Friday Flicks: Being Elmo

We haven’t started back to school yet, and the thrill of Christmas is fading fast… cabin fever is beginning to set in at my house.  How about yours?

Next week, we plan to jump into more consistent posting here at RR.  For now, though, to ease the pain of idleness, I thought I would share a few movie recommendations.  Unfortunately, several of the ones I was going to review have been removed from Netflix’s instant list.  (Argh!)  So, despite seeing my list dwindle to one, this is a movie I really feel strongly about…so I’m sharing anyway.   (It’s also available many other places, including Amazon instant.) 

And hopefully we’ll see you guys again next week with the book reviews you’ve come to expect.

The Movie

being-elmoBeing Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey
Truthfully, I don’t care for Elmo.  He’s whiny and speaks in that weird third-person.  But trust me, you don’t have to like Elmo to like this movie.  If your kids enjoyed Sesame Street or your family enjoys the Muppets–or if you just enjoy an inspiring rags to riches story–I would highly recommend you try this documentary of Kevin Clash, the man behind Elmo.

From his beginning as a kid in the projects of Baltimore, cutting up his father’s coat to make his first puppet, to his introduction to Jim Henson which led to his being trained by the Henson puppeteers, Clash’s story is a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of puppetry and television in general.  My kids enjoyed this at ages 5 and 7, though older kids would certainly get more out of it. Here’s a link to the trailer: Being Elmo: Official Trailer.

One quick note: There is a NEW muppet movie coming out March 21, 2014.  So if you plan to see that, this could be an educational look behind the scenes before you plunge into that one.  (Here’s the new Muppet movie trailer, if you’re interested.)

The Book Connection

To make a book connection here, you could easily pick up a biography of Jim Henson next time your at the library, like this one: Jim Henson: The Guy Who Played with Puppets.  And of course, grab a book on making your own puppets, like 10-Minute Puppets.

Have you seen this yet?  Do you have any favorite Netflix or instant movies you would recommend?  We’d love to hear about them!

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2 Responses to Friday Flicks: Being Elmo

  1. Emily January 4, 2014 at 7:36 am #

    So glad you liked it! I wasn’t aware of the lawsuits against him, but it looks like they’ve been thrown out. (Though I can understand your hesitancy at the time.) Also glad I’m not the only weird Muppet fan. I grew up on them, and though they aren’t high art necessarily, they are better than a lot of things.

    And who knows, maybe the other Netflix movies will come back to instant!? If not, I might review some of them anyway eventually. Stay tuned!

  2. Gina S. January 4, 2014 at 6:50 am #

    I watched this on my own and really enjoyed this; what a fascinating look at his initiative to get himself into a career in puppetry. I ended up not showing it to my kids because, at the time, Kevin Clash was popping up in the news for unpleasant reasons.

    I’m looking forward to the new Muppet movie, too :)

    I’m curious about your other picks that got bumped off Netflix!

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