There’s something about Sesame Street and Jim Henson’s world that not even the most vital animated creations can compete with for a child’s attention. Indelible characters from Miss Piggy and Kermit to Cookie Monster and Elmo remain as iconic as ever. But there is one character in the Henson pantheon that towers, quite literally, over all the rest. That’s Big Bird. And for 45 years Big Bird has been inhabited by Caroll Spinney, a fascinating, genial man who’s now 81.
A new movie, “I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story,” that chronicles Mr. Spinney’s unusual life and sui generis job, is out today. Watch Big Bird walk the Great Wall of China, among other adventures, in what one critic called “a magical delight.”