PuppetVision Blog Archives: Animatronics

Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge debuts tonight

John Criswell and Peter Brooke on Jim Henson's Creature Shop Challenge

I’m a really big fan of SyFy Channel’s make-up FX competition series, Face/Off, and really excited about the debut of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop Challenge which premieres tonight across North America. Continue reading

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Remembering Teddy Ruxpin creator Ken Forsse (1936-2014)

Teddy Ruxpin

I was sorry to learn that inventor and television producer Ken Forsse has passed away at the age of 77 after a lengthy illness. Ken was best known as the creator of the popular talking teddy bear Teddy Ruxpin in the 1980s, but few people realize he was also an early pioneer in animatronics and that his famous talking teddy was originally conceived for a puppet show almost a quarter century earlier. Continue reading

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Fürth’s Big Fat German Dragon

Fürth’s Big Fat German Dragon

“Tradinno” is an impressive fire breathing mechanical monster that weighs 11-tonnes, is 51 feet long, has a 40-foot wingspan and is the world’s largest walking robot. Continue reading

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Making Pacific Rim’s “Rollie Pollies”

Making Pacific Rim’s “Rollie Pollies”

A brief glimpse at the making of “Rollie Pollies” for the new movie Pacific Rim in the workshop of Spectral Motion. Continue reading

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This 400lbs Animatronic Robot Won Comic-Con

This 400lbs Animatronic Robot Won Comic-Con

What happens when Wired Magazine, the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects team up to build a 400 pound animatronic robot/mech for Comic-Con. Continue reading

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King Kong Live on Stage

King Kong Live set model

A really big show – literally – is about to debut in Melbourne, Australia. King Kong is a live stage adaptation of the 1933 Hollywood classic. It features an incredible life-size animatronic King Kong designed and built by The Creature … Continue reading

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Hansel and Gretel’s Animatronic Troll

Animatronic Troll head built for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters

The reviews for Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters haven’t been kind, but one aspect of the movie that does look very impressive is this fantastic animatronic troll head that was made for the movie by Spectral Motion. You can briefly … Continue reading

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How they built better Terminators

Terminator skull

The Stan Winston School of Character Arts has posted a great behind-the-scenes look at the improved T-800 Terminator robots that were built as practical puppets for the 1991 classic Terminator 2: Judgment Day. As they point out in their post, although today “T2″ is … Continue reading

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Restoring the Skeksis

Restoring the Skeksis

In this video instalment of the Jim Henson Co. Podcast from earlier this year, the Creature Shop’s Head of Puppet Fabrication, Julie Zobel, explains the process of restoring several Skeksis puppets from The Dark Crystal that are on display at the Jim Henson Company … Continue reading

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Performing Admiral Ackbar

Admiral Ackbar in Return of the Jedi

Like a lot of kids my age, I was obsessed with Star Wars when I was growing up. I especially loved learning about how all of the monsters and special effects were created by Industrial Light and Magic. The photo … Continue reading

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