'Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street' Trailer Reveals the Origins of the Beloved Children's TV Show
One of the standouts from the 2021 Sundance Film Festival earlier this year was the documentary Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street. The documentary from Marilyn Agrelo (Mad Hot Ballroom) dives into the origins of the beloved children’s program Sesame Street, a groudbreaking venture that dared to use television to educate children at a time when it was being used for nothing but mindless entertainment to keep them occupied. As you can see in the first trailer for the documentary, that was just the beginning of the genius that Sesame Street would bring to TV.
Sesame Street Documentary Trailer
Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment and Screen Media teamed up with HBO Documentary Films for this delightful, informative and thoroughly entertaining documentary about one of the greatest children’s programs of all time. Inspired by Michael Davis’ best-selling book of the same name, the film features creator and producer Joan Ganz Cooney, writer/director Jon Stone, and many others who turned Sesame Street into a groundbreaking piece of television history, with some appearing through contemporary talking heads and others via loads of archival footage.
This retrospective is full of such fond memories and fascinating glimpses into the minds who made this incredible show possible. Whether it’s the chemistry and camaraderie of Jim Henson and Frank Oz or the musical genius of songwriters Joe Raposo and Christopher Cerf, there are so many moments where the origins of the magic in this show become clear. The old clips from certain staple episodes will simultaneously bring a smile and tears to your face.
One of the only issues that I have with Street Gang (as I wrote in my review) was that it might have been even more satisfying as a longer documentary series rather than a 105 minute documentary movie. The film only chronicles the history of Sesame Street up until the death of Jim Henson, leaving the last 30 years of the show unexplored, despite continuing to make great strides in children’s programming. But even so, it’s still chock full of insight and rarely seen footage.
Inspired by the activism of the late 1960s, socially conscious television executive Joan Ganz Cooney and Sesame Workshop co-founder Lloyd Morrisett conducted a revolutionary experiment: to harness the burgeoning power of television and create an educational, impactful, uplifting, and entertaining show that could reach children nationwide, especially those living in urban areas. Cooney recruited trailblazing Muppets creator Jim Henson and acclaimed children’s television writer and director Jon Stone to craft the iconic and beloved world of “Sesame Street.”
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street reintroduces this visionary “gang” of mission-driven artists, writers, and educators that audaciously interpreted radical changes in society and created one of the most influential and impactful television programs in history.
Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street will play in select theaters on April 23, 2021 and then hit VOD on May 7..
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