We’ll Tell You How to Get to the ‘Sesame Street’ Documentary When It Debuts in Australia

Sesame Street doco

For millions of children around the world, Sesame Street was almost like a friend or babysitter. Characters like Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Elmo, Bert and Ernie were touchpoints throughout childhood — making us laugh, teaching us the alphabet and transporting us to a place where everyone was welcome.

The significance of Sesame Street will now be examined in a must-see documentary called Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street and will provide a rare window into the early days of the ground-breaking and influential children’s show.

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street takes audiences inside the hearts and minds of the Sesame Street creators, artists and educators who established one of the most iconic and enduring children’s series in television history and celebrates the people who audaciously harnessed the burgeoning power of television to entertain and educate children like never before, with the beloved Sesame Street Muppets, catchy songs and a diverse cast.

Since its first telecast in the United States in September 1969, Sesame Street has evolved into more than 30 international editions, each with its own unique characters and flavour, and has been broadcast in more than 120 countries, making it the most widely viewed children’s television show in the world. The US version has won 97 Emmy Awards (more than any other show), further cementing its cultural impact and importance.

The feature documentary also includes exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and more than 20 original interviews from Joan Ganz Cooney, creator Jim Henson, Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, and many more. The doco is based on the book NY Times best-selling book Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.

Known for teaching children (and adults) about the importance of diversity and inclusion, Sesame Street has been pushing boundaries since its inception 52 years ago. Most recently, the series introduced Ji-Young — the first Asian American muppet to appear on Ji-Young is Korean American and was introduced, in part, to combat the prevalence of anti-Asian hate in the wake of the pandemic. The character helped to teach kids about how they could be a good “upstander” when they saw people saying or doing negative things to others because of the colour of their skin or native language.

The documentary’s director Marilyn Agrelo recently told ABC’s The Drawing Room, “They (the creators of Sesame Street) wanted to create something that would resonate with black and brown children in the inner cities, who didn’t have the same opportunities as white kids did in the suburbs.

“If white kids in the suburbs tuned in, that was great, but the show was really for black children in the inner city.”

Street Gang: How We Got To Sesame Street will release in Australia on digital download from 2nd February 2022.

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