|Produced by:||Sony Wonder|
|Catalogue no.||LVD 58858|
Friends to the Rescue is a Sesame Street home video release that originally aired as a series of five episodes in 2001. These episodes were edited together, removing all inserts, and a number of Street scenes.
The Story of the Hurricane
The story begins with Big Bird and Gordon conversing on and about a windy day. They are soon interrupted by a Muppet farmer on the street, who remarks that his chickens quack and his sheep do the cha-cha whenever there is a hurricane. They walk to Hooper's Store, where the entire cast is congregated around the television set for a special weather bulletin. Kermit the Frog appears on Sesame Street News to announce the hurricane, before cutting to Al Roker posed in front of a weather map. Telly Monster and Elmo fret about the news, but the human characters detail ways in which they can prepare.
Kermit and Al Roker are on location, explaining ways the presence of a hurricane can be noticed. They are soon interrupted by the Muppet farmer seen previously. Kermit interviews Luis and Maria about ways they are preparing for the hurricane. Afterwards, he interviews Alan and Baby Bear, then Elmo and Zoe about the ways they are contributing and cooperating. Big Bird's friends help him prepare for the hurricane by helping him place his possessions in a toy chest. Gordon then informs Big Bird that he cannot stay in his nest, and must be indoors during the storm.
Oscar the Grouch expresses his pleasure about the weather to Gordon and Bob. They insist that Oscar will need to come inside, but he reluctantly agrees only after his pet Slimey is nearly blown away. They end up carrying his trash can inside, with great difficulty.
As evening approaches, Telly and Gabi look out at the storm through their windows. Indoors, Luis and Maria share fish sticks with a pair of penguins. Gina and Zoe converse with each other. Bob is frazzled both by Oscar demanding more peanuts for the elephants in his trash can, and a host of monsters playing a hurricane song on his piano. Meanwhile, Susan gives Big Bird a birdseed milkshake.
Susan, Gordon, Miles, and Big Bird are sitting out the hurricane when the lights flicker and go out. Nevertheless, they manage to entertain themselves by playing games and telling a story with flashlights.
Big Bird remains worried about his nest, and cannot fall asleep. He walks into Gordon and Susan's bedroom and climbs into their bed.
The hurricane of the previous day has ended. The human cast begin sweeping and cleaning outside. The camera pans to the stoop of 123 Sesame Street, where Big Bird and Gordon comment on the damage. Big Bird wonders what has happened to his nest.
Big Bird walks with Gordon over to his nest. The doors have been blown down, and debris is scattered everywhere, with only Radar and Mr. Hooper's picture left intact. Big Bird mourns the loss of his nest and cries, while Gordon comforts him.
The human characters are now congregated in Big Bird's Nest, surveying the damage and helping clean it up. Big Bird remains mournful, reminiscing about "my nest, my home." He is assured that his nest can be fixed, but time and effort will be required for that to happen.
Luis draws and shows Big Bird a picture of where the doors to his nest will go. Mr. Snuffleupagus walks by and discusses the hurricane with Big Bird. He is sad about the damage, but happy that the storm couldn't blow away his friends.
While sifting through the debris, Maria comes across a large feathered hat. Big Bird lets her know that it isn't his, but a lavender Anything Muppet walks by and gratefully claims it as her own. Snuffy offers to help Big Bird clean up, suggesting that that's what best friends are for, and they exchange a hug.
We return to Big Bird and Snuffy. Big Bird remarks that it is time to sing "The Alphabet Song". Gabi and Miles find Big Bird's alphabet sign, albeit in two pieces. They reassemble it, and everyone sings the song in accompaniment. Snuffy goes home afterwards to get a Snuffle Snack. Big Bird is hungry himself, but cannot go to his nest for a birdseed snack. Fortunately, Alan intervenes and invites him over to Hooper's Store for the same purpose.
Big Bird is enjoying his birdseed milkshake in Hooper's Store. Elmo and Baby Bear walk in, and Baby Bear shows a picture he drew of his family during the hurricane, in which Goldilocks stayed with them. The characters then sing a lullaby to Big Bird, who promptly falls asleep in the store. Baby Bear and Elmo fall asleep as well, leaving Alan the only one awake.
The next morning Big Bird moves to the window to see how the work on his nest is progressing, but is disappointed. To feel better, he decides to draw a picture of himself sitting in his nest.
Big Bird compliments Gordon and Susan about dinner and suggests playing with flashlights again. To be prepared for future hurricanes, Telly wears a raincoat, carries all sorts of equipment on him, and has devised an "early-warning system" whereby a hurricane is anticipated whenever his pinwheel turns. Gina is skeptical.
As the cast clean up, Big Bird critiques the location of items. They then decide to take a break. Big Bird remains emotional: He expresses anger at the hurricane for wrecking his home (yelling back in the process), and is still sad about the damage. Luis and Maria invite him to stay with them for the night.
