Review: I Am Big Bird

I am BIg Bird - Carroll Spinney

When you really start to think about true worldwide cultural icons of the last 50 years there really can’t be many as instantly recognisable as Sesame Street’s Big Bird.

The 8ft yellow ‘puppet’ first appeared waaaay back in 1969 and what’s remarkable is that up until recently, Big Bird had only ever been played by one person, namely puppeter Caroll Spinney.

‘I Am Big Bird’ is a delightful, rose-tinted documentary about a man who since the age of eight, has devoted his life to giving joy to others. Film makers, Dave Lamattina and Chad N. Walker use a combination of animation, talking heads and old footage to tell Caroll’s story with a wonderfully delicate brush.

I am BIg Bird - Carroll Spinney

Legendary puppeteers Frank Oz and the late Jim Henson are just a few of the people to offer an insight into the man in the yellow suit, who at 80 years old is still going (almost) as strong as ever.

The early days of Sesame Street brought a gentle innocence to TV screens and Caroll’s ability to talk directly to kids as Big Bird was (and still is) a key factor in its success. Heart warming and touching, ‘I am Big Bird’ is a joy to watch. Oh, and he also plays Oscar the Grouch too!

Classic Oscar clip >
Big Bird clip >

I Am Big Bird is available digitally from May15th and on DVD from June 1st