I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (SIFF 2014)

Sesame Street documentaries have a reputation for being really good, and this one certainly doesn’t disappoint. This film introduces us to Mr. Caroll Spinney, who originated the characters of Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street, and continues to play them to this day. We learn about Caroll personally and also get a glimpse into Sesame Street’s production and the mechanics of making the muppets come to life. A charming, emotional, and heartfelt film; well worth the watch.

Provided Film Synopsis
“Big Bird is the most popular children’s character in the world and I think that’s largely due to Caroll.” (Jim Henson) Caroll Spinney has performed as Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on “Sesame Street” for over 40 years. Directors LaMattina and Frost (SIFF 2011 favorite Brownstones to Red Dirt) were given extraordinary access to Spinney’s home video archive that dates back to the 1950s and masterfully crafted a reconstruction of a warm-hearted puppeteer who has imbued the puppets with his soul. The narrative carefully explores not just Spinney’s greatest successes, of which there are many, but also his deepest challenges, including Big Bird’s fall from popularity in the ’90s and a shocking murder investigation on his property. Using current interviews with Spinney’s family and “Sesame Street” costars as well as never-before-seen home movies capturing intimate moments from his life and career, I Am Big Bird reveals the creation of characters that have influenced generations of children. And, as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the Muppet, who will teach us the greatest lesson of all—how to love unconditionally.

Movie Details

  • Directed By:

    • Chad Walker
    • Dave LaMattina
  • Cast Members:

    • Bob McGrath
    • Caroll Spinney
    • Debra Spinney
    • Frank Oz
    • Jerry Nelson
  • Countries:

    • USA
  • Languages:

    • English
  • Genres:

    • Documentary