Since the Nineteenth Century, filmmakers turn to the special effect of puppetry to create fantastic creatures in the realm of film. Creature shops craft real-time, interactive entities, breathe life into them, and capture evidence of their existence. If films and television shows are windows into an imaginative, parallel Universe, puppets are manifest, tactile visitors from this creative world. Animation (despite stop-motion rigs technically being puppets), while picturing its own type of dream world, maintain the integrity of the reality-fantasy barrier. Animated characters live on the other side of a screen, but puppets occupy physical space, somewhere, in this reality.
The varying technologies used on film puppets demonstrate that puppets are as much belief in fantasy as they are the necessity of believability. Over the course of the Twentieth Century, filmmaking pushes the technological and creative bounds of puppetry. Puppets become more detailed and realistic while maintaining a credibility as a possibly credible life form. From simple rigs to computer-driven machines, the technology of puppets revolve around the key purpose of puppetry. Puppet makers incorporate the latest in manufacturing and engineering to construct materials and devices, giving storytelling freedom to the filmmaker and a validity to the puppet.
Even with these advances, puppets of all types remain endearing because they are corporeal phenomenon from human imagination -- no matter how many pneumatic pumps, wires, or googly eyes
One of the oldest puppets on film (or at least the first extant example) comes from Georges Méliès' 1896 short film Une Nuit Terrible (A Terrible Night). The piece tells the tale of a man attempting to sleep in his bed and being disturbed by insects. As the man starts to doze, a large insect crawls across his legs. The man panics, striking the insect with a broom before performing a series of professional wrestling moves on it. He eventually beats the insect to death with his shoe and places the crushed carapace into his chamber pot. Upon trying to resume his slumber, a succession of invisible insects bite at his legs. In his newfound insanity, the man tramples his bed.
In this comical short film (or tragic, depending on point of view), Méliès uses a puppet to create an insect never before seen by mankind. This new species of puppet-insect is pulled by an operator off camera by a thin string. The operator then jerks the string in order to bounce the puppet's rubbery legs, making the insect crawl across the screen. This straightforward rig is believable due to the performance of the operator and the actor playing the man. The attempt to create realistic movement pairs with the over the top reactions of the man. On film, the man thinks the insect is real, and the audience follows. Georges Méliès utilizes the ancient art of puppetry to draw both the viewer and the puppet into a new sense of creative existence.
After Méliès, up to the late Twentieth Century, puppets remain a standard in creature special effects on film. However, the technology behind the puppets remains in the same state that they have occupied for centuries. Simple models, hand puppets, ventriloquist dummies (like Charlie McCarthy), and Méliès-style animals on strings are frequently used as cost-saving effects. The rubber bats bobbing on strings from Universal Picture's 1931 film Dracula are considered laughable, even in its day. Alfred Hitchcock later revisits suspended animals in The Birds by pelting Tippi Hedren with fake crows and seagulls.
Progressing from one-string puppets is the traditional marionette, dolls moved by a series of strings or wires. On film, the articulation of the marionette allows filmmakers to tell stories of freely moving people. The problem arising from marionettes is that they are apparent as a puppet and remove from the believability of the special effect. In the early Twentieth Century, audiences feel that marionettes, and puppets themselves, are dolls and toys. They are a childish diversion: playtime.
Marionettes on film and television are extremely direct in targeting children. From 1947 to 1960, NBC airs Howdy Doody, a goofy, quasi-educational children's show starring a marionette cowboy. Howdy Doody and his human wranglers go on fun romps in a television studio and on low budget sets (Woody's Round-up from Toy Story 2 is loosely based on this show). Creator E. Roger Muir and his freckle-faced puppet friend encounter a variety of wacky characters with whimsical names. Howdy Doody interacts with puppets like Captain Windy Scuttlebutt, the chimera Flub-a-Dub, and Paddle the Gnu. Child audiences know that Howdy Doody and friends are puppets, but they also know that they are real puppets. To enamored Baby Boomer audiences, Howdy Doody is a living being driven by marionette gear. He derives his spark and energy from the belief and efforts of his puppeteers and audience.
