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Puppets

How Sesame Street’s Muppets Work

How Sesame Street’s Muppets Work

WIRED takes us behind the scenes with the cast of Sesame Street for a look at how the performers operate each of their Muppets, along with a few other cool tidbits about the art of puppetry. Their arms must get so tired over their heads like that all the time.

Asleep on the Train

Asleep on the Train

Director Catherine Prowse’s music video for Tom Rosenthal’s simply wonderful tune Asleep on the Train tells a beautiful tale of self-discovery. Though the entire clip was animated using marionettes and miniatures, it’s as human a story as can be.

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Skeletonics Exoskeleton Suit

Skeletonics Exoskeleton Suit

Skeletonics‘ 9+ foot tall, 88 lb. electro-mechanical exosuit is more puppet than practical work assistant, but it’s still pretty awesome. In addition to offering its wearer a lift on stilts, it gives them giant robot arms and individually-controlled bony fingers.

Ocho the Octopus

Ocho the Octopus

Puppeteer and performance artist Tim Davies shows off his latest creation – a gigantic inflatable octopus puppet with articulated tentacles. It measures more than 13 feet high and 22 feet wide, yet has soft and smooth movements despite its size. More here.

Meet Spiky

Meet Spiky

Puppeteer and artist Barnaby Dixon shows off his latest creation, a highly-expressive finger puppet that draws inspiration from aardvarks, armadillos, and porcupines, but in this case the adorable critter has sweet glow-in-the-dark spikes.

The Pits

The Pits

Writer, editor, and puppeteer David Bizzaro presents a charming and family-friendly live-action short film about an avocado who finds himself feeling empty, and heads out on a quest through New York City in search of his missing better half.

The Happytime Murders (Red Band)

The Happytime Murders (Red Band)

(PG-13) Muppets creator Jim Henson’s progeny Brian has gone over to the dark side with a film filled with puppets that’s most definitely not for the kids. It’s a raunchy and darkly comic story of a human and a puppet who must team up to catch a serial puppet killer.

Isle of Dogs: The Puppets

Isle of Dogs: The Puppets

If you haven’t seen Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs yet, it’s definitely well worth a watch. In this behind-the-scenes clip, go inside UK-based Arch Model Studio, home to the talented men and women who handcrafted the film’s intricate puppets for over 800 on-screen characters.

The Crystal Fox Puppet

The Crystal Fox Puppet

Whether or not you loved The Last Jedi, you’ve got to hand it to the effects departments for their work on the film. While we assumed the Vulptex (aka “crystal foxes”) were CGI, it turns out they built an amazing animatronic puppet for close-ups, then scanned it for digital use.

Bug Puppet Gets a Face

Bug Puppet Gets a Face

Barnaby Dixon gave his amazing bug puppet a somewhat creepy, yet awesome upgrade – a tiny screen that lets him display his own face on the bug’s head. He wears a GoPro camera while operating the puppet to bring even more life to his already dynamic puppet creation.

Barnaby’s Bug Puppet

Barnaby’s Bug Puppet

Puppeteer Barnaby Dixon follows up his amazing character “Manu” with a dancing bug who glows in the dark. From his grippy bug hands, to his fluttering bug wings, to his dangly bug antennae, this little guy is a real charmer.

Harold Halibut

Harold Halibut
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In The Slow Bros’ humorous adventure game, you play a janitor who was born in a colossal spaceship launched in the ’70s to colonize other worlds, but instead got stuck in a planet filled with water. The game’s unique visuals are scanned from handmade puppets and props.

The Mysterious Ticking Noise: 10 Years

The Mysterious Ticking Noise: 10 Years

What was one of the most popular videos in the early days of YouTube gets revisited, with the cast of finger puppet Harry Potter reuniting to celebrate 10 years since the original, and taking advantage of today’s much improved video streaming quality.

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Raptor Puppet

Raptor Puppet

Barnaby Dixon not only has an awesome name, he’s also an incredible puppeteer. Here he is showing off another one of his fantastic creations, a tiny velociraptor. It’s all in the tail. And that squeaking voice.

MANU Glows

MANU Glows

Barnaby Dixon gave his finger puppet MANU a Halloween makeover, embellishing his outfit with luminescent paints. Shooting his moves in the dark lets his puppetmaster fade even further into the background, letting us focus on his smooth dance grooves.

