The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland (1999) is the second Sesame Street movie, following Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird. This one centers around lovable red Muppet Elmo.Elmo loves his furry blue blanket more than almost anything in the world. When Zoe wants to play with it, he refuses, as it's his. They tug, and Elmo's blanket is nearly ripped—and a gust of wind blows it into Oscar's trash can and through a portal to Grouchland.Elmo enters Grouchland to retrieve his blanket, but finds it just in time to have it stolen by Huxley, who considers everything to be his. Elmo embarks on an epic quest across the land to reach Huxley's home and rescue his blanket—and meanwhile, his friends are searching for him.
This movie provides examples of:
- Audience Participation: The audience is encouraged to help Elmo at certain points.
- Bad Boss: Huxley to Bug, naturally.
- Bad Is Good and Good Is Bad: It's against the law to ask for help in Grouchland, and their likes and dislikes are backwards to ours.
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Elmo's simple act of saying Bug is "very nice" for giving him (false) directions, and giving the latter a hug before continuing on his way, is what initiates Bug's Heel–Face Turn in the end.
- Big Damn Movie: The second one for Sesame Street.
- Big Ol' Eyebrows: Huxley has these. Appropriate enough, given that he lives among grouches.
- Bigger on the Inside: Oscar's trash can.
- Blowing a Raspberry: The Queen of Trash demands one hundred of these "raspberries" in a set time.
- Celebrity Cameo: Vanessa Williams as the Queen of Trash.
- Continuity Porn: The contents of Oscar's trash can, while briefly seen, are full of items and objects mentioned on the show.
- Darkest Hour: After narrowly escaping being eaten by a giant chicken, Elmo starts to give up on getting his blanket back.
- Embodiment of Vice: Huxley embodies Greed, though he denies that in his song:"Some may call it greed;
it's not, it's need.
A need I love to feed;
The need to have a lot!
- Friendship Denial: Played with, then subverted; Oscar almost calls Elmo his friend whilst he is imprisoned with the search party looking for Elmo, and even Big Bird caught what he was going to say at the last minute. Oscar denies it and says that instead he was going to say French Fry Fish Hips. Oscar then admits, at the encouragement of the others, that Elmo is his friend.
- Grumpy Bear: The Grouches, particularly Grizzy.
- Heel–Face Turn: Bug does this.
- The Hero's Journey: Elmo goes through one, almost by the numbers.
- Jerk Realization: Elmo has one when the Queen of Trash compares him to Huxley. Just to drive the point home, we even get a flashback of Elmo's behavior at the beginning of the movie, screaming at Zoe that his blanket is "Mine!" when Zoe asked him to share...which is the same way Huxley acts.
- Kid-Appeal Character: Elmo and Bug.
- Lighter and Softer: Compared the other Sesame Street film Follow That Bird.
- Mistreatment-Induced Betrayal: Combined with Because You Were Nice to Me above. After being a Butt Monkey for most of the film, Bug is the one to return Elmo's blanket, after telling off an incapacitated Huxley, and then forces Huxley to promise to give back everything he stole or claimed as his own.
- Music for Courage: "Take the First Step," although it's sung to only one person. By a plant and some woodland critters.
- Naked People Are Funny: Bert first appears in his shower cap.
- No Fourth Wall: Bert pauses the movie at four points to ask Ernie about certain details (Elmo getting sucked into the tunnel to Grouchland, Huxley taking off with Elmo's blanket, Huxley being a jerkass and finally Elmo at his "all-is-lost-moment"), as a way of reassuring the audience (and Bert) that everything will be fine.
- Elmo directly addresses the audience a few times, asking for help and advice.
- Not So Different: Elmo has this realization thanks to the Queen of Trash. Specifically, Huxley's constant attitude is "Mine!", because he can't share anything. Elmo acted the same way at the beginning of the film, refusing to share his blanket with Zoe "because it's mine!"
- Parental Bonus:
- Rousing Speech: Oscar gives one to the Grouches while in prison.
- Toilet Humor: Grizzy's Soggy-Pants Sandy doll.
- Villain Song: Huxley's song, appropriately titled "Mine!"