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1[[quoteright:300:https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/iambirgbird.jpg]] ˛˛''I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story'' is a 2014 documentary by Copper Pot Pictures about Creator/{{Muppet performer|s}} Caroll Spinney, the puppeteer for Big Bird and Oscar on ''Series/SesameStreet'' since it began in 1969. It focuses on his beginnings as a puppeteer, his relationship with wife Deb and his characters' meteoric rise to popularity, sprinkled with home movie footage taken by Spinney. The film was funded via Website/{{Kickstarter}}.˛˛Compare ''Film/BeingElmoAPuppeteersJourney'', another independent documentary about a longtime Sesame puppeteer (Kevin Clash).˛˛NeedsWikiMagicLove very much.˛----˛!!This film provides examples of: ˛˛* TheBusCameBack: One of the interviewees is the young girl Caroll worked with on ''Film/BigBirdInChina''. On an interview promoting the film, he mentions that he hadn't seen her since making said special, but when the crew contacted her to be interviewed for it, she came to America herself on her own time. ˛* ChristmasSpecial: Some of the home movies and archival footage are behind-the-scenes glimpses of ''Series/ChristmasEveOnSesameStreet'' and ''Film/AMuppetFamilyChristmas''.˛* CoolOldGuy: Caroll himself, given that he was 81 years old at the time of the film's release. Special mention goes to the bungee jumping scene.˛* CoolTeacher: Caroll regarded Creator/JimHenson this way, saying he felt more like a friend than a boss.˛* CreatorBreakdown: An InUniverse example. Caroll discussed that he suffered an emotional breakdown for quite a few years during his first marriage to Janice, who didn't appreciate his work at the time, and their eventual divorce in 1971.˛* CreatorRecovery: An InUniverse example. Caroll falling in love with Debra helped give him new confidence in his performances, which was even noted by others working on the show.˛* DrivenToSuicide: Shortly after his 1971 divorce, Caroll once considered committing suicide by jumping out the window of his ninth-floor apartment, but quickly decided not to go through with it.˛* EmbarrassingFirstName: Caroll talks about getting bullied as a kid, and notes that having Caroll as a first name didn't help matters. The film doesn't cover it, but when he was in the Air Force he went by the name Ed Spinney (from Edwin, his middle name) because of this trope.˛* TheFilmOfTheBook: This film is an [[AdaptationExpansion expansion]] of Caroll's book ''The Wisdom of Big Bird[[note]] and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch [[/note]]'', which discusses many of the same events.˛* FourthDateMarriage: Caroll married Deb within ''two weeks'' of meeting her.˛* FromBadToWorse: Deb recalls how she and Caroll had been awoken by an early morning phone call in 1990, which he answered. She was expecting it be news that Caroll's octogenarian father Chester had passed away. Instead, they learned that Creator/JimHenson had suddenly died.˛* GameShowAppearance: The film opens with a clip of Spinney appearing as a guest on ''Series/ToTellTheTruth''.˛* GoodParents: Caroll deeply loved his parents, despite his strict upbringing.˛* HappierHomeMovie: A lot of the film is comprised of footage taken by Caroll over the course of his career.˛* HatesTheirParent: The first part of the film discusses how Caroll had a difficult childhood relationship with his father Chester, who possessed a HairTriggerTemper, and how he carried that resentment for a long time, before they finally reconciled.˛* HeroicBSOD:˛** Caroll fell into a long depression when he and Janice divorced. He snapped out of it when he married Deb.˛** When Creator/JimHenson died, Caroll and Deb were left shell-shocked.˛* JustThinkOfThePotential: Caroll left Bozo the Clown because he wanted to apply his talent to the production of meaningful, stimulating television.˛* LandOfDragons: The production of ''Big Bird in China'' is discussed.˛* MediumBlending: The film uses a combination of live action footage (including home video), animation, and archived audio recordings of interviews.˛* PrecisionFStrike: While it's overall a family-friendly movie, there are two instances of cussing--Spinney dropping an F-bomb in a home movie, and a ''Film/BigBirdInChina'' outtake where director Jon Stone says "shit" after Spinney-as-Big Bird mistakenly starts moving before his cue.˛* PropheticName: In choosing Matt Vogel to be his successor as Big Bird, Caroll noted that ''Vogel'' means "bird" in German.˛* ScrewThisImOuttaHere: Caroll went looking for a job at Disney, but immediately left upon learning of what he believed to be an abysmal prospective salary.˛* SecondLove: After Caroll divorced his first wife Janice in 1971, he was single for a while. In 1979, he married Debra Jean Gilroy.˛* SternTeacher: What longtime ''Sesame Street'' showrunner Jon Stone was for Caroll. As the years went on, Stone seemed like he had a tendency to single Spinney out for criticism, with Emilio Delgado (Luis) even recalling how he confronted Stone over it. But Spinney still regarded Stone as a brilliant writer and director who was invaluable in establishing Big Bird and Oscar as characters.˛----

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