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Julia-SS.png
PERFORMER Stacey Gordon
DEBUT 2015
DESIGN Louis Henry Mitchell designer
  Rollie Krewson builder

Stacey Gordon performing Julia on set (assisted by John Kennedy).

Louis Henry Mitchell's early sketches of Julia, who was originally to be named Isabel.

Julia with Rosita at the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Julia with her parents, Daniel and Elena, and brother Sam.

Julia's dog Rose.

Julia in The Muppet Workshop.

Julia puppet with blue eyes for greenscreen use.

Bringing_Julia_to_Life

Bringing Julia to Life

Julia is a four-year-old girl with autism from Sesame Street, introduced in 2015 as part of the Sesame Street and Autism: See Amazing in All Children initiative. She is a young girl with bright orange hair and big green eyes and is friends with Elmo and Abby.

Julia's characterization was originated by Leslie Kimmelman for the digital storybook We're Amazing, 1, 2, 3! She used her own experiences as the mother of a child with autism, as well as input from research and advisers from the autism community, to inform the story.

Due to the positive response to the outreach initiative, Julia was made into a physical Muppet that debuted in Episode 4715 of the show, airing on April 10, 2017. She is performed by Stacey Gordon, who also used her own experiences raising her autistic son to help inform the actions of the character. She made her television debut on 60 Minutes on March 19, 2017, and subsequently appeared in a series of YouTube videos for SesameStreet's YouTube Channel.

A digital storybook released in April 2018, Family Forever: A Julia Storybook, introduced Julia's family: her mother Elena (an art teacher), her father Daniel (a medical professional and saxophonist) and her older brother Samuel. Julia's family, which also includes a dog named Rose, made their first appearance in Muppet form in a series of videos that premiered online in 2019.

Julia (puppeteered by Lara MacLean[1]) also joined the cast on the Sesame Street float in the 2018 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, wearing noise-cancelling headphones so the loud volume wouldn't bother her. She has also worn them for a 50th anniversary photo shoot in The Washington Post[2] and Sesame Street's 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Notes

  • The puppet is built with two sets of arms, one of which allows Julia to flap her arms in an emotional state.
  • The character, initially named Isabel, was named after writer Leslie Kimmelman's eldest daughter.[3]
  • Her favorite toy is a stuffed doll named Fluffster, which has a somewhat rabbit-like appearance and is described in Family Forever as being a "bunny." She states within this title that Fluffster's favorite picnic food is frogs.
  • Since her debut in Season 47, a Sesame Street episode starring Julia has premiered annually on HBO (later HBO Max) and PBS on the same day during April, popularly recognized as Autism Awareness Month. These shows include her introductory episode (4715), "Shape Hunt" (4821), "Julia's Haircut" (4921), "The Fluffster Kerfuffle" (5021), and "Match It!" (5122). These depart from Sesame Workshop's distribution deals where first run episodes air on PBS following a nine-month window.

Appearances

Book appearances

Merchandise

See also

Sources

  1. ↑ Stacey Gordon on Instagram
  2. ↑ Hank Stuever, "A friend to everyone", Washington Post, December 2, 2019.
  3. ↑ "Why the Team Behind Sesame Street Created a Character With Autism," Smithsonian Magazine, December 2017.

External links