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"Friends to the Rescue" DVD Review

Sesame Street Addresses Kids' Fears About Natural Disasters

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Friends to the Rescue

Photo credit: Sesame Street

MPAA Rating: NR
Genre: Children’s Educational
Runtime: 53 minutes
Age Range: Preschoolers

"Friends to the Rescue" Overview

When rumors of a coming hurricane start to spread, Sesame Street residents gather around the TV to listen as Al Roker explains what a hurricane is and maps the possible path of the storm right toward Sesame Street. The neighbors must work together to prepare for the hurricane, and then everyone heads inside to wait the storm out.

After the wind and rains subside, Gordon and Big Bird walk out to assess the damage. Big Bird is heartbroken to find his nest has been blown away by the storm and his home destroyed. The story follows Big Bird, as his friends help him deal with his feelings and rebuild his nest twig by twig.

Guide Review of "Friends to the Rescue"

We often forget how world events affect children, even when they are not directly involved. They watch events unfold on the news, or hear grown ups talking about it, and they often have to deal with concepts and emotions that are beyond their years.

Sesame Street tackles the issue of natural disasters in a way that allows children to see events unfold from an age-appropriate perspective. Big Bird experiences fears and emotions similar to their own, but with a little help from his friends, everything turns out fine in the end.

Children’s favorite Sesame Street characters come together to help Big Bird, modeling coping strategies that will aid children in any type of stressful situation. Big Bird is encouraged to talk about his feelings. To take his mind off of the situation, he colors a picture or talks about memories of special times he had in his nest. Most importantly, he takes part in the re-building process, gaining confidence and a greater sense of empowerment.

Learning that they can take this kind of pro-active action, instead of just being acted upon, will help kids feel more security and control in difficult circumstances. “Friends to the Rescue” also encourages children to rely on their friends and family during difficult times, and that they, in turn, can come to the aid of others.

"Friends to the Rescue" - Additional Learning Opportunities

  • Talk with your child about the weather. What are the different types of weather? How can we study and predict weather? Watch a real weather forecast with your child.

  • What are your child’s thoughts and feelings about natural disasters? How can your family be prepared in case of a natural disaster? What will you do to stay safe from harm?

  • Have your child help you create 72-hour kits for your family in case of an emergency. The Red Cross has a great 72-hour kit checklist .

  • How do friends and families help each other during difficult times?

  • Encourage your child to help victims of a natural disaster by doing something such as making hygiene kits or donating money to the Red Cross.

"Friends to the Rescue" DVD Special Features

  • Two Games: "Help Rebuild Big Bird's Nest" and "Weather Game"

  • Kid-Friendly Instant Play

  • Insert containing parental tips for dealing with hurricanes and other stressful times

*Visit the Sesame Street Workshop official website for additional valuable resources to help parents and kids cope with natural disasters.

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