Being Elmo is a story of ambition, dedication, imagination and the strength of commitment all in the wonderful world of puppetry around Kevin Clash who is the voice and puppeteer of Elmo.
Clash began at ten years of age in his Baltimore home town, working for a local TV and dreaming of the wonders of Frank Oz and the Sesame Street workshop with Jim Henson. Clash as a young man wondered about the great Henson stitch, how Jim Henson pieced together his puppets so the seam did not show.
Clash grew up in the Baltimore projects and with supportive parents his joyful journey from simple puppet development to the world of major films like Labyrinth. On the way he worked with Captain Kangaroo and helped develop films like Muppets from Spaceand the Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.
While visiting the workshop, we get to see drawers of ears, eyes and materials which are part of the development and decoration of the many characters every kid is aware of from Sesame Street.
But what appears on the surface as the premise, I am the voice of Elmo becomes a warm sometime heart rendering story with significantly documented information, nicely told by Whoopi Goldberg. Clash's story is filled with the world he experienced from a ten year old all the way to today.
The perception of a perfect life is not falsely perpetuated by Goldberg, Cash separated from his wife and daughter as his work carried him throughout the World. His world fame however did not extract him from his daughter's life; we learn that from her birthday party directed by dad.
As Elmo has become a warm great hugger of kids and some adults, this large powerful man who looks more like an athlete than a puppeteer used his skill to help kids in hospitals and other like situations. Expect to fall even further in love with Elmo when you see this film.
I remember listening to some of the developers of the original Disney Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs remarking that people were showing tears near the end of the film, and that assured them their work was successful, Elmo will also draw a few tears from the audience in this enjoyable, funny and warm film.
Elmo is the best.