Early 1960s British marionette science-fiction shows by AP Films take their puppets on grander adventures but are still targeted at children. Series such as Space Patrol, Stingray, Fireball XL5, and Thunderbirds all use the restricted freedom of marionette puppets. They quickly and cheaply, as opposed to animation or human-scale production, make programs about whimsical vehicles and space travel. The technology of marionettes advances with these programs with the invention of "supermarionation." The wires suspending the puppets double as electrical controls for solenoids. Solenoids expand and contract when charged. A solenoid placed in a marionette's mouth receives electrical impulses from a recorded playback, causing the mouth to open and close in time with a voice actor's dialogue.
Child audiences are interested in the imagination shown in Howdy Doody and shows like Thunderbirds. The puppet world shown on their television screens appeals to a belief in something magical drawn from creativity. Consequently, both Howdy Doody and "supermarionation" shows sold toys of their protagonists (also like Toy Story 2), allowing children to spend money to play along with their favorite television program. Taking toys on film (or Kinescope) on journeys of the imagination is an activity to which most children can relate.
The 1953 film Lili illustrates this contemporary sense of puppets. In the film, the titular Lili is a sixteen year old French girl with no place to go. She wanders the country and finds herself at a carnival puppet show. She believes in the magic of puppets and begins to sing with them. The puppeteer Paul has difficulty expressing emotion after being injured in World War II. He communicates with Lili through his puppets. The two form a bond through the puppets and create a show. Her purity of belief and his purity of repressed emotion make the show interesting. Lili talks to the puppets as if they are real people. Several conflicts with magicians and Zsa Zsa Gabor later, Lili is told to grow up and stop believing in the reality of puppets. She runs from the carnival and has a realization that the puppets are different aspects of Paul's personality. Lili returns to the carnival and falls deeply in love with the puppet wrangler and his puppets.
Lili starts as child with a naive belief about puppets. She is told to become an adult because puppets are toys. She does briefly do so but realizes that the puppets are as real as she and Paul make them. They are real because they are extensions of Paul himself, giving life to creatures of his own invention, and Lili's belief as an audience member, bringing them into the real world. This realization and the concept of puppets as childish entertainment center on the cultural picture of puppets in the mid-Twentieth Century.
Because small, creature puppets are considered toys, many filmmakers in the 1950s and 1960s turn to large scale puppets to use as visual effects. They hope that building the puppets to a grand scale will mark them as memorable, legendary entities rather than playthings. Filmmakers need puppets to portray the impossible at magnitude.
1954's Gojira/Godzilla features a puppet head on top of a giant lizard costume. The rubber head is malleable to the point where an operator can open and close the mouth of Godzilla. This simple mechanical motion allows Godzilla a broad range of expressions. Godzilla can open its mouth to screech, eat trains, and belch nuclear fire. This type of monster puppet movie grows in popularity in both the United States and Japan, spawning numerous imitations and cross-over monsters with similar puppetry capabilities. The giant scale of Godzilla is taken seriously as a science-fiction film (at least in Japan) with its nuclear weapon allegory. Godzilla later appeals to children with his related monster sparring partners and copy cats. For example, Gamera is a children's film because he is a friend of all children. Godzilla is not as friendly as he is the embodiment of the horrors of nuclear warfare -- a concept portrayed in puppet form.
The 1954 Disney adaptation of Jules Vernes' 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea also features a giant puppet. Captain Nemo's submarine the Nautilus disturbs and is enveloped by a giant squid. Nemo surfaces the ship and orders his crew to remove the offending cephalopod. Nemo confronts the sea creature, and the audience discovers that the squid is a big marionette puppet. The rubber tentacles of the squid dangle from the end of wires suspended from the soundstage rafters. Operators and puppeteers wriggle the appendages in the same way as George Méliès' insect. The mythical poulpe from the novel is brought to life with puppets (and the support of dramatic music and a rain machine). Therefore, the giant squid is the distant marionette cousin of Howdy Doody.
A year later, director Ed Wood attempts the same effect in the film Bride of the Monster. Dramatically portrayed in the Tim Burton film Ed Wood, Bela Lugosi's character Dr. Eric Vornoff fights an octopus. As shown in Ed Wood, Ed Wood and crew steal the octopus from a prop warehouse but neglect to steal the associated motor to drive the puppet's tentacles. An intoxicated Bela Lugosi has to thrash about on top of the octopus in order to make the puppet seem like it is killing him. The tragic circumstances surrounding the scene (again, as depicted in Tim Burton's film) lend some drama and reality to the life of the octopus puppet.
