Elmo Saves Christmas
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Elmo Saves Christmas is a 60-minute television special and home video that was released and aired on PBS in 1996. In the story, Elmo learns that Christmas cannot occur every day. The special was shot at Sesame Street's usual home, the Kaufman Astoria Studios in New York City.
It is Christmas time on Sesame Street. Snuffy, Big Bird's best friend, departs for Cincinnati to visit his grandmother for the holiday, and promises to return the day after Christmas. While Elmo falls asleep on Christmas Eve watching TV, Santa Claus gets lodged halfway up his chimney. By freeing him, Elmo is granted the privilege of choosing a gift. When Elmo chooses a magical snow globe instead of a pink teddy bear, he is granted three wishes. Using the snow globe, Elmo wishes for a glass of water because he is thirsty. Santa then warns him not to waste the other two wishes.
The next morning, Christmas Day, Elmo's next wish becomes more significant to the plot of the story: "Elmo wishes it was Christmas every day."
This mistake proves to be a very costly mistake. Suddenly, all the businesses are permanently closed for Christmas. Snuffy is gone all year, visiting his grandmother out of town, making Big Bird extremely depressed. There is nothing playing on TV but It's a Wonderful Life. Carolers carol and children exchange gifts. At the urging of Santa Claus, Lightning, one of Santa's reindeer-in-training, uses his speed to take Elmo into the future to see what Christmas is like in the spring, summer and to the following December 25. The Count becomes "all Christmassed out" and furious at Elmo, and so does the rest of Sesame Street. The carolers lose their voices from frequent caroling. Big Bird is upset, as he misses Snuffy, who has been in Cincinnati for an entire year. Luis finally ends up closing the Fix-It Shop permanently. All Christmas trees are becoming close to extinction which is why Grover's Christmas tree farm is going out of business. Santa is retired and should move to Florida.
After regretting his second wish, Elmo decides on his third wish (which he originally was going to wish for rollerblades): "Elmo wishes that everything on Sesame Street was the way it used to be, when Christmas was only once a year." Oscar tries to make him wish for the rollerblades, but Maria furiously demands silence from him and pleads for Elmo to fix the whole issue. As a result of Elmo's carelessness after the shaking the globe so hard, the globe flies out of his hands and breaks. Luis laments, "It's Christmas...forever!", and Big Bird says, "Goodbye, Snuffy." The crowd all moans into an even deeper depression and leaves...
Elmo then has one last chance: he and Lightning go back in time to the Christmas on which Elmo wished it was Christmas every day, erasing everyone's memories (except for Santa, Elmo, and Lightning). After saving Santa for the second time, Elmo chooses the pink bear, but Santa immediately offers him a new gift, the "Moo Bunny", a half-cow, half-rabbit plush toy (which was made back when Elmo had made the wish, and the elves were slipping up in production). Big Bird is reunited with Snuffy early, because just as he was about to leave for Cincinnati, his grandmother came to Sesame Street instead for Christmas. The show closes with its final song: "Keep Christmas With You All Through the Year", which was also featured on Christmas Eve on Sesame Street. Elmo learns that although Christmas can't be every day, it's important to have the spirit of Christmas every day.
- Maya Angelou as Herself/Narrator
- Emilio Delgado as Luis
- Sonia Manzano as Maria
- Bob McGrath as Bob
- Roscoe Orman as Gordon
- David Smyrl as Mr. Handford
- Carlo Alban as Carlo
- Charles Durning as Santa Claus
- Harvey Fierstein as Easter Bunny
- 14 Karat Soul as Themselves
- Kevin Clash as Elmo
- Joey Mazzarino as Lightning
- Fran Brill as Zoe,Cousin Pepe
- Pam Arciero as Grundgetta
- Jerry Nelson as Count von Count, Mr. Johnson, News Flash Announcer
- Carmen Osbahr as Rosita
- Frank Oz as Grover, Cookie Monster
- Martin P. Robinson as Mr. Snuffleupagus, Telly Monster
- David Rudman as Baby Bear, Humphrey
- Carroll Spinney as Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch
- Bryant Young as Rear End of Mr. Snuffleupagus
- Steve Whitmire as Kermit the Frog