street
Year Released: 1996

Categories: Children and Teens

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