Being Elmo

Theatrical Release: November 4, 2011
DVD Release: March 6, 2012
Being Elmo


Limited Theatrical Release – Beloved by children of all ages around the world, Elmo is an international icon. Few people know his creator, Kevin Clash, who dreamed of working with his idol, master puppeteer Jim Henson. Displaying his creativity and talent at a young age, Kevin ultimately found a home on Sesame Street. Narrated by Whoopi Goldberg, this documentary includes rare archival footage, interviews with Frank Oz, Rosie O’Donnell, Cheryl Henson, Joan Ganz Cooney and others and offers a behind-the-scenes look at Sesame Street and the Jim Henson Workshop.

Dove Review

This must-see DVD features an inspirational story which boldly demonstrates that if you can believe it, you can achieve it. Kevin Clash as a young boy, growing up in Baltimore, Maryland, wanted to be a puppeteer. His idols included Jim Henson of “The Muppet Show” and children’s host Bob Keeshan, better known as “Captain Kangaroo”. Little did Kevin know that, because of his persistent dedication to his craft, he would not only one day meet his heroes, but work alongside them as well.

From the time Kevin used his dad’s trench coat to create a puppet, to his eventual famous creation of Elmo, as well as his position as an executive producer of the Muppets’ show, Kevin’s life story is revealed with old video clips and interviews with friends and celebrities. Whoopi Goldberg narrates this interesting documentary and there’s never a dull moment. Older viewers will recognize the opening sequence of “Sesame Street” which originally premiered on PBS. The viewer will be pleased when the documentary shows Kevin’s continual climb in the puppet world, and when Kevin gets a big break and works on Henson’s feature-length film, “Labyrinth”.

Re-live the “Tickle-me Elmo” doll craze when everyone wanted one for Christmas. See how Kevin called a very lucky young girl who longs to be a puppeteer as he used to, and how he invited her to meet with him. This is a “feel good” DVD if ever there was one, and will encourage the viewer to never give up on a dream. In a moving scene, we get to see a young, very sick girl get to meet Elmo as her wish. We gladly award this fantastic DVD five Doves, the highest we can go! Parents should consult our content listing below to determine how appropriate they believe the DVD will be for young children.

Content Description

Sex: Kevin states he is amazed at the creation of his daughter and that human beings can create life.
Language: D-2
Violence: Just the comedy of a few puppets hitting one another.
Drugs: Rosie O' Donnell says Aaron Spelling called her to see if she could get him an Elmo doll for a present he wanted to give and she said she felt like a "crack dealer"; there is a sign which says "Champagne Ballroom" but there is no drinking seen in the film.
Nudity: None
Other: An "ex-wife" is mentioned in the DVD; young Kevin cuts up his father's trench coat to make a puppet and while the father and mother love the puppet he makes, his father warns him to ask for permission the next time; sick children are seen who love the puppets; Kevin puppeteers a fiery demon puppet which isn't as bad as he appears; there are tears when the news hits that Jim Henson passed away; in an inspiring quote Kevin says he's been "blessed".


Company: Submarine Deluxe
Writer: Philip Shane and Justin Weinstien
Director: Constance Marks
Producer: Constance Marks, James Miller and Corrine LaPook
Genre: Documentary
Runtime: 76 min.
Industry Rating: Not Rated
Starring: Featuring Kevin Clash and Whoopi Goldberg (Narrator)
Reviewer: Edwin L. Carpenter