On a lighter note, the 1960 Roger Corman film Little Shop of Horrors has a cheaply made puppet that is effective enough. The puppet plays a talking, man-eating plant named Audrey, Jr. Consisting of cloth and feathers stretched and glued over a frame, Audrey, Jr. barely moves. The plant puppet is never shown as having a joint as it is actually two separate halves. For a low budget comedy, the puppet works as a representation of a meat eating plant. In the remake, Audrey, Jr. transforms into Audrey II, a robotic puppet with weight and articulation. Either way, the Audrey plants are a specific species of talking plant never before witnessed (as a puppet or otherwise).
Moving out of the 1960s, two personalities dominate and revolutionize special effects puppetry on film up to the 1990s: Jim Henson and Stan Winston. Jim Henson focuses on the overtly bright aspects of puppets while Stan Winston focuses on boosting the realism of puppets. Both approaches bring new life to puppets on film and television, based in different ways on audiences believing in the creations.
Jim Henson and his associates Frank Oz, Jane Nebel, and Jerry Juhl distill the purpose of puppets down to its concentrated, imaginative core. A mixture of simplicity, theatricality, expression, and energy mark every Henson puppet created by his Muppet Workshop and later Creature Shop. Starting with appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, Henson and friends produce floppy, fuzzy, and witty puppets for coffee commercials, Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, Saturday Night Live, Fraggle Rock, Labyrinth, and The Dark Crystal. Each creation is a colorful and endearing creature that frequently requires the combined creativity of two or more people to bring to life.
The puppets spring from Henson and buddies' imaginations but become real. Henson and company rely on the same sense of wonderment and child-like belief found in Howdy Doody. Audiences know that Muppets are special effects but accept them as such. They are Muppets. On the November 19, 2011 episode of Saturday Night Live, Kermit the Frog describes the situation succinctly. In a discussion with show head writer Seth Meyers, the topic of being a puppet arises. Kermit says that Muppets like him are different than puppets, and Meyers asks how. Kermit explains that a puppet is controlled by a person while he is an actual talking frog. If Jim Henson's creative descendents are doing their best with their creations, the audience truly believes Kermit's declaration of self.
Technologically, Jim Henson and his team are highly experimental in their usage of puppets to solve all sorts of special effects quandries. He uses the film Labyrinth as an exploration of puppeteering. In the 1986 film directed by Henson and produced by George Lucas, a great range of puppet effects are used. Aside from Henson's mainstay Muppet-style hand puppet, mechanical contraptions, puppets worn as costumes, and trick photography are used. In the "Fire Gang" sequence, performers wearing chroma key material disappear into the background (more or less) as they exchange the limbs and heads of different puppets. Protagonist character Sarah Williams is drawn into this world and interacts with the physicality of the puppets as she searches for Jareth the Goblin King. Whereas most puppets are physical manifestations of a creative reality visiting this reality, Sarah is a visitor to the world of imagination. Henson's work on creating a believable world of whimsy derives not from a suspension but an embracing of disbelief.
Stan Winston's approach is slightly different from Jim Henson's. Winston's special effects shop primarily produces creatures that are grounded in reality as opposed to whimsy (although one of Winston's first jobs is producing the Wookiee costumes for The Star Wars Holiday Special). Frequently, his works are for horror films, and his puppets are monsters. Of the five times Winston collaborates with James Cameron, four of the times are creating menacing, science-fiction monsters. In this function, his puppets are real because they are meant to scare audiences. An audience member believes that such a creature can exist and generates peril by merely existing.
Stan Winston and his studio create the special effects (ranging from make-up to puppets) for James Cameron's The Terminator and Terminator 2: Judgment Day. Winston and team work to make the titular Terminator, a cyborg assassin sent from the future. In the 1984 film The Terminator, the Terminator sheds its organic shell to reveal a walking, metal endoskeleton. Through a combination of stop-motion animation and a physical torso rigged with hydraulics and pull cables, The Terminator puppet chases Sarah Connor and Kyle Reese through a factory. Seven years later, in the sequel, Winston expands the Terminator puppets by building multiple T-800's as practical effects. The killing machines terrorize a futuristic nightmare battlefield and have working arms and legs. The Terminators are intimidating machines because they are literally intimidating machine puppets.
