I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

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I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

You’ve probably seen Caroll Spinney hundreds of times, but you won’t recognize him. Since 1969, he has been bringing to life two of Jim Henson’s most loved Muppets—Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch from 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 Frank Oz (the voice of Yoda) and Sesame Street co-founder Joan Ganz Cooney.

There are mountains of old backstage footage for Muppet fans as the film journeys from Spinney’s first foray into puppeteering in the ’60, 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.

By: Daisy Bowie-Sell


Release details

Rated: N/R
Release date: Wednesday May 6 2015
Duration: 90 mins

Cast and crew

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

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