Mixed dog Tango finds home with Elmo
NEW YORK (AP) — “Sesame Street” is about to get even more adorable.
Elmo, Archibaldo, Abby Cadabie and the rest of the Muppet crew will add a new character to the show this summer: a brown-and-white puppy named Tango.
“We wanted to explore that special bond between kids and pets by introducing this character,” says K Wilson Stallings, executive vice president of creativity and production for Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit behind “Sesame Street.”
Tango will appear as an animated character in season 52 of the children’s show and debut as a puppet on HBO Max and streaming on PBS Kids in 2022.
The dog will debut in the 30-minute animated special “Furry Friends Forever: Elmo Gets a Puppy,” which premieres August 5 on HBO Max.
This is technically the second pet from Elmo, who has taken care of Dorothy Fish for many years.
“She has done quite a good job taking care of her fish,” explains K Wilson Stallings. “We think you were successful in taking care of Dorothy and this could be the next step in her development as she receives more responsibility for her own learning and development.”
impact of pandemic
The plan to add a pet to “Sesame Street” stemmed from the pandemic, when animal adoptions skyrocketed. Sesame Workshop hopes that Tango exemplifies the proper care of companion animals based on the age of the child.
“The timing is perfect. We didn’t think six months ago: ‘We create this new character because so many people are adopting pets in the pandemic.’ But we know that many families are adopting pets as a source of comfort and joy during the pandemic,” Stalling says.
“Adoption by Elmo De Tango will show how many children are staying at home and will also help them understand the best way to show love and care for their furry friends.”
Details about tango were carefully adopted into internal discussions about how it should look and which style to choose. Stallings, who are owners of long-haired Dachshunds, chose to set their priorities aside for the greater good.
“We decided it would be really better to make sure that the way to make it accessible and attractive to as many kids and families as possible was to make it mixed race only,” he says.
“She can be anything. Anyone who has a pet can see their pet tango,” he says.
In an animated version full of songs, Archibaldo and Elmo go outside to play and find a friendly but sad stray puppy sitting in a cardboard box. He loves music and dancing and scratches his chin. Even Oscar the Grouch called her “a cute and lovable full ball”.
Archibaldo warns Elmo that whenever he approaches a dog, do it slowly and let him smell the back of your hand. “That’s how dogs get to know you,” he explains.
Then the furry demons learn that the cub is homeless. They decide that a pet fair is the perfect place to find you. “We’ll get you the house you deserve, dog,” Archibaldo tells him. Friends also give it the name of Argentine Ballroom Dancing because that’s what she loves to do.
Along the way, Cookie Monster delivers candy to the little animal and Abby Cadby cleans it up in a magical bubble bath (“It was fun to get dirty / Yay to be clean now”). The songs were composed by Paul Buckley.
Finding the pet fair empty, Elmo makes a decision: “Elmo knows what a tango home can be,” he says. Archibaldo asks: “Where?” Elmo replies: “With Elmo.” But first you need your parents’ permission. Elmo promises to feed Tango, play with her, bathe her, and take her for a walk. “We don’t need fair to know we’re a great couple,” they sing.
Tango will live as a puppy, just as Elmo will always be three and a half years old. Stallings says his future as a recurring character is bright, even with the prospect of playing his own role one day.
“Right now we’re focusing on the relationship between her and Elmo as she gets acquainted with the rest of the characters on ‘Sesame Street.’ But if there are stories to tell and there are educational reasons to do so, we’re going to turn to Tango. Might consider giving away your series”.