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The Magical Wand Chase is a Sesame Street special. The 43-minute special premiered on HBO on Saturday, November 11, 2017. The special features guest star Elizabeth Banks.

The special helped kick off the show's 48th season, which began the following weekend. The special received an advanced screening at the Metrograph in New York City on November 9.

The special premiered on PBS on March 25, 2019. To round out the hour, the street story "Street Food" was added between the main feature and the end credits.

The special was released on DVD on November 6, 2018, and was later included as a bonus feature on the 2021 release Wonderful World of Friends!

Press kit description

While taking her friends on a magical hot air balloon ride, Abby Cadabby loses her wand to a curious bird, voiced by [Elizabeth] Banks. Without Abby’s wand, they can’t get back to Sesame Street. A chase ensues!

Pursuing the bird in their hot air balloon, Abby and the gang visit new neighborhoods and discover new foods, music, and languages. Best of all, they make new friends who help them find the missing wand and show them the way back home. Who knew there was so much to discover just around the corner?

The Magical Wand Chase is deeply connected to this season’s respect and understanding curriculum, using the tapestry of the city to show kids that kindness is universal and new friends can be found anywhere. (It also marks the first time the show has shot a feature-length special on location since 1994!)




  • Nina: Suki Lopez
  • Lucy: Lynn Cheng
  • Carl: William Poon
  • Sonia: Ana-Sofia Rodriquez-Garcia
  • Zaki: Bluend Mulbah
  • Onyi: Olivia Altidor

Special Guest Star

Sesame Street Muppet Performers

Jennifer Barnhart, Leslie Carrara-Rudolph, Frankie Cordero, Ryan Dillon, Eric Jacobson, John Kennedy, Peter Linz, Carmen Osbahr, David Rudman, Matt Vogel

Other Human Roles

  • Pedicab Driver: Lee Buckman
  • Nigerian Jump-Roping Girl: Chiamaka Eke

Los Jarabe Tapatío Dancers

Melyssa Cristino, Melvin Gonzalez, Diana Palomares, Emanuel Torres Ortega, Jesus Torres Ortega
Dance Teacher: Juan Castano

Child Extras

Christopher Brillantino, Annabelle Chow, Malachy Fong, Heaven McCoy, Shamillah Middleton-Ellis, Violet Tinnierello

Muppet Characters

Elmo, Oscar the Grouch, Rosita, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster, Big Bird, Grover

Background Muppets


Animated Credits Characters

Bruno the Trashman, Roosevelt Franklin, Abelardo Montoya, Baby Bear, Little Bird, Penelope Penguin, Prairie Dawn, Zoe, Count von Count, Two-Headed Monster, Bats, Julia, Alan, Ovejita, Slimey, Telly Monster, Rudy, Ernie, Bert, Mr. Snuffleupagus


  • The special was originally conceived with the working title "Get That Wand."[1]
  • The first location the Sesame Street Muppets visit is a statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, in Columbus Park. He finalized plans for the Chinese revolution of 1911 from New York City.[3]
  • The pedicab driver is a real pedicab driver.[4]
  • For many years, Grover's hands had an armature underneath. Before this special, the puppets had returned to their original floppy hands. In the special, Grover needed to hold a churro, and Cookie needed to take it from him. Annie Ozar added an armature just to Grover's thumb, which keeps the fingers floppy and doesn't impede the arm rod.[5]