Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (2011)

49.

★★★★

Directed by: Constance Marks
Written by: Philip Shane, Justin Weinstein
Starring: Kevin Clash, Whoopi Goldberg and Frank Oz

The man behind the puppet

Sesame Street is the stuff of childhood. Filled with characters that are all distinctive and unique in their own way, the children’s television show Sesame Street sought to entertain and educate its audience through the energy and humor of colorful puppets. But what we’re actually seeing on the screen are the imagination and passions of the people controlling the puppets off-screen. Puppeteers like Kevin Clash – who breathed life into the loveable red monster, Elmo – for example.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey is a documentary that is as warm and fuzzy as the puppet Elmo himself. Following the life of Kevin Clash and his early fascination with Jim Henson’s work in creating The Muppets and other puppet-driven films and shows, Being Elmo pieces together intimate interviews of Kevin and the people he touched through his work. As the documentary beckons us into the world of puppet-making and acting, it manages to broaden its subject matter to the very art of puppeteering and the level of detail and effort that is placed into creating such old-school entertainment.

With so much heart, light humor and inspiration, Being Elmo demonstrates why audiences of all ages are drawn to Elmo and the journey of his creator, whose deep appreciation for the art all comes back to love and wanting to share love with the world.

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