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  • The Sesame Street Critic

Natalie Portman Sesame Street Performance - Self

Natalie Portman proved her acting chops at age 13, and her endearingly earnest performance with Elmo nearly a decade later was perfect for the Sesame Street audience.

Grade: A

Character: Self

Sesame Street Characters: Elmo

Episode: #4041

Original Air Date: April 21, 2003

Some Sesame Street skits are a tad bit silly. The show is made for young kids after all. The princess and the elephant play date with Natalie Portman and Elmo was one of those skits. But the skit worked because Portman played it well by taking a child-like approach. She played it with the same seriousness that a kid would, and it gave the performance an authenticity that kept it from seeming totally ridiculous.

Natalie Portman Sesame Street performance with Elmo as the princess
Natalie Portman playing her regular part as the princess

Natalie Portman proves that as an actor she has great timing, even when her scene partner is a puppet. The interaction and responses were really natural, and that's no easy feat when it's just you and muppet monster. She even played right through getting slapped across the face with Elmo's elephant trunk a few times.

One weak spot in the performance is Portman's elephant noise. It is a difficult sound to master, but she definitely wouldn't be mistaken for an elephant based on her trumping. Elmo's elephant impression is actually more impressive.

Natalie Portman Sesame Street Performance with Elmo the princess and the elephant
Natalie Portman plays an elephant on Sesame Street

Despite the weak trumpeting, Natalie Portman gives an A performance. She seemed to really have fun with it and give into the silliness, which is what made it work. If Portman wouldn't have fully committed it could have fallen flat really quick, especially given there's no learning element to the skit. It's just there for pure imaginative entertainment.

What Do You Think About Natalie Portman's Sesame Street Performance With Elmo?

Did Natalie Portman's childlike behavior play well in the princess and the elephant skit? Or was it just a bit to silly to be taken seriously? You be the critic!

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