GROUCHland USA, "the land of a thousand stenches", is the hometown of OSCAR THE GROUCH in The Adventures of Elmo in GROUCHland. Prior to the film, in SESAME STREET EPISODE 2648 (& then repeated as EPISODE 2899), Bob visited GROUCHland, a neighborhood which was the opposite of SESAME STREET, although it was called GROUCHYtown. In the film, however, the only known way to get to GROUCHland, despite it being in America is through a swirling door portal in OSCAR's TRASH CAN on SESAME STREET. Visitors are then deposited, through a pipe, onto a pile of TRASH bags, the gateway to GROUCHland. GROUCHland is ostensibly run by the GROUCH Mayor.
GROUCHland is a teeming metropolis, populated solely by GROUCHES, littered with TRASH, ranging from small, messy piles to huge mounds. TRASH is not just on the streets as TRASH, however. A living embodiment of the saying "1 man's TRASH is another man's treasure", GROUCHland incorporates TRASH of all kinds into the very fabric of the city's architecture & economy. TRASH is prized as better than "good" stuff. The buildings are tall but lopsided, resembling stylized versions of the worst urban tenements. Though many GROUCHES still appear to live in TRASH CANS, many of the buildings also serve as homes, sporting tilted jigsaw-like windows, crooked doors, & a teetering floor placed on top of another. The entire city skyline is angular & juts in odd directions. Cars & GARBAGE trucks drive to & fro, adding to the smog, & the occasional GROUCH Dog wanders the street (while a Grouch parrot is on display in the marketplace). OSCAR also nostalgically mentions "the old septic tank".
Storefronts include the Book Dumpster, the Wilting Rose florists, the Car Mess, the Tone Deaf music shop, Bad Humor Man's ice cream cart & a restaurant called The Rotten Egg. Patrons can buy a quart of muck or a glass of Icky Yuckee at the Inconvenience Store. The bank of GROUCHland is the 1st Savings & Leave Us Alone & GROUCH girls can receive a make-over at THE UGLY PARLOR. For entertainment the local cinema plays such movies as Basically It Stinks starring the GROUCH celebrity SHARON GROAN. Although, most of the SESAME STREET visitors find accommodation at the GROUCHland Jail.
Outside of the city itself, surrounding environs include a forest teeming with very GROUCHY animals & such locales as the steep Mount Pickanose, Huxley's castle & DA DUMP, the domain of the Queen of TRASH & a kingdom all to itself.
Behind The ScenesEdit
GROUCHland, like many other Muppet sets, relies heavily on forced perspective, creating an enormous landscape, vast in relation to the GROUCHES & other Muppets, but still able to accommodate human visitors. Wide camera angles & other techniques made the space seem more open.
Design consultant Val Strazovec was largely responsible for the essential design & look of GROUCHland, & he discussed his approach in the film's production notes: "At 1st, they thought I had gone too far with GROUCHland. They envisioned a real town with the TRASH being the TRASH, but I said 'NO, NO, NO, this is such an opportunity to show something that isn't tradition. The whole thing should be as GROUCHY as those who live there. 'GROUCHland is about crankiness & fun. I thought, let's make it look silly, make it look funny. Almost like a child would draw, with crazy angles. It was crooked. The foundations were real but we twisted them."
In addition to specially fabricated GROUCH houses & props, real actual TRASH was a vital ingredient. The props department visited flea markets & other places, collecting 10 truckloads of suitable TRASH.
- ↑ Allen, Constance. UNwelcome to GROUCHland, Random House, 1999.
- ↑ https://twitter.com/SESAMESTREET/statuses/240511658563366912
- The Adventures of Elmo in GROUCHland (1999)
- The Adventures of Elmo in GROUCHland: Sing & Play (1999)
- The Adventures of Elmo in GROUCHland Movie Storybook (1999)
- GROUCHland Surprises (1999)
- Happy GROUCHY Day (1999)
- UNwelcome to GROUCHland (1999)
- DA DUMP
- GROUCHland Jail
- The UGLY Parlor
- Mount Pickanose
- GROUCHland USA on the Muppet Wiki
- GROUCHland USA on the OSCAR THE GROUCH Wiki
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