Parents' Guide to

Being Elmo

By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Inspiring docu about the man behind the Muppet superstar.

Movie PG 2011 76 minutes
Being Elmo Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 7+

Based on 1 parent review

age 7+

Perfect film for kids who have left the "Sesame" years

If you have kids -- say 7 and up -- that are beyond the age of "Sesame Street," this movie a perfect bridge in that it recalls childhood memories, and show how adults create environments that nurture children. Part of the pain of growing up is leaving behind things you loved. This movie says you don't have to, that you can take deeper joy in sharing those things with the next generation. I'm speaking as an adult interpreting this film. Kids will just find it engrossing. Every kid who watches this will want to be a puppeteer, at least for a day. And Kevin Clash -- an African-American from a working class background -- comes off as the sweetest human being on the planet. He is undoubtedly a very talented artist who works incredibly hard, but this movie almost makes it seem like his phenomenal success stems mostly from the fact he never lost his sense of joy and wonder. Not a bad message for anybody at any age. I highly recommend this.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1):
Kids say (9):

Whoopi Goldberg narrates this inspiring film, which follows a simple chronological arc from Clash's childhood to global acclaim. It never over-trumpets its simple, heartfelt message: Believe in yourself, follow your dreams, and good things will come. Being Elmo simply shows that if you love what you do, trust yourself, and give back to others who may need mentoring, other people will recognize the joy in your work, and you'll be rewarded. This is a valuable lesson for kids and adults.

As a kid who spent his free time making puppets, young Clash was sometimes teased by his peers -- and even his family occasionally wondered he wasn't more interested in sports. But he never wavered: He had already identified his dream, and he didn't want to do anything else. Eventually, his love of puppetry led him to Sesame Street, where he created the amazingly popular Elmo, a character who brings joy to children around the world.

Movie Details

Inclusion information powered by

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate