I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Film, Documentaries
3 out of 5 stars
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

You’ve probably seen Caroll Spinney hundreds of times, but you won’t recognise him. Since 1969, he has been bringing to life two of Jim Henson’s most loved Muppets – Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from hit kids’ TV show ‘Sesame Street’. This sweet doc gives a bird’s eye view of the man within that mass of yellow feathers. The softly spoken 81-year-old appears in interviews alongside the likes of voice of Yoda, Frank Oz, and ‘Sesame Street’ co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney. There’s mountains of old backstage footage for Muppet fans as the film journeys from Spinney’s first foray into puppeteering in the ’60s, via his nearly aborted steps into ‘Sesame Street’, to his remarkable life as two of the world’s most famous children’s characters. It’s an adoring portrait – almost cloyingly so – with an emotional soundtrack that grates a little. Though there is drama along the way, devoting an entire doc to Spinney’s life is a stretch. But he is unquestionably an entertainer to be celebrated, and, at the very least, ‘I Am Big Bird’ has that feather firmly in its cap.

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Details

Release details

Rated:
12A
Release date:
Friday May 1 2015
Duration:
90 mins

Cast and crew

Director:
Dave LaMattina, Chad N. Walker
Screenwriter:
Dave LaMattina