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Sony Family Wonder presents
Sesame Street: Computer Caper (2002)

Cookie Monster: Wait, wait, wait. It no bake cookies? Prairie Dawn: Unh unh. Cookie Monster: And you call this state of art? Prairie Dawn: Well, well... Cookie Monster: No got oven door!

Review By: Jon Danziger  
Published: February 14, 2002

Stars: Martin P. Robinson, Kevin Clash
Other Stars: Linda Bove, Emilio Delgado, Michael Jeter, Alan Muraoka, Roscoe Orman, Tarah Schaeffer
Director: Emily Squires, Victor Dinapoli, Lisa Simon

MPAA Rating: Not Rated for (nothing objectionable)
Run Time: 00h:48m:57s
Release Date: February 12, 2002
UPC: 074645146096
Genre: family

Image Transfer
Audio Transfer
A- A-B+B C

DVD Review

Admit it. You were giddy the first time you got e-mail. And if your kids haven't figured out the online fun, they soon will. This is a charming little adventure from our friends on Sesame Street, in which Telly Monster gets an e-mail address, and has to sleuth out just who is sending him those cute messages, signed, intriguingly, Your Mystery Friend. Telly's hunt takes him to Luis' repair shop, to Hooper's Store, and finally to the Sesame Street Library, where he blows the lid off the mystery. It's a fine, basic introduction to some newer technology, made palatable by familiar characters from the Children's Television Workshop. (My personal favorite episode here is Cookie Monster's encounter with a computer. If the cookies and chips on the computer aren't the kind he's looking for, then, as he might say, What is point?) The main story has been broadcast before, and if you're a Sesame Street regular, there's a good chance you've seen it. Intercut with the story are some interviews with little kids, wondering what's going to happen next, and they're a pretty cute bunch; it's sort of a pre-school commentary track. The disc is padded out a little with different songs and animated bits all relating to computers, and they pretty readily stand up to repeated viewings. Once Telly busts the case wide open, we're off to "Elmo's World," where the theme is—surprise!—computers. Dorothy the Goldfish has many questions about computers, and Mr. Noodle is, typically, clueless. (For those of you keeping score at home: this is not actually Mr. Noodle, played by Bill Irwin, but Mr. Noodle's brother, Mr. Noodle, played by Michael Jeter. What will the children think in years ahead when they see Mr. Noodle's brother Mr. Noodle in something like The Green Mile?)Without being too much like my patron saint, Oscar the Grouch, let me mention a couple of possible shortcomings on this disc. The computer screens are completely unrealistic-looking, with huge, clear letters taking up the whole screen, and no desktop clutter. (My computer doesn't look like this—does yours?) If this is what your kids are going to expect when they start sending e-mail, they'll soon learn otherwise. The other problem is more practical: I bet your children's technological savvy is galloping ahead of yours, and some of the features intercut with the caper story are from years past. In the computer age, a machine from ten years ago might as well be a horse and buggy, or a victrola or a spittoon.

Rating for Style: A-
Rating for Substance: A-


Image Transfer

Aspect Ratio1.33:1 - Full Frame
Original Aspect Ratioyes

Image Transfer Review: Shot for television, obviously, this looks even better on DVD. Transfer is a good, clean one, and the colors are consistent and only occasionally display a bit of glare.

Image Transfer Grade: B+


Audio Transfer

 LanguageRemote Access

Audio Transfer Review: Nothing special in this audio transfer, which gets the job done. Dynamics are sometimes a little weird, though, and there's an 1980s-style synthesized tune, New Computer Song, that's almost obnoxiously loud, both in the feature and over the credits.

Audio Transfer Grade: B


Disc Extras

Static menu
Scene Access with 19 cues and remote access
Packaging: Amaray
1 Disc
1-Sided disc(s)
Layers: single

Extra Extras:
  1. Previews of fourteen other Sesame Street DVD titles
Extras Review: Given the subject matter, if ever a kids' DVD title cried out for some DVD-ROM content, it would be this one; but there's not much here, just an animated promo for a Sesame Street website. The previews of the other DVDs (titles probably already familiar to the Sesame Street faithful) offer clips of thirty seconds or so, and usually feature a guest star, ranging from Billy Joel to Keri Russell. Also, the chapter stops are annoyingly without numbers on the menus.

Extras Grade: C


Final Comments

If you've read this far—heck, if you've even checked out this review at all—you probably know what you're in for with a Sesame Street DVD. This is a pretty good one, and the little people in your home are going to want to watch it over and over; that is, if they're not too busy checking their own e-mail.


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