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Things We Saw Today: Alternate Big Birds From Sesame Street, Ranked by Their Chaotic Energy

 

Caponata the Big Bird from Barrio Sesamo

One of the best things we saw today—and in a long time—was the tweet below that compiled a popular Tumblr post. On Tumblr, users were surprised to discover that there were different incarnations of Big Bird in Sesame Street productions around the world. More and more people added “their” Big Birds, leading to the declaration that this felt like an alternate universe and also that we were entering the Bigbirdverse.

Of course, to anyone who grew up with these Big Birds, that there were different versions and adaptations of the character wasn’t news. But you may be surprised to learn just how many alternate Big Birds there are, and how they vary in appearance (it’s now established that they’re all canonically cousins). Let’s run down our Big Birds by the sheer chaotic energy that they embody.

8. Big Bird (U.S.)

Big Bird on Sesame Street

The Big Bird on Sesame Street in the U.S. actually had many versions over the years. But generally Big Bird is a giant plain yellow bird and pretty mild-mannered. I was always more of a Snuffleupagus girl myself.

8. Da Niao (大鸟) (China)

Big Bird in China

Sesame Street in China, Zhima Jie (芝麻街), used the same Big Bird as the U.S. version. Synergy! It’s still an enormous bird wandering amongst the local children.

7. Poupas (Portugal)

Poupas portugese big bird

Poupas from the Portuguese production Rua Sésamo seems rather chill, all things considered. A Big Bird-type in orange, with white, pink, and brown accents, Poupas’s chaotic energy is brought to fruition in its colorful plumage. Check out those tailfeathers! Que lindo.

6. Minik Kuş (Turkey) 

Minik kus Turkish big bird

All orange and pink primaries, Turkey’s Minik Kuş of Susam Sokağı has a similar color scheme to Poupas. But Minik Kuş takes the chaotic edge with its daring fashion choices. Just look at that stylish neckerchief. Our blundering yellow Big Bird would never.

5. Abelardo Montoya (Mexico)

Abelardo Montoya

The fabulously-named Abelardo Montoya is Mexico’s Big Birdian cousin on Plaza Sésamo. A vibrant green, with a pink throat and a red-feathered face, Abelardo has a parrot-like beak.

Abelardo has bridged the Bigbirdverse and crossed over.

Abelardo’s chaos emerges in the fact that he was actually once a dragon, and he is imminently meme-able.

4. Pino (Netherlands)

Pino the dutch big bird

The Dutch version of Big Bird, Sesamstraat’s Pino, is also later established to be Big Bird’s cousin, and the two appear able to coexist in the same reality. Pino is a lovely soothing shade of pale blue, but Pino’s true chaos comes from, as Wikipedia puts it, the whimsical “multicolored feathered ‘sprigs’ from top of head.” Pino has also looked far less grounded in its checkered past.

Pino the dutch big bird

3. Toccata (France)

Toccata from Rue Sesame

Toccata from 1, Rue Sésame, the first French take on Sesame Street, appears to be an unholy hybrid of a seagull and an albatross. Maybe it’s just my experience with seagulls and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s epic The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, but Toccata gives off a sinister energy. You wouldn’t want this seabird around your neck.

2. Garibaldo (Brazil)

Garibaldo brazilian sesame street

The original Brazilian Vila Sésamo features a mighty blue bird by the name of Garibaldo. Garibaldo is … a lot. Something about those red-rimmed eyes and sharp beak leave me ready to learn my letters before Garibaldo comes after me.

Garibaldo from vila sesamo

Okay, okay!!!! The letter T!!!!! I promise I’ll remember!

1. Caponata (Spain)

What?????

No really I just—

Why is this happening?

This is certainly a … big bird. Please don’t come for me at night, Caponata.

Wikipedia has the longest descriptive entry for Spain’s Caponata from Barrio Sésamo: “Primarily orange and yellow feathers on body; red-and-white striped legs, red shoes with bows. Wears a curly pink wig.” Some choices were made here. There were choices, that were made.

Caponata is an agent of pure and unbridled chaos. I’m speechless.

Want to keep track of the whole Big Big family for the future? Luckily, there’s some wonderful art to help with that.

Wait, you still can’t get enough international Muppets? Twitter users gave us a few more to ponder:

And finally, please meet Cookie Monster’s British cousin, Biscuit Monster:

Here some things that we saw today that had nothing to do with bird suits:

  • The Senate says no to the $15 minimum wage push thanks to Republicans, which is real rich coming from a bunch of people who earn $174,000 per year. (via NPR)
  • I would watch Christopher Meloni in anything, even another Law & Order go-round:
  • Ron Weasley actor Rupert Grint has said he’s only seen three Harry Potter movies. A good move on his part. (via Buzzfeed)
  • Veronica Lodge is apparently the “She-Wolf of Wall Street” after the Riverdale time jump. What even is Riverdale now? (via The Wrap)
  • German authorities confiscated millions of dollars in Bitcoin from a fraudster … only he won’t give them the password. (via Reuters)

What did you see today?

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Kaila is a lifelong New Yorker. She's written for io9, Gizmodo, New York Magazine, The Awl, Wired, Cosmopolitan, and once published a Harlequin novel you'll never find.