Cert: 12A Runtime: 90 mins Director: Dave LaMattina & Chad N.Walker Cast: Caroll Spinney, Frank Oz, Jerry Nelson, Debra Jean Gilroy and Jim Henson
Oh, I’m not a chicken actually. I’m a bird on the run
A large chunk of humanity know who Big Bird is, that giant yellow bird entertained and educated me through out my childhood. I remember waking up every Saturday morning at 6 AM to have my weekly fix of Sesame Street. These are great memories and now we can learn about the man behind the magic Caroll Spinney. If you haven’t seen Being Elmo I’d recommend you’d give that a watch too. So what is I Am Big Bird about? For 45 years, Caroll Spinney has been beloved by generations of children as the man behind Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch – and at 80 years old, he has no intention of stopping. A loving portrait of the man in the yellow suit, I Am Big Bird features extraordinary footage of Spinney’s earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces his journey from bullied child to childhood icon. And as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart.
The movie also goes into detail on the journeys that both Big Bird and Spinney have had in their life – such as being the first Western pop culture venturing into China after it opened it’s doors, becoming a household name in America, and, one of the biggest shocks and surprises, nearly taking part with the crew on the NASA Challenger spaceship, which of course exploded a minute after launch, killing all on-board.This movie is why I love being immersed in pop culture. There’s a lot of people who have told me over the years that it’s a bad thing to be surrounded by commercial products, but this movie packs a punch in that it personally warps me back to a simpler time.Sure, I Am Big Bird has it’s flaws. I would have liked for it to go deeper into the darker parts of some of the times of Caroll Spinney’s life, but in the end I think that it would detract from the overall magic of the documentary. I Am Big Bird is a heart-warming, but at it’s core, an even warmer story for us who grew up with that lovable yellow bird.