Caroll Spinney has been Sesame Street's Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch since 1969; at 78-years-old, he has no intention of stopping.


Dave LaMattina, Chad N. Walker (as Chad Walker)


Dave LaMattina
1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »





Credited cast:
Jim Henson ... Additional Muppets / Self (archive footage)
Frank Oz ... Self
Jane Henson ... Self
Steve Whitmire ... Self (archive footage)
Caroll Spinney ... Self
Matt Vogel ... Self
Dave Goelz ... Self
Roscoe Orman ... Self
Alison Bartlett ... Self
Fran Brill ... Self
Sonia Manzano ... Self
Jerry Nelson ... Self
Eric Jacobson ... Self
Emilio Delgado ... Self
Joey Mazzarino Joey Mazzarino ... Self


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.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


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 »


Sonia Manzano: I have always loved Big Bird because he's... complicated. So he has a lot of emotional qualities that a lot of the Muppets don't have.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A segment about an incident where a caretaker of the Spinney property hit a jogger with his car and hid the body in a shed without the Spinney's knowledge was removed from the film when it was released on VOD and iTunes. See more »

User Reviews

Great subject, OK film, bad soundtrack.
27 October 2014 | by YondasesoSee 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.

21 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 15 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.


Official Sites:

Official site




English | German

Release Date:

6 May 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA


Box Office


$100,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$10,000, 10 May 2015

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Copper Pot Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed