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I am a sucker for stop motion and claymation. Anything that eschews CGI and handrawn for some good old fashioned hand modeling has me on board. So, when I  found out that Sesame Workshop was giving Bert and Ernie claymation alter-egos, I was already a fan.

“Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures” (also known as “New Adventures Of Bert & Ernie”) are 5-minute clay-animated stories featuring the famous duo. These shorts are featured on Sesame Street in the US and as a stand-alone series in other parts of the world.  Each episode has Bert and Ernie using their imagination to journey to fantastical places like outer space, the prehistoric era, Antarctica, the Old West, Superheropolis, and Tiny Town.

While this show is sure to get a few purists up-in-arms, I love the idea of bringing Sesame characters to a new medium. Further, these two characters are coming to life in an animation style that is, in itself, classic. We aren’t seeing a CGI Ernie here. We are seeing the world’s most famous roommates  join the likes of classic properties like Gumby, Davey and Goliath, and Wallace & Gromit .

Looks like “Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventure” may be here to stay as well. This show has already won an award, with the “Secret Agents” episode taking the Gold Award for Children’s Animation at the 2009 World Media Festival and being selected at the 2009 Annecy Animation Festival.  Also, another series of five minute episodes are on deck.

Lucky UK and Australian fans can purchase a collection of these ‘Adventures’ on DVD, while we US fans will have to watch for the Adventures on TV or stream them on YouTube. Fingers crossed for a compilation disc in the US as well!

I look forward to seeing Sesame Workshop explore more outside-the-box projects like this.  One of the reasons Sesame has stayed relevant through the years is there willingness to continue explore new ideas.

EBert & Ernie: Cave Buddies

Check out this (low-quality) sample video:

More info on “Bert and Ernie’s Great Adventures” (via Sesame Workshop)

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In response (or at least I think) to my Caillou post, illustrator Hélène Desputeaux sent me this digital postcard  celebrating 20 years since Hélène first drew the little guy. Very cute!

bigkisscaillou