Winston continues to collaborate with James Cameron in the 1986 film Aliens. Winston's studio creates the creature effects for the Xenomorph aliens, the Alien Queen, and the Colonial Marines' hardware (from APC to cargo loader). Stan Winston's work makes the world of Aliens work by giving actors physically moveable objects with which to play. On multiple of the alien costumes, including the Queen's, an electronic mouth-tongue extends, lending to the horror-reality of the film. The planet of LV-426 is real for audiences because Stan Winston and company aid in making the planet a reality on Earth.
Akin to Jim Henson's energetic puppets, Stan Winston's efforts in advancing puppet technology makes imagination reality by altering the definition of reality -- in a terrifying, entertaining way. Winston makes The Terminator and Aliens in the grand style of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: go big or go home.
From Henson and Winston's work, the late 1980s and early 1990s are marked by heavy usage of mechanical and robotic puppets as special effects in films. Noticeable is Jim Henson's Creature Shop's move into innovative uses of animatronics and microelectronics in puppetry. Jim Henson's Creature Shop places puppet heads onto costumed performers to make human-sized creature creations. These creatures are similar to the puppeteering of Godzilla but with better facial control and lip sync.
In the 1990 film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the principle mutant cast of Splinter, Michelangelo, Donatello, Raphael, and Leonardo are all robot-costume hybrids. A complex system of servos and motors sit behind the Turtles' faces, controlling eye movement, mouth flapping, tongue wiggling, and brow furrowing. An operator sits off camera and works a complicated remote control rig to get the Turtles to blink, talk, and look worried. An actor and a martial arts performer inhabit the costume component and provide movement to the body of the Turtle. The team operating a Turtle works together to create something never seen in a live-action film before: talking humanoid turtles who are well versed in the Ninja arts. Audiences, particularly children, are thrilled at the now believable and evidenced prospect of justice-wielding mutant turtles living in the sewers of New York.
A year later, and tragically after Jim Henson's death, Henson's Creature Shop creates the television sitcom Dinosaurs. The series continues and expands the work done on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles by making the entire cast into robotic puppet/costume hybrids. The Sinclair family is a family of different dinosaur species living in 60 million and three B.C. There are around twelve regular characters, and each of the main characters is highly detailed with dozens of servos driving expressions and lip sync. Rigs are similar to those on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles but much heavier (due to the fact that they are dinosaurs). As such, much of the action takes place sitting on couches instead of punching people in the face. Additionally, a number of other puppets are used to portray smaller dinosaurs, mammals, and television hosts. During its three year run, the series creates a believable prehistoric society in live-action. Some critics and audiences chide the expensive robotics as a gimmick, but the result is the same. Audiences enjoy sitcom tropes spoken by dinosaurs (until the depressing, depressing series finale). A dinosaur family exists and a television series documents their lives.
The 1990s also mark a transition from practical special effects puppets to computer generated visual effects. As the technology of puppets advance during the 1980s, the price of using them in entertainment increases. Simultaneously, computer animation and compositing develops to a point where it becomes efficient and cost-effective. The 1990s are the point where the rising cost of puppets cross the relatively cheap flexibility of computer generated imagery. For a brief time, both forms of catching imagination on film cooperate to create interesting science-fiction adventures.
The 1993 Steven Spielberg film Jurassic Park is heralded as the start of CG-heavy blockbusters but also has a large amount of practical puppets. Stan Winston and his studio build realistic mechanical dinosaurs (dissimilar to Dinosaurs). Early in the film, the protagonists disembark tour vehicles and encounter a sick Triceratops. The actors portraying the tourists can physically touch and empathize with the ailing giant, creating a sense of altered reality. Later, the tourists are attacked by a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Winston's Studio builds a 7,000 pound, to-scale T. Rex that creates peril by actually being capable of crushing (and possibly eating) the actors. Additionally, as a computer generated T. Rex steps out of its enclosure, a puppet rig is used to animate its digital model. In another scene, a puppet Dilophosaurus "spitter" kills a fleeing criminal (Dilophosaursus are the Judge Dredd of the Jurassic Period).
