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Peter and the Wolf (marketed as Elmo's Musical Adventure: The Story of Peter and the Wolf) is a 2001 Sesame Street adaptation of the musical story "Peter and the Wolf" by Sergei Prokofiev. The narrative uses Prokofiev's original score, as performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra.


Elmo (on the violin), Big Bird (drums), Telly (tuba) and Zoe (piano) have started their own band. Baby Bear listens in, but they can't seem to figure out what goes wrong when they all try to play together. Papa Bear arrives to announce that he's taking his son to see the Boston Pops Orchestra, who will be playing Prokofiev's ballet, Peter and the Wolf.

They arrive at Symphony Hall (shot on location, and on a separate sound stage) and they meet an old friend of Papa Bear's: the Boston Pops conductor, Keith Lockhart. Backstage, Lockhart introduces Baby Bear to the solo instruments that each play a character in the story (much like it would be done on an album recording of the piece). Baby Bear is trying to understand how music can tell a story without any words. Though he is still not sure, they head back to their seats as the rest of the audience is arriving. (Seen here in cameos: Caroll Spinney, Martin P. Robinson, Fran Brill, Stephanie D'Abruzzo, John Tartaglia, Pam Arciero, John Kennedy, writer Christine Ferraro and Muppet wrangler Michelle Hickey).

As the music plays, Baby Bear pictures the events of the story in his head (with a little help from his father). Peter is portrayed by Elmo, who runs in with the bird (Zoe), the duck (Telly) and the cat (Oscar)... all dressed for the part. Peter's Grandfather (Big Bird) warns Peter not to go looking for the Wolf, because the hunters (the Two-Headed Monster) will take care of it. As the story unfolds, each character is accompanied (in Baby Bear's imagination) by the instrument soloist we met earlier backstage. The story plays out and Baby Bear has a better understanding of how music can tell a story.

On their return to Sesame Street, Baby Bear has also figured out why Elmo's band doesn't sound quite right: they need a conductor to keep them in time and so that they all don't play over each other. Baby Bear volunteers for the job. With his help, they're finally able to play music together.

DVD extras

This special was released on DVD in 2001. It was rereleased in 2008, packaged with Sing Yourself Silly in a Sesame Street Double Feature.

The DVD version includes various extras including a game in which you must match the sound of an instrument to its picture and a game that involves matching a theme from the ballet to the corresponding character. An additional section allows you to watch scenes from the story with just footage of the Boston Pops playing the piece (in these scenes, Baby Bear and Papa Bear can be seen on location in Boston Symphony Hall). Information on the Muppets and a parents section round out the extras.


Video releases




See also