I was sorting through some old VHS tapes today and found Don’t Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (c. 1983, released to video in 1987), which brought back memories. Featuring Jim Henson’s Sesame Street Muppets and the Sesame Street Live Cast, the one-hour musical video is fairly educational because it takes children on an adventure inside an art museum. The shots of the museum interior provide a wonderful introduction to art and museums, specifically the paintings, sculptures, and medieval artifacts of the Met.
Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Oscar, and the rest of the Sesame Street gang – Snuffy also appears, however at this point in the show’s history he is still Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend – find themselves accidentally locked in the Met overnight, and wander around the museum. It’s pretty funny when Oscar finds an exhibit of Greek and Roman statues that have been broken by natural disasters, and sings about how beautiful they are! In the Egyptian exhibit they encounter a little prince named Sahu and his cat who have been cursed to remain on Earth until Sahu solves a riddle to prove his inner worth, so that he can join his parents as stars in the sky.
Featuring cameo appearances by James Mason, Fritz Weaver, and Paul Dooley, this video aims not only to entertain but to encourage youngsters and their families to discover the treasures to be found in their local museums. The video has been long out of print, but you can watch it on YouTube in 8 installments starting with the first one below: