When I was growing up, I thought the muppets were real, and I think this is what has made “Sesame Street” work for the past 40 years. They are furry, cuddly and cute. Even though they are basically overdressed pieces of upholstery strapped to people’s hands, the muppets seem to have souls, and eternally youthful souls at that. Big Bird will be 6 forever, and that helped me understand where he was coming from when I was a little kid.
The realness of the muppets is so important to “Sesame Street” that it baffles me as they decided to turn muppets into animated figures for two of its major segments. When “Sesame Street” turned Ernie and Bert into clay, they might as well have turned them into stone. They just aren’t real enough when they are clay. If that weren’t bad enough, Abby Cadabby has been turned into a computer animated series within the show in “Abby’s Flying Fairy School”.
I don’t know who decided to turn Abby into computer animation, but I think it was a horrible idea. If I wanted to see a sketch with Abby in it (and I don’t, really. I don’t like Abby as much as some of the old school muppets.), I want to see her in her real fur, as a muppet performed by a puppeteer.
I don’t understand the need to try to “improve” this classic show with technology. I feel like directors and producers are overly impressed by computer animation and throw it in wherever they can just to show how cool and current they are. They’re like “Look everyone! We can make a computer animated Abby Cadabby that looks just like REAL Abby Cadabby. Isn’t it neat?”
Sure it’s neat, but you know what else looks just like real Abby Cadabby, is more fun to watch and (I’m pretty sure) costs way less to operate? Real Abby Cadabby. There is no need to prove that there’s technology to make a computer likeness of a muppet.