For those of us that have grown up with Sesame Street, Big Bird is an iconic figure of oversized kindness and warm, fuzzy feelings that guided us through childhood.
This week, a new documentary entitled “I Am Big Bird” debuts at the Balboa Theater. The film chronicles Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer who has literally embodied and voiced Big Bird (and Oscar the Grouch) since Sesame Street’s start in 1969.
At 81 years old, the tenacious and enthusiastic performer has no intention of slowing down. I AM BIG BIRD features incredible footage of Spinney’s earliest collaborations with Jim Henson as it traces Caroll’s journey from bullied child to celebrated performer. This loving portrait peels away the instances that inspired his creation of Big Bird and as the yellow feathers give way to grey hair, it is the man, not the puppet, who will steal your heart.
The documentary is playing now at the Balboa Theater.