I Am Big Bird reveals puppeteer’s compelling story

I Am Big Bird

Where: Cineplex Odeon

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When: Today, 4:30 p.m.

Rating: 5/5 stars

As endearing as both the legendary yellow-feathered Sesame Street character of its title and the veteran puppeteer who has played him since 1969 and also created Oscar the Grouch, this delightful documentary about the life of Caroll Spinney, 81, is a remarkably revealing journey. The bonus is how it so effectively puts Big Bird’s home, the cultural phenomenon created by the late Muppets founder, Jim Henson, into perspective. Your inner child will resurface as you watch affectionate input on Spinney from aging Sesame Street regulars, classic behind-the-scenes footage with Henson and the gang, and home movies from Spinney’s own archives accompanied by commentary from this passionate sensitive soul, who has an apprentice but is in no rush to retire. It coalesces into a highly entertaining, surprise-packed and enjoyably nostalgic experience. You’ll smile, grow misty-eyed and likely be awestruck as this creative Muppeteer candidly reflects on his turbulent childhood, early career dissatisfaction, his amazing romance with his wife he met on Sesame Street, and on being upstaged by Elmo, yet still committed to brightening up the lives of children worldwide.

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