Big Bird and his Sesame Street companion, Barkley, the big, fluffy dog, travel across China in search of the legendary Feng Huang, the Phoenix Bird. Along the way they visit with Chinese schoolchildren, watch a Tai Ji demonstration, learn some Chinese words and songs, and meet the mischievous Monkey King.
The film portrays a fictional nuclear war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full scale exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union, focusing on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated next to nearby nuclear missile silos.
High School student David Lightman (Matthew Broderick) has a talent for hacking. But while trying to hack into a computer system to play unreleased video games, he unwittingly taps into the Defense Department's war computer and initiates a confrontation of global proportions! Together with his girlfriend (Ally Sheedy) and a wizardly computer genius (John Wood), David must race against time to outwit his opponent.