The combination of CG and puppetry is apparent in the "Kitchen Scene." The action of the film moves to a Visitor's Center overrun by vicious, intelligent Velociraptors. Two children are trapped in the room and scurry away from the ravenous raptors. The attacking dinosaurs start as mechanical puppets and switch to CG and back again. Puppeteers manipulate a torso, legs, and hands as the raptors open the door to the kitchen and enter. Once inside, CG raptors bite at each other (they have a slightly green tint). Next, a mechanical pair of raptor legs are used to create a sense of tension as the children try not to scream. When the chase starts, the raptors transform into CG effects and back to puppets when interacting with the actors. The palpable raptors heighten the suspense as well while working with other effects to create a exciting scene that unintentionally represents the transition from puppet special effects to computer visual effects.
Throughout the rest of the 1990s, films continue the trend, moving slightly more towards CG. Films like Starship Troopers with its combination of CG and puppet bugs, The Fifth Element with its space battles and Mangalores, and Men in Black with its aliens. Notably, Men in Black struggled with practical and CG effects. Reportedly, the climactic "Bug Fight" is a late-in-production alteration that has a practical, mechanical bug replaced by a fully CG effect. Humorously, this expensive change is hinted at in the opening scenes of the film. In the beginning of the film, Agents D and K interdict a truck illegally transporting aliens. They single out one man and interrogate him. The apparent human is actually an extraterrestrial named Mikey, and the Agents reveal that he is an alien holding a human head as a puppet. Mikey is a human sized puppet effect. He is a puppet holding a puppet that turns into computer generated alien that then explodes. The subtle symbolism is a computer generated creature replacing a puppet creature to dramatic effect.
The 1999 film Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace marks a temporary terminal period for physical puppets in film. George Lucas and his visual effects company ILM heavily lean on computer generated imagery for effects in the film. The film touts Jar-Jar Binks as the first, fully CG humanoid main character (ruling out Casper by exclusion). Most of the environments and creatures is meticulously crafted using computers. However, director George Lucas leaves one artifact (or relic depending on point of view) from the original Star Wars Trilogy: Yoda. Jedi Master Yoda from The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi is a puppet creature designed by Stuart Davis and operated by Frank Oz. Frank Oz returns to the role of puppeteer for The Phantom Menace, with peculiar consequences.
The Phantom Menace Yoda appears in the Jedi Council Chambers, the debriefing of Obi-Wan Kenobi, and the ending Celebration Parade solely as a puppet. The sets for these scenes are specially made to allow Frank Oz to stand below the puppet and seamlessly animate Yoda. For the debriefing sequence, a large hollow is left in the floor to allow Oz perform. In shots where Yoda is shown walking with feet, actor Warwick Davis is dressed as Yoda in a costume. Upon release, audiences have a bizarre reaction to Phantom Menace Yoda. Having seen a CG-laden spectacular up to Yoda's appearance, some audience members and critics complain that a CG Yoda is a mockery of the original, despite Yoda never appearing as CG in The Phantom Menace (until the Blu-Ray versions). Yoda's puppet is redesigned in the film (and looks a bit like Ernest Borgnine) with additional details added. Lucas and the character animation team at ILM decide to make Yoda in Attack of the Clones fully CG following the audience reaction.
The reality of Yoda as a puppet is altered by the perception of audiences becoming accustomed to CG effects. The film marks the end of a decade and the temporary hibernation of puppet effects in a visual effect reliant Hollywood.
From the late 1990s and into the 2000s, puppetry transforms into a new variety. Motion Capture, a technique with roots in traditional puppetry, is the equivalent of manipulating a puppet. Actors wearing sensors have their actions recorded by three-dimensional cameras, allowing the data to be reproduced inside a computerized environment. Actors can interact with the digital puppets in motion capture because they become the puppets. In a broad sense, motion capture is puppeteering where the energy of a live-action performance is frozen in time and transferred to computer animated golems. Once the data is cleaned of noise and jitter, computer animated characters spring to life. The difference is that the characters no longer have a material form. A feeling of reality is maintained but in a different sense. It is equivalent to the Avatar program from James Cameron's Avatar but without the jungle.
