Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey Reviews

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May 21, 2016
Emotional and nostalgic and a reminder of just how much we need Elmo and the rest of his fellow residents of Sesame Street.
March 2, 2016
Following the footsteps of a determined young man on an intriguing journey is great storytelling. And Being Elmo shows that journey in the best possible way. Going behind the magic of puppeteering should fascinate anyone who grew up watching Sesame Street and the Muppets. There was never a dull moment in this documentary and it knows how to pull your emotional heart strings perfectly. It's a story about pursuing your dream and helping the next generation pursue that same dream. It really is a well made documentary.
November 29, 2015
Being Elmo is an insight into how a child was inspired by Jim Henson and also a personal journey of a puppeteer that used that inspiration as a man to communicate love to his audience - the world.
September 17, 2015
Basically a powder puff piece that doesn't really belong in the cinema's but maybe...maybe as a DVD extra somewhere. Seems woefully ill-timed as well watching it now when in the news since we have had Clash coming out as gay and the multiple sexual offences alleged against him (which although cleared were only because of the statute of limitations). The high praise lauded on this doc is basically baffling.
½ September 14, 2015
An enjoyable and interesting documentary on the history of the puppeteer behind Elmo. Nothing particularly revelatory, but a side of the Muppets you might not even have thought about.
Super Reviewer
½ July 12, 2015
There's far more to it than you'd imagine.
May 9, 2015
A good documentary about a man with a love for puppertering who has made a career out of it. Culminating in the puppet Elmo. Some really touching scenes in this espicially when Kevin meets Jim Henson for the first time.

March 3, 2015
Wow! A whole new respect for Kevin Clash and Elmo. A young puppeteer fulfills a lifelong dream of working with his idols, Jim Henson and Frank Oz. Beautiful story.
½ March 1, 2015
Absolutely horrid. Painstakingly boring.
½ February 10, 2015
Nothing You Wouldn't Already Known Here. Could Have Focussed On The Humor, Hype & Brand Of Elmo & The Muppets In General, But Choses To Brush Over Things. Picking Short Bits & Briefing The Viewer With No Extra-Ordinary Story..Even Tho There Was One There..It Just Doesn't Really Come Out.
December 4, 2014
I'll admit it - I'm fascinated by the Muppets. The way that these pieces of fabric can be very cleverly brought to life and become cultural touchstones and merchandising juggernauts is just incredibly interesting to me. This documentary touches on that world so very cleverly, despite the well-publicised dramas and controversies surrounding the subject since it's release.

Kevin Clash is a second-generation Muppeteer - coming in towards the end of the era of Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Caroll Spinney, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson and Dave Goelz. But with his dedication and love of the craft, Clash managed to leave an equally large contribution, through such characters as Hoots the Owl, Clifford and, of course, the ubiquitous Elmo.

This documentary, narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, follows this rise and features interviews and contributions from Clash, Oz, Bill Barretta, Spinney, Rosie O'Donnell, Fran Brill, Martin P. Robinson and, in archive footage, Henson and Kermit Love.

A heartwarming and uplifting piece of filmmaking, this has the same message that Sesame Street and the Muppet Show have been putting out for decades, at the end of the day - If you believe in yourself, no matter what other people say, you can do whatever it is you want to do, and you'll be happy doing that.

A great documentary.
½ September 11, 2014
For a cutting edge documentary the subject matter is a little trite, but it's hard not to be moved at the children's faces lighting up when the little furry creature makes an appearance
½ August 14, 2014
A beautiful documentary. Makes me love Elmo/ Kevin Clash even more! ~
August 3, 2014
i never new the voice behind the puppet.
½ July 8, 2014
Inspiring. Magical. Imaginative.

These are just some of the words that came to mind as I thought of how to describe this documentary. Most documentaries these days seem to want educate about some horrible event or injustice with the requisite call for action. While those kinds of documentaries are very important, it was nice to see one that just makes you feel good. The second I saw this trailer, I knew it was going to be something special and had to see it. Rest assured, it didn't disappoint.

This is the story of Kevin Clash; the amazing man behind Elmo from Sesame Street. It chronicles his life from youth where he discovered his love of puppets; to his big breaks meeting people like the man who created Captain Kangaroo and Jim Henson (the creator of Sesame Street) and how he came about Elmo and the tremendous impact it's had. As you watch the documentary, it becomes clear that Kevin was born to this. As he pursues puppetry you can't help but cheer for him. Along the way I got a glimpse of a world I knew very little about and it was fascinating: how the puppets are built, tricks of the trade, how the puppeteers bring them to life and the really interesting people in the industry.

While this isn't the best documentary I've seen from a technical perspective, the story is what makes this great. It's just really moving (it had me fighting back tears on a number of occasions). It's just incredible to see how these guys (and Kevin specifically) can bring so much joy to children; all with just a piece of cloth. I found it amazing that you'd see Kevin at an event with Elmo. And even though there's a man standing there holding a puppet, you can't help but be drawn to Elmo. There's so much life and personality breathed into it, it's almost like Kevin isn't there. Especially with the children he visits. Someone in the film says with great puppets what you are seeing is the soul of the puppeteer. And after watching this, I'd have to agree. It's really amazing stuff; these guys are magicians in my eyes and under appreciated.

A sense of joy just permeates through this documentary in a way that is very rare. When it was over, I wanted more and didn't want it to end. I think what stuck me the most was something he said that reminded me a bit of a Steve Jobs graduation address that was being circulated after he died. Kevin seems to hit on the same theme and says (I'm paraphrasing here):

"Some people may say, well, you won't make any money doing that... All those things will go away if you focus on what makes you happy".

Kevin Clash is living his dream and this documentary inspires us to do the same. Definitely watch this, you won't regret it.
Super Reviewer
½ June 17, 2014
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.
½ May 17, 2014
it was good movie how a kid dream can come true.
April 30, 2014
I probably smiled the entire movie...not wife approved, though. She passed out within the first 20 minutes. I guess she doesn't like being happy.
April 21, 2014
An interesting documentary. I wish more parts were dramatized.
March 25, 2014
i really liked this :) it was crazy interesting because who thinks about the puppeteers behind the muppets?? i never did. and his story is kind of touching -- being the big blob of goop i am on the inside i did let one tear slide when they noted the Make A Wish foundation or whatever that was... super touching. and even though i wasn't a die hard Sesame Street watcher as a kid, i did watch it a little bit and most of the characters he played i remember watching -- so that was a nice trip down memory lane. also, the fact that his first job was a puppeteer for Labyrinth and how they touched on that film made me smile -- love that movie. i recommend it!
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