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CinderElmo DVD cover.

CinderElmo is a 65-minute television film that aired on Fox in the United States on December 6, 1999. It was released on VHS in the United States/Canada and the Netherlands.

The special was sponsored by K-Mart department stores, during the Christmas holiday season, "where, no doubt, much Elmo merchandise is on display."[1]

This was the last major primetime special for Sesame Street, until Elmo's Christmas Countdown in 2007.[2]


In the Kingdom of Sesame, there is a little red monster named CinderElmo who lives with his stepmother (Kathy Najimy), his stepbrothers Telly and Baby Bear, Zoe and the household dog and mice. His stepfamily have received invitations to the Princess' 18th Birthday-Find-a-Husband Ball, which leaves him behind to do all the house chores.

Meanwhile the King's town crier reminds King Fred that Princess Charming has until midnight to find someone to marry or lose the kingdom all together. The King decides to invite every man and monster in the kingdom. Shortly the word is sent out around the kingdom.

The stepmother teaches her sons a new dance in preparation for the ball. The Baker arrives as a General Invitation Deliverer and gives CinderElmo an invitation to the ball, but the stepmother won't permit him. When the horse and carriage arrive, she locks CinderElmo and his friends up in the house. When CinderElmo wishes upon a falling star, his Fairy Godperson (Oliver Platt) comes and encourages CinderElmo to come up with some plan to make his dreams come true. After CinderElmo has a wash, Fairy Godperson provides him and Zoe with smart clothes, turns the dog into a handsome prince (French Stewart), turns the dog bowl into a carriage and the mice into horses. CinderElmo has limited time till midnight to make the best of what Fairy Godperson granted him.

CinderElmo, Zoe and Prince make it to the ball. The stepbrothers perform the dance their mother taught them and the princess joins them. Everyone else joins in the dance except CinderElmo who gets caught in the Herald's cloak. The princess finds Prince and asks him to find CinderElmo, the only one who took her fancy while she turns down the marriage proposals of the stepbrothers. CinderElmo and Zoe sneak past the stepmother in a suit of armour to attend the last dance before midnight. The suit of armour tumbles and crashes, but the princess gives CinderElmo the dance of his dreams. Before he can introduce himself, CinderElmo has seconds before the midnight deadline and runs off with his friends back home as the magic wears off, leaving only a shoe behind, but the princess manages to make her choice of man to marry. Now all the royal family has to do is find the one whose foot fits the shoe in order to find her beloved.

After many unsuccessful tries, the royal family head to the stepmother's house. The shoe will not fit either of the stepbrothers. The princess recognizes CinderElmo when he comes, but CinderElmo thinks he is too young to marry. Now the King has the option to change the law that legalises a marriage between the princess and CinderElmo. The Fairy Godperson changes Prince back to a dog. The royal family invites everyone to come to the palace leaving the Stepmother and mice behind.


Muppet Performers[edit]

Additional Muppets performed by Pam Arciero, Eric Jacobson, John Kennedy, Michael Lisa, Rick Lyon, Jim Martin, Jerry Nelson, Carmen Osbahr, James Andrew Stone, John Tartaglia, and Matt Vogel

Critical reception[edit]

The New York Times panned the program. The review reads: "CinderElmo has one quality that's glaringly unexpected in a production with the Children's Television Workshop imprimatur. It's condescending." Of French Stewart's acting: "It looks like an exercise from acting class." Additionally, "The colorful show does display a few flashes of wit. But you'll find the magic sold out."[1]


  1. ^ a b Ron Wertheimer, "Cinderella Meets the Muppets: A Tale of the Market", The New York Times, December 6, 1999.
  2. ^ Gary Strauss, "'Countdown' to Christmas with Elmo", USA Today, December 21, 2007.

External links[edit]