Telly soon walks into the scene, hysterical in anticipation about another hurricane. Gina explains that his "hurricane-detecting" pinwheel moves only because he waves it around, and there is no such storm coming.
Big Bird reminisces about his nest at Luis' and Maria's dinner table, leading to a flashback. Luis gets him a hot plate of sunflower seed souffle. As Big Bird gets ready for bed, he talks to Luis about more memories they've had, such as when Luis hatched a baby Honker in Big Bird's Nest, and a friend of his sang "A Little Bit" to a duck. Gabi offers to sleep with Big Bird.
Luis and Maria go to bed, exhausted from the previous day's work. After they turn out the light, Big Bird walks in to share more memories, including Telly delivering a message from him to Zoe, and Elmo and Ruthie engaged in a sleepover dance. He then invites Luis and Maria to engage in a sleepover dance themselves, although they politely decline.
Gabi checks on Big Bird to see how he is doing. He sings "That Good Old Nest of Mine," with more flashbacks. He looks forward to creating new memories when his new nest is ready, and they turn out the light.
Big Bird comments to Radar and the viewer on how the street has been cleaned up and Mr. Snuffleupagus comes along and tells him that Luis says it's OK to go home.
Big Bird compliments Luis on the new doors to his nest. They believe it to be strong, but Telly has his doubts. The Big Bad Wolf from Huff, Huff, and Puff Construction comes along to test the doors. They hold up very well, but Telly himself gets blown away.
After a few finishing the touches on the mailbox, Luis and Maria show Big Bird his newly-cleaned and repaired nest area. A new crisis arises, however, when Big Bird reveals that he doesn't know how to build a nest.
Big Bird mulls about how to build a nest. I.M. Pig and his two associates from the architectural firm of Pig, Pig, and Pig approach him, however, and solicit ideas for a nest. They then suggest variously ambitious ideas while leading themselves in a song, but as Big Bird reasons, "All I really want is a home."
The three pig architects unveil models of three nests, made respectively out of straws, sticks, and bricks. Two of the models are accidentally blown away. Big Bird is dissatisfied by all of them; out of spite, the pigs suggest that he should have a bird design it, and storm out to build a new structure. Big Bird hits upon the idea of calling up his granny.
Big Bird calls up Granny Bird. She offers to fly over and build her grandson a new nest, but cautions that it would take three weeks for her to get there. For building a nest of his own, she offers simple advice: "Get twigs." Afterward, he and Maria leave to do just that.
The various human and Muppet characters walk into the nest area carrying sticks they've collected. After enough material has been gathered, Rosita and Maria ask Big Bird how to build the nest, but he still doesn't think he knows how. Alan suggests that that they simply need to take things one twig at a time, and they all join in on "Twig by Twig." Even Oscar contributes by donating mud. Elmo leaves near the end of the scene to feed his goldfish, Dorothy.
Big Bird's Nest is nearly complete, when I.M. Pig comes by to critique the work. He is impressed, and even invites Big Bird to join his firm.
Big Bird's nest-building work continues the next day, with sticks and mud being applied under Big Bird's supervision. He calls up Granny Bird to ask when he should stop building. Her answer: "The final twig." Big Bird leads the cast in a song, and a child promptly finds the twig to use.
Mr. Snuffleupagus has arrived, and the cast hold balloons to celebrate the completion of the nest. Just as Big Bird is about to step into it, however, a whistle blows and the Big Bad Wolf emerges on the spot under the guise of "City Nest Inspector."
He inspects the nest and notes that the mud is still wet. As a consequence he cautions that the nest is unsafe, places a "CLOSED" sign on it, and instructs Big Bird to call him back when the mud dries.
Big Bird is upset about the prospect of having to sleep out of his nest for yet another day, when Snuffy suggests that he can help. He takes a deep breath, and with a rush of hot air from his snuffle the nest is soon dry.
Big Bird telephones the Big Bad Wolf, who is surprised by how quickly he is called to reinspect the nest. After blowing his way in (to the unfortunate consequence of Telly), the wolf declares the nest dry, and his hurricane test confirms its safety and wind resistance. After placing a new "OPEN" sign on the nest, he inquires how they managed to dry the nest so quickly. To answer him Mr. Snuffleupagus blows him away, highly impressing the wolf, who invites him to join his line of work.
With his nest complete, Big Bird is ready to step in. He notes how everyone's friendship and cooperation helped speed the process dramatically, and sings "Thank You for Being a Friend." His friends, in turn, are equally thankful back. Big Bird notes that Radar is missing, but fortunately his teddy bear is immediately found and presented to him. With the last complication resolved, Big Bird sits in his nest, thankful to be home.
Now happily situated in his nest, Big Bird reads a bedtime story about the hurricane to Radar. He falls asleep.
- The entire video is available for viewing at the Sesame Workshop website.
- Friends to the Rescue, 1987 "Big Bird StoryMagic" storybook