Netflix52: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

BeingElmo2Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey (PG)

Genre : Documentary
Starring : Whoopi GoldbergBill BarrettaKevin Clash
Running Time : 80 Minutes
Director : Constance Marks
Producer : Corinne LaPookJames J. Miller, Constance Marks

Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage, interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.

I really enjoyed this sweet documentary.  My daughter LOVES Elmo and it was very nice to see the genius behind his character.  I enjoyed learning about how you become a puppeteer and create a character.  I thought it was really cool that Elmo was a throw away character that Kevin Clash brought to life.  I enjoyed seeing old footage of Frank Oz who is the voice of Ms. Piggy (my nickname growing up.)  It was just a fun documentary.  It is well shot with lots of archive footage, personal stories, and educational information.  Well worth the 80 minutes just to watch Elmo make the kids smile. 🙂

Distributed : Submarine Deluxe
Released : January 14, 2011
Box Office : $304, 052
Tomatometer : 94% type Critic, 90% Audience

Favorite Scene : The heart-breaking scene where the little girl comes in to meet Elmo as her Make-A-Wish dream.
Favorite Quote : “The thing that people love about Elmo, is he needs them.”
Awards : Women in Cinema Lena Sharpe Award to Constance Marks – Seattle International Film Festival, Special Jury Prize for a Documentary – Sundance Film Festival, Audience Award – Nantucket Film Festival, Audience Award for Best Documentary and Special Jury Award – Traverse City Film Festival, Best of SIFF – Seattle International Film Festival

Fun Facts :

  1. Elmo is three and a half years old.
  2. The documentary is in memory of Edwin S. Marks, the director’s father, and Maria, the little girl in the film who has since passed away.
  3. Editing took six years.
  4. Kevin Clash began building puppets at 10.
  5. Constance Marks used Siri to find many of the older clips in the film.
  6. Kevin has directed episodes of Sesame Street as well as other Elmo productions.
  7. Kevin’s most recent work includes directing and appearing in Talk, Listen, Connect: When Families Grieve.
  8. Kevin won Emmy Awards for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work as Elmo in Sesame Street Seasons 21, 35-37, 39-41 and in 2001-2008 and 2010-2011 for his work as Co-Executive Producer for Outstanding Pre-School Children’s Series.
  9. Kevin released an autobiography in 2006, My Life as a Furry Red Monster, What Elmo Has Taught Me About Life, Love, and Laughing Out Loud.
  10. Constance has produced numerous films focusing on important social issues including homelessness, the elderly, experimental charter schools and substance abuse recovery residences.
  11. Producers Corinne Lapook  and Connie Marks were 8th grade film classmates.
  12. Sesame Street has won more Emmy awards than any other television show in history.
  13. The working title was Inside Elmo.
  14. In Sweden the film is Elmo, en mupp full av kärlek which translates to Elmo, A Muppet Full of Love.
  15. The film was first premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.

One response to “Netflix52: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

  1. I’ve seen this documentary too, and I was weeping at the Make A Wish girl. Also, Elmo is Love. While I know there were some, ah, accusations made of Kevin Clash I still think he is genuine in his love for others. I think that comes through most of all in this film.

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