|The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland|
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland movie poster
|Directed by||Gary Halvorson|
|Produced by||Alex Rockwell
Timothy M. Bourne
Martin G. Baker
|Written by||Mitchell Kriegman
Martin P. Robinson
|Music by||John Debney
Michael A. Reagan
|Editing by||Alan Baumgarten|
|Studio||Jim Henson Pictures
Children's Television Workshop
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Release date(s)||October 1, 1999|
|Running time||73 minutes|
|Preceded by||Sesame Street presents Follow That Bird|
The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (sometimes referred to as Elmo in Grouchland) was the second theatrical feature-length film based on the characters of the popular television series Sesame Street. It co-starred Mandy Patinkin and Vanessa L. Williams. It was produced by Jim Henson Pictures in association with the Children's Television Workshop, and released on October 1, 1999 by Columbia Pictures. It was shot in Wilmington, North Carolina. The story was by Mitchell Kriegman, the screenplay by Kriegman and Joey Mazzarino.
After using it as a parachute to float down to Sesame Street, Elmo's blanket is nabbed by Oscar. Elmo dives into Oscar's trash can to retrieve it and ends up in Grouchland, where a greedy man named Huxley steals anything he can grab - including Elmo's blanket. Elmo is determined to rejoin his blanket and begins a journey through Grouchland. He asks a kind girl named Grizzy to help in his quest, but she abandons him when she discovers that Huxley's house is on the top of the faraway Mount Pickanose. All of the Sesame Street residents come to Grouchland to bring Elmo back. When they seek assistance from a policeman, he arrests them and informs them that "It's against the law to ask for help in Grouchland!" And, instead of saying, "You have the right to remain silent." He said, "You have the right to scream your head off..."
The Pesties trap Elmo in a tunnel using a trap door. However, he gets out with the help of fireflies. Then, he meets the Queen of Trash (Vanessa Williams). He leaves her dump by solving an ultimate challenge- giving the queen 100 raspberries in 30 seconds. Elmo succeeds and continues walking to Huxley's house. He is then attacked by a humongous chicken, but gets away. Soon night comes and he stops at a rock to rest, discouraged.
The Sesame Street muppets and the citizens of Grouchland then go to Huxley's house to fight for their trash.
A caterpillar wakes up Elmo during his nap on the rock. He tells Elmo to look inside his body and he'll see he will be brave. Soon Elmo gets his blanket back from Huxley. The Pesties try to stop Elmo, but the citizens and Sesame Street muppets defeat their efforts. Elmo, happy to get back his blanket, goes with the Sesame Street muppets back to his own town. Elmo apologizes to Zoe for not sharing his blanket and hurting her feelings earlier and lets her hold it.
This film received moderately positive reviews (76% on Rotten Tomatoes) and a (C on boxofficemojo.com). The film performed poorly theatrically, despite the popularity of Sesame Street and the Elmo character. The film faced stiff competition from mostly adult-oriented films, for at the time of its release, it was the only family film playing in most theaters. The film opened at #8, with a weekend gross of $3,255,033 from 1,210 theaters, averaging $2,690 per venue. In total, The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland earned back less than half its $26 million budget, grossing $11,634,458 during its two-month theatrical run.
The movie inspired a trilogy of children's books, published in 1999: Happy Grouchy Day, The Grouchiest Lovey and Unwelcome to Grouchland. The book series was written by Suzanne Weyn and illustrated by Tom Brannon.