Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey ★★★½

Elmo and his embodiment for love and kindness is universal and distinct. Kevin and his story of bringing that to life is lesser known, and this documentary spends its time telling a story that shines a light on him. Although it seems a bit dated and the camera work is boring, all of that is completely negligible because the story, the editing and the visuals push the viewer into a slightly magical yet realistic story of the man behind Elmo. The first half of the story focuses on Kevin's story, and the second on his life and fame as Elmo. The bridge between the two stories consists of two parts: Kevin's spirit and love for puppeteering and Jim Henson. The film also has these themes as it's central focus, along with taking the time to mirror the influence of Elmo; a character beloved by all who taught nearly every person I know the values of love and being nice to others. At the end I discovered that the story, while simple, taught me about the character we all know and the Sesame Street we all love, and that makes it important. Emotions and meaning in this movie take center stage, and it ends on the cyclical nature of Kevin's story and the importance of fostering the dreams of young people with creativity and vision. In all, the whole of it seems a bit surface-level, and tells the viewer what's essential to know without going too deep, and skims through only basic facts and emotions. I think this is all it needs and has time for though, and ultimately told a story (and had a meaning) that is important and essential to the generation(s) that grew up with Elmo.

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