The World According to Sesame Street (2006)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

As co-directed by documentarians Linda Goldstein Knowlton and Linda Hawkins Costigan, the film The World According to Sesame Street probes the global phenomenon of adapting the seminal children's program Sesame Street to various local cultures. The Sesame Workshop (the program's parent company) has done so not only by varying the language but by adapting the characters and themes to suit indigenous cultural and political climates. Thus, Muppet characters in South Africa discuss HIV and AIDS, Bangladeshi Muppets discuss child labor, and Muppets in Kosovo address the divided cultural and political climate of that nation. And the characters include not only the Cookie Monster, Oscar and Big Bird familiar to Americans, but a Zulu Muppet called Kami (in South Africa), a Bangladeshi Muppet called Tutuki (in Dhaka) and many others. The World According to Sesame Street ventures behind the scenes of many of these regional productions to explore the obstacles, struggles, and infinite rewards associated with making Sesame Street a multicultural endeavor. In so doing, it underscores the need for education shared by children on every continent.
Documentary , Special Interest , Television
Directed By:
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Critic Reviews for The World According to Sesame Street

All Critics (3)

Anyone who doubts the socially and culturally shaping powers of television, film or any other medium of expression need only look to Sesame Street in order to dispel their skepticism.

Full Review… | May 21, 2015
Slant Magazine

Serious adult docu about Muppets in the 3rd world.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

Quote not available.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Audience Reviews for The World According to Sesame Street

A view of Sesame Street that we don't see...the creation of adaptations for world markets. This isn't a case of American corporate domination but rather the attempt to ensure that certain values about child education are prized world wide. Very interesting.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Beh. I admire Sesame for what they're doing, and this movie did tug at my heartstrings, but it was SO self-important. Yes, Kosovar children need to be taught how to not hate, but a segregated children's show is not likely to be the way to do it. Whenever they started talking about cultural imperialism, my ears perked up, because that was my big interest in seeing this movie. However, it was always brought up to be immediately dismissed. *shrugs* Oh well.

Giffy Giffoniello
Giffy Giffoniello

Pretty interesting documentary. I guess I never thought about all of the complex socio-political issues that need to be taken into account when developing children's television in foreign countries.

Phil Nichols
Phil Nichols

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