THE AISLE SEAT - by Mike McGranaghan
"ELMO'S MUSIC MAGIC"
“Sesame Street” is known for many things: lovable characters, educational value, and of course, great music. Few shows have incorporated music with such innovation. This is undoubtedly why, for decades, the industry's biggest stars have lined up to be on the program. Elmo's Music Magic, available on DVD September 6, continues this fine tradition.
In the opening moments, Elmo borrows Abby's magic wand and begins waving it around. Suddenly, the residents of Sesame Street can't stop singing. Even the smallest conversations – such as one between a shopkeeper and a bear about the temperature of porridge - turn into full-fledged musical numbers. As wonderful as music is, Elmo recognizes that he's created a situation that will eventually need to be undone. He just doesn't know how to correct the spell.
The songs are wall-to-wall on this disc. Musical concepts such as “loud and soft” and “fast and slow” are weaved into them. Interspersed with the main story are some terrific guest segments. John Legend, Sugarland, and Diana Krall all pop up to sing with the familiar characters. The highlight is a cameo from Adam Sandler, who sings a very funny song in which he wittily rhymes a bunch of words with “Elmo.”
The litmus test for any kids' DVD is how the target audience responds to it. I watched Elmo's Music Magic with my family, and the general consensus was that it was perhaps the most enjoyable “Sesame Street” DVD we've watched yet. My two year-old son bopped to the music for nearly the entire running time, while my wife and I loved seeing the celebrities perform. It makes for a brisk 45 minutes of viewing. The DVDs in this series have all been of high quality, but Elmo's Music Magic is especially fun. Replay value is extremely high.
The DVD comes with several bonus features: a karaoke sing-along, 10 downloadable coloring pages, and a very cool music video featuring will.i.am singing with the Sesame Street gang.
Elmo's Music Magic is suitable for all ages. The running time is 45 minutes.