Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Puppets using puppets - Puppet puppetters

I'm fascinated by the sequence at the beginning of "Being John Malkovich" in which the marionette performs with an even smaller marionette. It raises the question that every animator and sure feels which is "just who is in control here"?.

When I enquired to the British Puppet and Model Theatre Guild they advised me that this is not a new idea. It's been used since at least 1940 by performers such as Eric Bramall and the Stavordales. The themes of the harlequins and the story of Pinochio was a popular one for puppet puppeteers. Both Gepetto performing with Pinochio and also a smaller model by Bramall of Pinochio with a tiny Jimminy Cricket have been used.

The idea of stop motion puppets making puppets is also a recurring theme in animated films with recent examples shown in the Imagine Animation student film competion (second film) and in the wonderful Komaneko "The Cat Who Makes Stop-Motion Films".

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