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I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (2014)

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A documentary about Caroll Spinney who has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969. At 78-years-old, he has no intention of stopping.


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Credited cast:
Additional Muppets / Himself (archive footage)
Big Bird / Oscar the Grouch / Himself (rumored)
Matt Vogel ...
Bob McGrath ...
Loretta Long ...
Cheryl Henson ...
Judy Valentine ...


Think you know everything there is to know about Sesame Street? You don't. You might know that Frank Oz turned down an offer to play Big Bird, but you probably don't know that until a last minute change of heart by NASA, Big Bird was supposed to go to space aboard the Challenger. Or you may know that Oscar the Grouch got his voice from a cantankerous cabbie, but you'd be surprised to learn that a fire in his trash can almost led to Caroll's untimely demise. Caroll's stories are the stuff of legend. He has been a constant presence in our lives for over 40 years, his path weaving through American history like that of Forrest Gump. His time inside the Bird has taught him about the world and about himself. I AM BIG BIRD will peel away the instances in Caroll's life that inspired his creation of characters that influenced generations of children. And, as the yellow feathers give way to gray hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart. Written by CPP

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Big Bird guided you through childhood. Let Caroll take you the rest of the way.



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Release Date:

6 May 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

I Am Big Bird  »

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$100,000 (estimated)

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The film was partially funded by fan donations. More than $120,000 was raised for the film after people donated amounts between $1 and $10,000. See more »

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User Reviews

Great subject, OK film, bad soundtrack.
27 October 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The real winner of this film is the subject himself, Carrol Spinney. The film making itself is pretty straight-ahead, and the sound track is lousy (No percussion at all? Who's idea was that? This is a movie of men and muppets, for the love of puppetry give us an occasional rhythm or beat!).

That said, Carrol Spinney, the man behind the bird and the grouch, really carries the film just by being himself. Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch are iconic world-renowned characters that continue to enjoy a long legacy. And Mr. Spinney demonstrates himself to be a person full of creativity, love, joy, pain, and a genuine passion for his work and for his wife.

I would recommend this film as a solidly entertaining watch with lasting pathos. The subject is very strong and magnetic, despite the bland filmmaking and schmaltzy soundtrack.

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