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The film traces Kevin Clash's rise from his modest beginnings in Baltimore to his current success as the man behind Elmo, one of the world's most recognizable and adored characters. Millions of children tune in daily to watch Elmo, yet when Kevin walks down the street he is not recognized. Pivotal to the film is the exploration of Jim Henson's meteoric rise, and Kevin's ultimate achievement of his goal to become part of the Henson family of puppeteers. In addition to puppeteering Elmo, Mr. Clash is arguably the creative force behind today's Sesame Street, producing, directing and traveling around the globe training other puppeteers. Includes interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O'Donnell, Whoopi Goldberg, Carroll Spinney, Joan Ganz Cooney, Marty Robinson, Fran Brill, and Bill Barretta.Written by
It is sad that of the 15 documentaries currently nominated for the 2012 Oscars this wasn't one of them - it clearly deserves to be - it may not be about great injustices or uncovering the new, but it does something that the very best documentaries can do - it makes the world a a better place and the viewer a better person for watching it.
This is simply one my favorite films of the year. Kevin Clash is the man behind Elmo, but he is also a man who never ever wanted to do anything from his earliest memories than to make puppets and be a puppeteer. We live in an age where, thank goodness, video records childhood and meetings and TV archives have the records - so we get not only the interviews but also some wonderful footage - and the full story of how Kevin went from making puppets in his bedroom to being a world-class puppeteer.
I do like documentaries - and the best transcend their category and simply take you on the journey - that journey that the greatest drama and comedies can - where you can't wait to see the next frame - where as the story unfolds so does the magic.
Being Elmo does have movie magic. What lifts this is the joy it brings and shares, not just the Muppets and Jim Henson, but just the wonderful spirit that doing what you really love can bring.
It may not be a pure documentary in the truest sense of the word, but is immensely charming and it leaves you laughing, crying, and wishing everyone got to do what they hoped to do as a child.
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