A documentary following puppeteer Kevin Clash from his childhood in Baltimore to a career in Jim Henson's troupe of Muppet masters as the man behind the phenomenon this is Elmo.
Yes, there's another Muppet movie out this year. This is a sweet, affecting film portrait of Kevin Clash, a puppeteer best known for making the red-furred Elmo a breakout character on Sesame Street. A kid from a modest Baltimore home, Clash began puppeteering as a child, inspired, of course, by Jim Henson. He recounts his beginnings performing for neighbourhood children and on local TV and is now seen paying it forward by mentoring a young, aspirant puppeteer as he was welcomed by a cherubic Muppetmaker in his early days. It shies away from digging too deep, though one shot of a disapproving ex-wife suggests a personal price which comes with living through a puppet character, but has a lot of charm and a great deal of fascinating behind-the-scenes footage.
A charming, if occasionally surface-deep look at the man behind the fur. Elmo like!
Reviewed by Kim Newman