Archive for the ‘Adoption’ Category



November 21, 2008


Follow that Bird was the first bootleg movie that I ever owned.  Before hustlers got enough gall to take camcorders into movie theaters there was VCR recording from television. I didn’t know any better in 1985 but was I ever thankful for learning that little trick.  You’ll never find me purchasing a copy of Maximum Overdrive any time soon!

Follow that Bird is the story of Big Bird’s cross-country journey back to Sesame Street after a group of social workers determine that he would be more comfortable living with a family of birds.    Miss Finch, the placing worker and a bird herself,  paints a lavish picture of Big Bird flourishing in a home with a feathered mother, father, and siblings that can better appreciate him in all of his birdly glory.  Initially excited about the possibility of leading a new life-though to the dismay of his friends- Big Bird half-heartedly agrees that leaving is the best option and parts ways with Oscar, Cookie, Grover, and his human friends on Sesame Street for new adventures.

Lest I spoil the other plot twists that lie ahead Big Bird later discovers that all that glitters is not gold.  His new parents’ style of parenting is not even close to providing the love and attention that he received on Sesame Street and life in the house becomes unbearable.  As Big Bird escapes and makes his way back home his Sesame Street friends set out on their own journey to find him.

Awww…can’t you just feel the love?  Even as a four-year-old I could tell you that the moral of Bird is that people-or muppets for that matter- don’t have to be of the same species to be considered a family.  Cookie Monsters and Grouches can live together as quarreling cousins and humans can adopt Big Birds as sons or daughters.  Come to think of it, is Big Bird a boy or a girl?


The subtle and negative messages about “meddling social workers” notwithstanding, Follow that Bird is a winner because it redefines family.  Leave it to Sesame Street to teach messages about tolerance.  Though Miss Finch and her cohorts theorized that Big Bird would be better off with his (her?) own kind they find that the best home is the one where love is taught even if between species.  One can not help but liken this film to today’s political climate where same sex couples are prohibited from adopting.  There are thousands of children who are waiting for someone to simply validate their existence, much less love them, and who would ever want to deny that?  Big Bird didn’t care if s/he had a human mother figure and a Count for a brother.  The need for love and acceptance was all that mattered.  It really makes you think.  How would Big Bird vote?