Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (2011)

11 Jan

Being Elmo review

As a kid growing up I used to be a big fan of Sesame Street and The Muppets. Sesame Street i watched every day and Muppets was broadcast Sunday evenings. Watching it I never thought about the people actually bringing these puppets to life. This documentary is about one of them, Kevin Clash and how he had a dream about working with Jim Henson and ended up puppeteering one of the most loved characters around the world, Elmo.

If you see Elmo it’s hard to imagine what the guy behind it would look like and if you would see Kevin Clash walking down the street, you would never guess he is the one responsible for this great character. He started making puppets when he was very young and made his first puppet by using scissors on one of his father’s coats. The great thing is that his parents supported him in everything he did and even though he wasn’t the coolest kid at school (other guys would thought it was strange that he played with “dolls”), but hearing his story is heart warming. He already did good things for the community, visiting hospitals to bring smiles on the faces of kids staying there. His talent got noticed and it landed him work on TV.
This documentary interviews him, his parents and other people that have worked with him and follows him as he teaches other puppeteers how they should move their hands to make the puppets move realistically.

If you expect a movie full of Elmo then you will be disappointed. This is more about Clash and how he ended up doing the character and the drive he had to realise his dream. Elmo is shown several times and it’s always fun to see him, but hearing the life story about Kevin Clash is fascinating, moving and inspirational. Clash himself sees how the chances he got on his way to the top helped him get there and now does the same for kids who dream about one day doing his job, inviting them to the workshop.

Score: 9

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