“Sesame street” is about get even cuter.
The Associated Press reports that Elmo, Grover and Abby Cadabby will introduce a new Muppet character this summer: a white-and brown puppy named Tango.
Kay Wilson Stallings (executive vice president, creative and production, Sesame Workshop), the non-profit behind “Sesame street”, stated, “We wanted to explore the special bond between children, pets, by introducing this character.”
Tango will be joining “Sesame street’s” 52nd Season as an animated character and a live action Muppet. He debuts this fall on HBO Max, and streaming on PBS KIDS by 2022.
In a 30-minute animated special, “Furry Friends Forever”: Elmo Gets a Puppy, the pup is introduced for the first time. It premiered on HBO Max August 5. Elmo technically has her as his second pet, having cared for Dorothy the goldfish for many years.
Wilson Stallings said that he has done a great job taking care of his fish. “We felt he was doing a good job taking care of Dorothy. This could be his next step and he will have more responsibility, learning and growing.”
The idea of introducing a pet to Sesame street predated the outbreak. Animal adoptions have soared since then. Sesame Workshop hopes Tango will lead to models of age-appropriate assistance with pets and their feeding.
It was perfectly timed. Wilson Stallings said that it wasn’t like we decided six years ago, “Let’s make this new character because lots of people are adopting pandemic pet pets.”
“Elmo adopting Tango is going to mirror what many of our children are experiencing at home, and help them to understand how to love and care for their furry friends.”
Details about Tango were carefully thought out, and internal discussions took place about how she should look and which gender to choose. Wilson Stallings, a long-haired dachshund owner at home, decided to share her preferences for the greater good of all.
She said, “We decided it would be best to make her as accessible as possible and appeal to as many families and children as possible.” She could be a bit of everything. Anyone who has a pet may see a bit of them in Tango.
Grover and Elmo meet a sad but friendly stray dog while out on a playdate. She is a lover of music, dancing, and loves to scratch under her chin. Oscar the Grouch even calls her a “cute and adorable little fluffball.”
Grover advises Elmo to be quiet when approaching dogs. This is how dogs get to know you. Grover says, “Or, should I say, nose you.”
The fuzzy monsters discover that the puppy has been abandoned. The fuzzy monsters decide that a local pet market is the best place to find her a home. Grover says, “We will find the home that you deserve, little puppy.” Grover and the dog were also named after her favorite pastime, the ballroom dance.
Cookie Monster gives Cookie Monster treats, and Abby Cadabby cleans Cookie Monster in a magical bubble tub (“It was fun getting dirty/Now hooray to get clean!”). These songs were composed by Paul Buckley.
Elmo realizes that the pet fair is empty. He says, “Elmo knows the location of Tango’s home.” Grover asks Elmo, “Where?” Elmo replies: “With Elmo.” However, first he must have parental permission. Elmo promises to feed and play, bathe, and take Tango walks. He sings, “To know that we are a great couple/We don’t need to be per fair.” The message is: Let love lead you in.
Tango will be a puppy, just like Elmo. Wilson Stallings stated that her future as a recurring character was bright and she could even have her own starring role one day.
“Right now we’re focusing just on Elmo and her relationship. But, if there are stories and educational reasons to tell them, we might consider spinning off Tango to her own series.”