Finger Puppet 2.0

Finger Puppet 2.0

Puppet maker Barnaby Dixon shows off a proof-of-concept design for a new puppet that incorporates the use of his fingers to articulate its hands, feet and head. Combined with Barnaby’s solid puppeteering skills, its movements are impressively human. More here.

Flaming Phoenix Puppet

Flaming Phoenix Puppet

Performance artist Cinder Petrichor demonstrates a truly unique puppet she designed and built to look like the mythical fiery bird rising from the ashes. The moving puppet doesn’t self destruct thanks to its wire and Kevlar construction.

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 5

Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 5

(Gore) Red Guy is gone, but Bird Guy and Yellow Guy have no time to think of him because they have to learn about food. The nightmare continues in this demented puppet show, but it seems like the characters are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

Marvin Giraffe

Marvin Giraffe

Puppeteer Sebastian “Party Animal” Mayer sticks his neck out to prove there’s always something you’ve never seen before on the Internet, as he performs a lip-sync of Marvin Gaye’s Let’s Get It On, dressed as a giraffe. That is all.

Rick Baker’s Men in Black Creatures

Rick Baker’s Men in Black Creatures

Norman Chan from Tested got to go behind the scenes with effects and makeup genius Rick Baker to check out some puppets and animatronics from the Men in Black series. Some of his creatures are up for auction this month.

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Tiny Tom Sawyer

Tiny Tom Sawyer

New York performer Ricky Syers uses “Chopsy,” his drummer puppet and tiny tin can drums he created to play the percussion section of the 1981 Rush classic Tom Sawyer. We’re betting the guitar part would be a bit more difficult to pull off.

The Art of LAIKA Auction

The Art of LAIKA Auction

LAIKA, the brilliant animators behind films like Coraline, ParaNorman and The Boxtrolls are auctioning off screen-used puppets and props from their films. A portion of the proceeds benefit The Art of Elysium, a non-profit arts organization.

Santa Gorilla

Santa Gorilla

While CGI effects dominate the big screen these days, the Oscar-winning effects team from Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. shows off the incredible realism they were able to achieve with the gorilla puppet they built for The Zookeeper.

Glove and Boots: Outtakes 3

Glove and Boots: Outtakes 3

Puppets are human too make mistakes too. Mario, Fafa and friends clown around even more than usual in this amusing reel of bloopers from the hilarious Glove and Boots series. This makes us want to see a behind-the-scenes reel now.

OMG Jellyfish

OMG Jellyfish
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One of the more unusual Kickstarter projects out there, OMG Jellyfish aims to make 5-foot-tall bouncy, illuminated puppets inspired by the awe-inspiring sea creaturs, but made from lycra and nylon with LED lighting inside.

Who’s the Best Doctor?

Who’s the Best Doctor?

Mario and Fafa return to educate us on the best (and worst) medical professionals to see when we’re under the weather. Though we can’t believe none of the eleven Doctor Whos made the list.

A Glove and Boots Proposal

A Glove and Boots Proposal

Glove and Boots fan Anthony asked Mario, Fafa and Gorilla if they could help him ask his girlfriend to marry him. It’s stuff like this that makes us such fans of these ridiculous puppets.

The Return of Sifl & Olly

The Return of Sifl & Olly

(NSFW: Language) The MTV cult classic returns on the Machinima Happy Hour channel, with a focus on reviewing non-existant video games. And pie. Mother-f**king pie. Episode 1 premieres Sun. 9/8.

The History of Television

The History of Television

Those loveable puppets over at Glove and Boots who tell it like it is have given us a fantastic and funny Christmas gift – a chronicle of the history of American television. (Thanks everyone!)

Potehi Puppets

Potehi Puppets

They appear to take their puppetry in Taiwan a bit more seriously than we do here, with artful, intricate puppets, and even some that breathe fire. From the upcoming documentary, PuppetVision.

The Teddynator

The Teddynator

The BBC’s always downtrodden Misery Bear tries to buy himself some joy with a Happiness Machine. But as is often the case, relying on technology for our fulfillment often backfires (at least in movies.)

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