Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey (2011)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey Videos

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey Photos

Movie Info

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. -- (C) Official Site
PG (for some mild language including a brief drug reference)
Documentary , Television
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Whoopi Goldberg
as Narrator
Rosie O'Donnell
as Rosie O'Donnell
Fran Brill
as Fran Brill
Martin P. Robinson
as Martin P. Robinson
Frank Oz
as Frank Oz
Kevin Clash
as Kevin Clash
Bill Barretta
as Bill Barretta
Joan Ganz Cooney
as Joan Ganz Cooney
Caroll Spinney
as Caroll Spinney
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

All Critics (73) | Top Critics (22)

Constance Marks's film is a simple cut-and-paste job, drawing on new interviews and archive, but what it lacks in refinement it makes up for in infectious warmth.

Full Review… | April 24, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

[Clash is] portrayed as a mild-mannered, kind, giving, supremely talented soul, with a deep love for the puppet he animates and the children who love him.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Despite an exhaustive series of interviews with famous puppeteers and a few celebs (among them Whoopi Goldberg, who also narrates), it's a documentary that feels a bit tedious by journey's end.

Full Review… | March 15, 2012
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" is the story of a young man who knew what he wanted to do and did it, who made his dreams real. This may be the most truly American movie in memory.

Full Review… | February 3, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Watching Clash realize his dream is gratifying, and the behind-the-scenes Muppets stuff is fun.

Full Review… | December 15, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Backstage at the Muppet works, we see countless drawers filled with eyeballs, eyebrows, whiskers and wigs. It's the only world Kevin wanted to live in, and he made it.

Full Review… | November 22, 2011
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey


With such a great story to tell, this documentary, "Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey" is definitely as heartwarming as it is enlightening and funny. Watching someone who started from nothing and becoming the icon that children always talk about is really something special. Kevin Clark definitely knows how to touch children's hearts with puppets, but it is his passion towards his talent that truly makes his life incredible. This film was very well-made, capturing every detail he was speaking about. There are no complaints I have with this documentary whatsoever, I just have a hard time giving a perfect score to a film that may be cheated behind the scenes. Overall, this is a beautiful film that should influence young minds alike.

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Great documentary about talented puppeteer Kevin Clash who performed the role of Elmo on Sesame Street. This is a great film that goes in depth into his career, even if it's a bit short, but it manages to give you a look at Clash's incredible rise into becoming the voice of the famed character. In terms of being a documentary, Being Elmo is a fine film that goes deep into its subject, and makes for terrific viewing. Featuring great interviews with Kevin Clash, his family and the people he works with. The film is short, but more than makes up for its length with a plateau of behind the scenes footage, great interviews and a terrific subject. This is a must watch documentary and one that is quite entertaining for what it tries to do. Going behind the scenes and chronicling the career of Elmo's puppeteer is terrific, and here we get a look at his talent, his career and above all his influence and legacy. This is what documentary films should be, and while going in depth into its subject, you are captivated at how one character has touched so many people. Entertaining and fun, Being Elmo is a well crafted documentary that is one of the finer recent documentaries in recent memory. The film may be short, but like I said, it more than makes up for it with great interviews and workings of how Elmo came t6o be, and how Kevin Clash became one of the best puppeteers in the business. Worth seeing if you grew up watching Sesame Street as a kid or if you're curious about the character itself and how Elmo became what he is today.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

It's interesting, but I didn't see why it got all the hyperbolic praise it did. It's far from the first public glimpse inside Henson's workshop, and though it gives a complete account of the origin and impact of Elmo - and the dedication of a prodigious second-generation puppeteer - it didn't move me at all.

Daniel Perry
Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer

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