New 'Sesame Street' movie should expand what we don’t know about our favorite neighborhood

Yahoo Contributor Network

Let's not be too harsh on the idea of a new "Sesame Street" movie being considered, even if the ground is near-sacred to the Generation Xers molded by the show in its heyday. Aside from walking onto the set in person, "Sesame Street" still holds some unknowns about the origins of the characters, the store, various apartments, and other notable landmarks. And, no, I'm not talking about what the sexual preferences or relationships are among all the real and Muppet characters.

After last year's "The Muppets" rebooted those iconic TV characters with their past and present career trajectories, it's only logical for a "Sesame Street" movie to follow suit. Doing so would easily intrigue several generations, especially if Elmo is in the cast (as long as the movie doesn't become all about the little red monster that needs a lozenge).

What we really need is a movie that looks at the entire universe of Sesame Street, its history, where it's going, and looking beyond the fringes of their universe. Further, a movie about the Street simply has to initially please the initial core base of viewers who watched from day one. That might mean including some real or invented flashbacks to the early days of the show, including before 1969 to set up the hood's origins. In that regard, those who don't even remember the storeowner Mr. Hooper missed out on a major chunk of "Street" history.

Of course, the above example means a middle-aged actor depicting Mr. Hooper becoming the patriarch of the neighborhood in its early days. It also means actors other than the real stars of the show portraying their first arrivals. That doesn't mean the original Maria, Bob, Luis, Gordon and Susan, et al, shouldn't be there in the movie's present to look back at their origins.

Yes, that's a problem if the idea to not employ the original surviving cast members who still act on the show today is deemed box office poison . Similarly, you shouldn't have the movie without the return of Kermit the Frog. Let's eliminate the problem in recent years that Kermit couldn't be on "Street" due to a copyright issue with Jim Henson Productions.

Rumored producer/director Shawn Levy should also consider looking into the origins of the Muppet characters who live ... well, who knows where? We know where Bert, Ernie, Big Bird, and Oscar the Grouch live, and seeing how they first found their abodes would bring the show full circle for longtime fans. Even if we already know where Elmo lives, the movie has to go beyond the parameters of Sesame Street to show us where Cookie Monster and the Count have logically lived without eviction.

And in the age of Google Earth, seeing exactly where in the world of New York City Sesame Street might exist would satiate 44 years of curiosity. When "Sesame Street Presents Follow That Bird" emerged in 1985, the Street was expanded somewhat, though we still didn't know exactly where it was located. If you go by various clues over the years, it's located either somewhere on the Upper East Side or in Queens.

If the producers are gauging ideas now, what we Gen X fans don't want is a re-invention of the street where we grew up. Sesame Street is now akin to our childhood homes; we only want more information, not a transformation that takes away what's burned in the annals of our minds.

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