Saturday, April 05, 2008

Puppets: A Tribute

I've been thinking about puppets a lot these days. This is nothing new, of course, but I think it's even more so through building my course, contemplating the connections between different art forms of animation and discovering rare Muppet gems online. Today between projects on a lazy afternoon to myself I uploaded some things...

This is a puppet show I did at VanArts with my colleague Stephen Pearce, as an interlude to my annual Halloween Cartoon Show for the animation students. The sheep, who sings the Rock-afire Explosion version of Sixteen Tons, was built by Janet and performed by myself. The goblin is also me, a puppet I built many years ago. The weasel puppet playing violin was built by Meeka Stuart and performed by Stephen, to the song Ghost of Stephen Foster by the Squirrel Nut Zippers.

Here is something I posted for stop-motion history fans looking for rare stuff. It's the "Shoemaker & the Elves" Puppetoon sequence from The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) produced by George Pal and animated by his son David, with puppets sculpted by Wah Chang. I like cute, weird stuff like this when it can be found.

And finally, this is not something I posted but something I've been waiting for among the clips that keep being added to Jim Henson's memorial: the eulogy by none other than the great Frank Oz. I took a short break the other night to listen to this long-anticipated speech, and it hit me very hard emotionally, particularly the very end. It really struck me as one of the most incredible examples of true love and friendship I have ever heard in my life. Watch this clip only if you are prepared to sit in silence for a few minutes afterward, like I had to.

Also a big thanks to Jeffrey Overstreet and Mike Furches for plugging my "Dare You to Move" video on their blogs!

1 comment:

Ryan McCulloch said...

Great puppet stuff! I would have loved to have done that kinda thing in college. And Frank