My brain is still on retro toys, so for today’s Draw a Bird Day (started by the wonderful Laura at Create Art Everyday and now hosted by the awesome Kerfe and Nina over at Method Two Madness) we have a little plush version of Big Bird from Sesame Street. Rather unconventional entry, but he was one of my favorite characters when I was little. If anyone is wondering what kind of bird this is, let’s just say he’s a flightless eight-foot two-inch (249 cm) bright yellow talking bird of much-debated species.
I’ve always been fascinated when something gigantic like Big Bird is shrunk into a miniature form. From animal figurines to action figures, I loved anything made pocket-sized. Perhaps it was just how cute things got when scaled down this way, or perhaps it was because I could get more than one, without having to choose, for the same amount of my mother’s money. Either way, little big Big Bird was just really cool.
When I was a kid, I also like Big Bird’s best friend, Snuffleupagus, a large, hairy creature that looked like a woolly mammoth without the tusks. Back then, he was deemed Big Bird’s “imaginary” friend because adults couldn’t see him or he’d disappear before they showed up, which was super fun! This schtick was killed in the mid 80’s, though, when there was suddenly a concern that kids might not share important things with adults because of this. Which I find ridiculous, as would most kids, but unfortunately kids never get to weigh in on these decisions and they’re usually left to terrified adult brains.
I remember being excited when Big Bird finally got to star in his own big screen movie called, Follow That Bird. This was also the first-ever feature length Sesame Street film. It was a musical, too! My favorite part was when the Slease Brothers capture Big Bird, paint him blue, and put him in their carnival as “The Bluebird of Happiness.” Mostly because of the song he sings, “I’m So Blue,” which is the ‘sad ballad’ and always my favorite in any musical. And although it’s weird to admit it. I can still remember all the words.