Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Being Elmo

I don't normally do this here on the TV Mom blog, but I have to... HAVE to... let you parents out there know just how incredible this documentary is!

Being Elmo is a documentary about Kevin Clash, the voice (and arms!) behind one of the most famous muppets. It takes you through Kevin's childhood interest in puppets, on his whirlwind journey to meet Jim Henson, and into his career as a "muppeteer". There are interviews with Mr. and Mrs. Clash (Kevin's parents), his siblings, various producers and mentors, Frank Oz, and of course, Kevin himself.

Stuffed with behind-the-scenes pictures and video, this documentary visits the sets of Kevin's various career stops, including Captain Kangaroo, The Great Space Coaster, and even Labyrinth. Of course there is plenty about Kevin's involvement on Sesame Street too.

I can't say enough good things about this film. Kevin is one of the most truly genuine "celebrities" out there, and this film delves deep into his character (by which I mean both his puppet characters and his own personal character).

Let me warn you... when he talks about the Make A Wish kids coming onto the set to meet Elmo, you're going to need tissues. TEARS! Wow!

I was lucky enough to be able to borrow the DVD from my local library, but I know Being Elmo is available on Netflix streaming right now too, as well as an iTunes download (click on the link at the top of this review for links to the digital versions as well as places where you can buy the DVD). This is probably going to be one I go out and buy (which is rare for me and documentaries that aren't about Star Wars). It's so powerful, so moving, and so downright inspiring, that I want to be able to watch it several more times, and at different stages of my own son's life. It's just incredible to watch a young kid have a dream and be able to realize it before he's even out of high school. I hope my son has a fraction of that success with his dreams and ambitions!

Kevin Clash has officially made my "List of Famous People I'd Like to Have Dinner With and/or Meet Someday". He's such an inspiration, not only for African American kids with a dream, but ALL kids.

Definitely do yourself a favor and find this film. You will NOT regret it! Watch it alone, watch it with your kids, watch it several times! All these film festivals are not wrong!


  1. Is it a surprise that I know he was a firey in the labyrinth? two of the other fireys were on red dwarf! I must try and watch this because i love a good muppet behind the scenes story

  2. He was also the baby on Dinosaurs in the '90s and Splinter on the TMNT movie! Mind = blown!