Review: I Am Big Bird
The story of Caroll Spinney, the man with a bigger heart than Big Bird.
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I Am Big Bird is the uplifting yet, at times, heart-wrenching story of puppeteer and cartoonist Caroll Spinney, who has played the lovable Sesame Street characters since the show launched in 1969 – and, he shows no sign of stopping yet.
Featuring compelling interviews with fellow puppeteers (including Frank Oz and Jim Henson) and cast members as well as videos from Caroll Spinney’s own collection, it makes you appreciate the names behind the camera (or, in this case, in the suits) more than you ever have before. No matter how big ‘Big Bird’s’ heart may be, it’s the heart behind the yellow feathers that will capture your emotions. A man so genuinely caring and passionate has not graced our screens in this way for a long time.
The most amazing part of this documentary is that Spinney’s story doesn’t include the ‘sob story’ everyone is expecting. Apart from the fact that he had a poor relationship with his father growing up and there was a murder on his front door which was partially blamed (by the media) on himself (although it had nothing to do with him) the highlights of I Am Big Bird are all in the visual display of Caroll Spinney and the love he pours into these characters.
I watched countless episodes of Sesame Street afterwards, and I’ve never cried more at the ABC song.
This documentary will bring you joy, tears and – more than all – appreciation. You’ll want to be a better person after watching it and if that is not enough of an argument as to why you should see it, then what is?
I Am Big Bird is available digitally and on DVD now.