Review of Sesame Street - Old School Volume 1

I recently received a copy of Sesame Street - Old School, Volume 1 (1969-1974) for my birthday. Kathleen, Jimmy, and I are watching it together, and we're reliving some of Mommy and Daddy's childhoods while showing Jimmy some parts of Sesame Street that are consigned to history. I'm not sure how much a six month old can differentiate between Sesame Street, with and without Elmo's World, but...

I learned about this DVD set in October and wrote about the strange disclaimers that Sesame Workshop added before each episode is presented. Kathleen, Jimmy, and I saw this disclaimer before Episode 1. I laughed when I saw it because it seems half-hearted.

Here's a quick review for those readers who are intrigued by the concept of watching Sesame Street exactly as we remember it:

  • Booklet:The 22-page booklet splits about 75/25 between information for adults and children. The material for adults includes letters from Joan Ganz Cooney, one of the founders of Sesame Workshop, Chuck Jones the animator to the television critic for the Los Angeles Times, a summary of historical events from 1969-1974, and rememberances from the actors who play long-running human roles on Sesame Street. The material for kids is a mini-activity book.
  • Disc 1: This DVD includes Episode 1 from November 10, 1969 including an introduction to Sesame Street from the character Gordon, an appearance by Carol Burnett, meeting Oscar the Grouch, and segments about the numbers 2 and 3. The second episode on the DVD is actually the original sales pitch for the Sesame Street series. Extras include Kermit the Frog singing It's Not Easy Bein' Green, Ernie singing Rubber Duckie, and Oscar singing I Love Trash.
  • Discs 2 and 3: I haven't watched them yet, look for updates to this story in the next week or so.

This DVD set is really worth owning. You'd have to be crazy to get upset about the disclaimers that appear around the Sesame Street episodes. The episodes themselves are priceless looks back at the childhood for people currently in their late 20s and 30s. The extras capture the classic moments of each season, and help you to figure out exactly how old some of the famous songs and classic animated segments are.

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