Many films utilize the technique from Lord of the Ring's Gollum to Pirates of the Caribbean's Davy Jones. Stan Winston pioneers motion capture as a form of puppetry in the 1996 Michael Jackson short film Ghosts. During a skeleton dance sequence, Michael Jackson dons a motion capture suit and gives life to the skeleton. The music video short film is a showcase of different visual and special effects techniques that oddly gives viewers the chance to compare and rank the believability and validity of each effect. Other effects include make-up effects, wire work, digital matte paintings, green screen compositing, and mechanical rigs.
The first big budget, full-length motion capture film is 2001's Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within (the first motion capture film overall is the low budget, Indian animated film Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists). The story of The Spirits Within takes place on a devastated future Earth where spectral beings threaten to eliminate humanity. Almost every human character is animated by human actors in motion capture suits.
In his review of the film, film critic Roger Ebert praises the film and states that he hopes that the film is an indication of what is to come from computer visual effects (he subsequently becomes wary of CG overuse). Ebert lauds the detail lovingly lavished on each character and the motion capture process (which he calls "digital rotoscoping"). He notes that the characters are not quite real but accepts this design limitation/choice as a way to portray the cold feeling of a nearly sterilized, post-Apocalyptic world.
Other critics are not as kind to the motion capture. Some critics chide the film's animation as being stiff and wooden like a puppet. This trend continues with audiences and critics having mixed opinions about Robert Zemeckis' motion capture films The Polar Express, Beowulf, A Christmas Carol, and Mars Needs Moms. Audiences feel that the reality of the live-action, motion capture process is filtered to the point of being unfamiliar even in a Universe of imagination and creativity. Conversely, the same complaints are absent from other motion capture films like Monster House, Happy Feet, and Happy Feet 2. Puppets are visitors from the world of creativity, but motion capture animation returns them to the other side of the screen-bound reality-fantasy barrier.
Still, puppet techniques never truly disappear. Newer, innovative ways of using puppets are still used in modern films. The techniques of the past meld with the techniques of the digital age to bring life to new types of puppets. Puppets are still a bulwark of filmmaking.
In the 2004 film Team America: World Police, writers Trey Parker, Matt Stone, and Pam Brady design an action-adventure film starring marionettes. Like South Park, where foul mouthed children comment on contemporary issues, Team America borrows the child-like innocence of marionettes to comment on the state of the world. The puppet/animation team of the Chiodo Brothers design the puppets for the film. The designs combine traditional "supermarionation" with more modern, cost-saving computer techniques. Solenoids and other controls are placed in the puppets to control facial expression and mouth movement. The original AP Films puppets use taped impulses to drive mouth movement while Team America's puppets use computer programs to sync dialogue with expressions. Puppeteers focus on manipulating the bodies and positions of the puppets. When the batteries deplete on the puppets, the Team America puppets' faces go slack into an expression the puppeteers call "Donkey Face." The combination of puppet technologies and computers bring to life a satirical world that echoes reality.
In the late 2000s, Jim Henson's studios establish the Henson Digital Puppetry Studio to combine puppets with computers in a different fashion. One of the first shows created by the new studio is the preschool educational program Sid the Science Kid. The television show combines motion capture with hand manipulated puppets. The bodily movements of actors are captured in real time while puppeteers voice the characters and manipulate rigs that animate the face and lip sync. The process is similar to the remote control rigs used on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Dinosaurs but without the physical presence of motorized puppets and costumes. Henson's Digital Puppetry Studio hopes that the technique gives a unique look to the animation, more like the energy and mechanics of a traditional puppet. Nevertheless, some critics (who are conveniently not the target audience of preschool children) find the animation too similar to standard motion capture. These critics state that the lack of a physical reality detracts from the experience when compared to Sesame Street.
Crossing three centuries, the technology of puppets on film develops to allow storytellers and filmmakers the ability to use different techniques to bring characters to life. Puppets are visitors from a hypothetical, creative Universe. They receive life from their puppeteers but occupy physical space. Through dynamic movement or accurate detail, puppets become real by being real. Audiences react emotionally to puppets in a different way than straight animation because puppets exist on this side of the reality-fantasy barrier. As technology advances, puppets merge with computer generated effects and return to the other side of the barrier.
Even so, puppets remain steadfast in different forms. Puppets on their own, regardless of technology, are a concrete affirmation and celebration of talented imagination.