This Tribeca film released in 2014 may be old news, but to go beneath the wings and feathers of the iconic Big Bird himself is unheard of. While the world grew up with the endearing tunes and toons of Sesame Street, Caroll Spinney grew old in the claws of Big Bird and ironically, the paws of Oscar the Grouch.
He’s been there since Season One in 1969. Now at 80 years old, Spinney is unable to say goodbye to Big Bird while his counterparts have long retired and he’s handpicked his successor, who has understudied the role for almost twenty years.
I Am Big Bird oscillates between past and present, with the use of intimate interviews and never-seen-before footage that reveal his life behind the scenes of the idyllic Sesame Street set, showing how his person is truly inseparable from the goodness that radiates from his on-screen persona.
When Caroll’s first marriage to a woman “embarrassed” by his career ended in divorce, Caroll would find Debra, the love of his life. And then there was Jim Henson (who played Kermit the Frog), who grew from boss to friend and whose death shattered Caroll.These moments of a life lived in love are now immortalised – and in them are friends, colleagues and family of this unsung hero.