I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

Watch I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story

"Big Bird guided you through childhood. Let Caroll take you the rest of the way."
  • NR
  • 2015
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.5  (1,682)
  • 71

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is a heartwarming documentary that explores the life and career of the man behind one of the most beloved characters of all time - Big Bird. Directed by Dave LaMattina and Chad Walker, the film is a touching tribute to a remarkable person whose talent, perseverance, and dedication have brought joy and inspiration to generations of children and adults.

The documentary is centered around Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who has played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street for almost five decades. The film follows Spinney from his childhood in Massachusetts, where he discovered his love of puppetry, to his early career as a performer on local television, and finally to his big break on Sesame Street in 1969. Through archival footage, interviews, and personal anecdotes, we get a glimpse into the hard work, creativity, and passion that have made Spinney one of the most iconic figures in children's television history.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the documentary is how it reveals the challenges and complexities of puppeteering. Spinney's job is not just about putting on a suit and entertaining children; it is a highly skilled craft that requires immense physical and mental agility, as well as an ability to connect emotionally with the characters he brings to life. We see how Spinney has to work in a cramped, hot, and often uncomfortable space inside the Big Bird suit, where he has to manipulate strings and levers to make the feathers flap, the eyes blink, and the mouth move in sync with his voice. We also witness how he has to stay focused and engage with the other actors and crew members while performing, even though he cannot see or hear them directly.

Another compelling aspect of the film is how it depicts Spinney's close relationship with Jim Henson, the creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street, and Frank Oz, another legendary puppeteer who played characters like Miss Piggy and Cookie Monster. We see how Henson and Oz mentored Spinney, encouraged his unique style, and gave him the artistic freedom to shape Big Bird and Oscar into multifaceted, lovable personalities. We also see how Spinney's own life story and personality have influenced the characters he plays. For example, we learn that Big Bird's innocence and curiosity reflect Spinney's own childhood memories, while Oscar's crankiness and sarcasm reflect his mischievous sense of humor.

But perhaps the most touching aspect of the film is how it shows the impact that Spinney and his characters have had on people around the world. We see how children of all ages, from different cultures and backgrounds, have been captivated by Big Bird's giant hugs, silly dances, and wise lessons about friendship, diversity, and kindness. We also see how Spinney himself has touched the lives of his fans, whether it is by visiting sick children in hospitals, attending fan conventions, or simply greeting people on the street as Big Bird.

Overall, I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is a must-see film for anyone who has ever been touched by the magic of Sesame Street and its unforgettable characters. It is a poignant reminder of the power of imagination, creativity, and empathy, and of the enduring legacy of a man who has dedicated his life to making the world a better place, one feather at a time.

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is a 2015 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.5 and a MetaScore of 71.

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
Where to Watch I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story is available to watch free on Peacock, Plex, Pluto TV, Tubi TV, Kanopy and Popcornflix. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, Peacock Premium, Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play, YouTube VOD and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (1,682)
  • Metascore