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The Cinematic Katzenjammer: March 3: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey


March 3: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

"The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet - the heart and soul of Elmo - Kevin Clash."

   Last year, I heard about a little documentary called Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey. I got incredibly excited about it and couldn't wait to watch it. Then I realized it was only playing in limited theaters and a DVD release would be far later than sooner. So, I sadly moved on and forgot about it for awhile. Then, this past Tuesday, I checked out Netflix's new releases on its instant watch and this little doc popped up and the excitement returned. I watched the rentals I already had and, finally, tonight, clicked play on Being Elmo, and started a short, but sweet story about the man that became Elmo. Honestly, it was like opening up a little gift. 

A present of joy and giddy childish amazement. 

   Being Elmo is a heartwarming documentary giving quite the insight to the making of Muppets and the life of Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who became Elmo. The film shows behind-the-scenes footage inside of the Muppet workshop, the Sesame Street sets, and the actual work done by the rarely recognized people who's hands and voices bring these beloved puppets to life. Kevin Clash's story is genuine and inspiring, and seeing his childhood dream of working on Sesame Street come to fruition makes you all happy inside. He's simply a man who achieved what he set out to do and you are truly, sincerely happy for him. He's a master of his craft and Being Elmo does a wonderful job of showcasing his talents, his works, and his ability to reach worldwide audiences through the beloved Elmo. 

He really deserves everything he has and it's nice to see him recognized. 

   Overall, Being Elmo is an amazing documentary that I think everyone should check out. Even if you're not a fan of the Muppets or Sesame Street (go to hell), you will enjoy the film. At its heart, it's the story of one man and his accomplishments. I was shocked before, when I only read reviews of the doc, that Being Elmo was not nominated for an Academy Award and after watching it, I am now even more disappointed. The story is affectionate and contagious, and the entire documentary is filmed with a reverence of the Muppet world and Elmo himself. The character, who truly represents unconditional love, deserves a film of this caliber and Kevin Clash, the man behind the felt, deserves everything he has going for him. 

The Good:
a heartwarming story about a man doing what he loves
The Better:
seeing how it's all made and trying so hard to remove the idea that the Muppets are not alive, but controlled
The Best:
seeing a refreshing, 100% feel good movie instead of anything angst-filled or depressing

Overall: 9.6/10

Best Quote:
Kevin Clash: "I knew that Elmo should represent love."

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At March 5, 2012 at 9:50 AM , Blogger Link's A Lefty said...

I had the EXACT same experience waiting for this movie (heard about it at a film festival, then waited and waited til I could see it) and was stoked to finally find it in the Netflix queue. I'm glad you've got the same childlike wonder that i've got for the muppets, those puppeteers really are artists and actors.


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