Similarly to recently-aired specials, the special uses the standard Sesame Street opening and closing credits. The only variation is the episode number, which is #4552 (as other re-run episodes are considered part of the season's total episode count between #4527 and #4551). The special also features a number of art-related inserts following the main special to round out the hour.
The special was made available on the iTunes Store and (formerly) Sesame Street Go. It was released on DVD on March 1, 2016. The special won six awards from the 2016 Kidscreen Awards, including "Best One-Off, Special or TV Movie," "Best Writing" and "Best Directing."
Suddenly, the paintings begin to disappear, and the museum guards think Cookie Monster has stolen them. Elmo knows Cookie Monster didn't steal the paintings so he becomes a detective and looks for clues to find out who really took the art. He finds crumbs, butter, and chocolate chips, and they realize that the thief must be a cookie. But the guards do not believe them and throw them out of the museum. As Chris, Elmo, and Cookie Monster are walking home, Abby appears. They tell her what happened and she comes up with a plan – she'll use magic to turn them into a painting and then deliver them to the museum.Abby hangs them on a wall and hides. The cookie thief appears and takes the painting. Cookie Monster, Elmo and Chris call Abby for help and she changes them back. Along with the guards, they chase the thief to find the stolen art. The cookie thief admits to stealing the paintings; he just loves cookie art. Cookie Monster explains that he understands how the cookie feels but that he can't take the cookie art because then no one else would be able to enjoy it. Cookie Monster then comes up with an idea– the cookie can make his own art! With paint and paper, the cookie makes a self-portrait and the guards hang it up on the museum wall, the perfect spot. ”
- Terry Crews, Abby and the Count show different kinds of artists. (First: Episode 4520)
- Film: Anyone can make art! (First: Episode 4520)
- Song: OK Go sings "Three Primary Colors." (First: Episode 4281)
- Cartoon: Letter N Museum (First: Episode 4407)
- Bert and Ernie's Great Adventures: Museum Guards
- Outro (May 2017 airing): Cookie Monster, Rosita and a girl dance fast and slow.
- Chris Knowings as Chris
- Rachel Dratch as Museum Guard
- Ryan Dillon as Elmo
- David Rudman as Cookie Monster
- Leslie Carrara-Rudolph as Abby Cadabby
- Fran Brill as Prairie Dawn
- Eric Jacobson as Grover and Penguin Guard
- Joey Mazzarino as Leonardo da Crunchy and The Cream
- Stephanie D'Abruzzo as Muncha Lisa and Penguin Guard
- Matt Vogel as Little Cookie and Penguin Guard
- Martin P. Robinson as Edvard Munch
- Tyler Bunch as Vincent van Dough
- Peter Linz
Artworks featured in the special, Sesame Workshop's social media feeds, and the activity book All Aboard!
- The Great Cookie Thief, the Sesame Street storybook