(Posted at same time as PP
Have you see it? It's scary honestly. It freaked me out bigtime when I saw it. His mouth is like some gaping maw that flaps violently up and down. My two year old saw it in the store. I warned her ahead of time it was a "freaky" Elmo. She was curious, and it did the demo thing and she JUMPED back.
"Fweaky Elmo! AH!"
Yep. I nodded. Freaky indeed.
She was brave and tried it again. Freaky Elmo freaked her out again.
She eventually said, "I don't want to see fweaky Elmo, Mama" and we walked off. "Mama doesn't want to either, honey." That was enough for me.
Now granted, my child is a little sensitive. But she's not hyper sensitive. She's just not into blaringly loud toys. She LOVES Elmo though and we're fine with that. We're not fine with obnoxious battery toys, and we're certainly not okay with toys that could scare her. Some toddlers may love Elmo Live, and ours might eventually get used to it, but it's not worth the initial freaking out/scare exposure, IMO. So we're not doing it.
I'd tell your MIL flat out that people are telling you NOT to get the doll because he scares the crap out of most kids (because from other parents I've talked to, he does), and it has actually turned some kids off Elmo completely. Which, in our home, would be really sad, because our daughter has a very sweet adoration for that little red monster. But for some kids, he's going from being this wonderful little friend to some kind of scary monster. Not good.
And the thing is, my experience of the freakiness is from just the demo. He does all kinds of other things too. It's just sensory overload honestly, and unless she wants to induce nightmares in your child, I'd tell her pointblank NO. Feel free to get a sweet whatever Elmo instead, but Elmo Live is just not worth it.
So stop focusing on how YOU don't like it. Focus instead on how it's going to scare the crap out of your sweet, sensitive toddler.
Here's a video of it, btw:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVUPTTkIBVI