Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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DVD cover.

Don't Eat the Pictures: Sesame Street at the Metropolitan Museum of Art is a made-for-TV film set in the Sesame Street universe and first aired on 1983-11-16 on PBS. The film was written by Tony Geiss, is an hour long, and features five songs.

The film is set in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art and much of the cast of Sesame Street is visiting the museum. The museum is just about to close and everyone is preparing to leave, but Big Bird continues to roam around the museum looking for Mr. Snuffleupagus. His friends continue to look for Big Bird and they all end up getting locked in the museum over night. Big Bird finds Snuffy and they meet a little boy named Sahu who is an Egyptian prince from 4,000 years ago. Prince Sahu is sad because he can't answer the riddle that will allow him to become a star in the sky with his family. Big Bird and Snuffy offer to help him, before the demon comes at night to ask him the riddle. Meanwhile, the rest of the Sesame Street gang wanders around the museum looking for Big Bird and admiring the art.


I watched this film on television in the mid-1980s when I was a little boy, either as a rerun on PBS, or in 1987 after it was released on VHS. The dramatic subject matter left a lasting impression on me. I remembered being frightened from it, especially the scene with the demon and the little boy having his heart weighed against a feather.

Watching it as an adult, it was fun to see the parts I remembered as well as the parts I didn't. I remembered Oscar's song "Broken and Beautiful," and also the invisible cat, because, you know, invisible cat. Telly's voice was a bit shocking because all the video I've seen from Telly since has been from the new voice actor.



  • The many shots of art and museum exhibits are great. They show a staggering amount of pieces.
  • I like that the film doesn't shy away from adult topics. There are plenty of nudes among the art, Sahu's parents are dead, and characters include demons and gods. The story is pretty heavy, especially for children.
  • There are several jokes for adults: "Who's Osiris? "Him, the Lord of the Underworld." "A gangster?" The "Don't eat the pictures" sign is also hilarious. I like how the ancient Egyptians refer to Big Bird as Ibis.
  • The film predates Elmo, so he's not even mentioned. It's so nice to not have a
  • The film has a pretty good score. It adds a lot of tension and culture.
  • The antique clocks work well as a ticking clock trope and give the film an ominous feeling.
  • Oscar's song, "Broken and Beautiful," is a nice way to teach children about art preservation.


  • The dubbing on Sahu is really awful.
  • The title and home video covers suggests the film will be a silly romp starring Cookie Monster, but the plot is considerably different and Cookie Monster is just an ancillary character.


  • Nothing.



Production Stills


Full film.